The Gladiators entered the Coliseum, got their hockey pants kicked, and left...
Meet Red Rocker: Ashley
(Photos via the Red Rockers)
“What I love most about the Red Rockers is how accessible we really are compared similar teams like us,” said Red Rocker Ashley. “From the time the doors open to the time Verizon Center closes we are out walking around meeting people. We lovingly call it ‘Red Walking.’”
The Red Rocker Spirit Squad is an elite group of lovely, enthusiastic young women who act as ambassadors for fun and excitement during Caps games at the Verizon Center. Ashley, 26, has been a Red Rocker for the past five seasons, longer than anyone else on the squad. She grew up in Bel Air, Maryland, but currently lives in Lovettsville, Virginia. She graduated from Marymount University with a Bachelor’s degree in interior design, and now works for a model home and commercial design firm in the D.C. metro area.
“I’ve been a hockey fan for years and attended Hershey Bears games when I was younger. I always loved the game!” Ashley said.
This personable, energetic hockey fan was born to cheer. Ashley was a cheerleader growing up in middle school and high school. Upon graduation, she knew she wanted to continue to cheer and auditioned for some professional teams. She served as a Washington Redskins Cheerleader Ambassador for two seasons before trying out for the Red Rockers.
“I absolutely love the Red Rockers and wouldn’t want to be a part of any other team after my five seasons with them!” she said. “The Red Rockers represent such a wide range of beautiful, talented and highly educated women. Over the years, I’ve had teammates that are HR managers, nurses, teachers, lawyers, social workers and even a budget manager for the District of Columbia. My teammates inspire me to be a better version of myself, and for that I am eternally grateful.”
A big part of being a Red Rocker is interacting with fans. While remaining totally professional, many squad members have developed personal relationships with avid fans, and Ashley is no exception.
“I am happy to say that I’ve made some amazing lifelong friends through my experiences with the Capitals. ‘Pin Man Bill’ and his wonderful wife have been so very great to me over the last few years. I always look forward to catching up with them on the concourse. I’ve also grown very close to my friend Adam and his family. I’ve even gone to support him with his Special Olympics activities and go to see his acting at the Olney Theatre each spring. I have really also enjoyed seeing some little fans grow up over the years! Dexter is an awesome kid that I met my rookie year, and I have watched him grow over the last five seasons. I still cannot believe what a super great kid he has become. I always look forward to his high fives at the Red Rocker Table! Overall, I am pleasantly surprised with how close I’ve become to my ‘Caps Family.’ All of the fans have been amazing to me and I am always so excited to meet new friends!”
Being a Red Rocker is a wonderful opportunity that goes way above and beyond cheerleading. For Ashley, one of her favorite parts of being on the squad is the unique experiences that she has been presented with over the years.
“Being a part of the Monumental Sports family allows me to be a more active member of society and give back to the D.C. community in ways I was unable to do prior to joining the organization. I’ve been to elementary schools to read to children, visited sick kids in hospitals just to try to make them smile, raised money for cancer research, played hockey with my friends from Special Olympics and even built a sliding board during the Kids-KaBOOM! playground build,” she said.
At the end of this season, after five enjoyable and fulfilling years, Ashley will say goodbye to the Red Rockers and her time with Monumental Sports and Entertainment. She is getting married and moving on to start the next chapter in her life. What will she miss the most about her time with the Caps?
“Maybe it will be getting to see my favorite team play every home game? Maybe it will be being a part of such an awesome team and hanging out with 20 beautiful, smart and caring ladies? Maybe it will be the hundreds of crazy-awesome-red-rocking fans that I get to meet? Maybe it will be the dozens of opportunities to be a better and more active member of my community? It’s really hard to tell what aspect of being a Red Rocker I will miss the most. That’s a lie; I will definitely miss the t-shirt tosses!” she said. “But I do know I will always cherish the time I’ve spent on this team! Being a member of the Red Rocker team has allowed me to grow as an individual, which is something I will take with me for the rest of my life.”