‘A rare experience’: Meet the cheer captain who will represent the Buccaneers at this year’s Pro Bowl

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — She was a little girl with big dreams.

“I grew up in St. Petersburg, Florida,” Rachael Marshlack said. “I’ve been a Bucs fan since I was born.”

Those dreams came true for Marshlack, cheer captain for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and this year’s Pro Bowl representative.

Buccaneers playoff path is lined with potential opponents who beat them during the regular season

“I cried,” she said. “Not a boo-hoo cry, but I cried of joy and excitement to see what the future has for me.”

Marshlack said she’s been dancing since she was just 2 years old.

She remembers the phone call back in 2020 that changed everything.

“At first, it almost sounded like I didn’t get it,” she said. They were kind of tricking me a little bit.”

Marshlack said her sister almost stopped recording the video of her getting the call, thinking she didn’t get the job.

Until she started crying tears of joy.

“I was so filled with joy, you know, you work so hard your entire life and to get to do what I love every day surrounded by other people who also love the same thing as me,” she explained. “It’s a pretty rare experience.”

Buccaneers announce official watch party for game against Detroit

Now she’s truly living the dream, her dream, as she cheers for the Bucs as not only a cheerleader but as a St. Pete native who has been a fan of the NFL team since she could toddle.

“Honestly, I’ve always been a huge football fan,” Marshlack explained. “I think part of the job is loving football.”

“When I get on the field, getting to watch my favorite team, and getting to dance, you kind of forget about all the things that are going on around you, and you just enjoy it,” Marshlack described. “Sometimes I have to pinch myself. I’m like, ‘Holy moly, I get to do what I love every day.’ It’s so awesome.”

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to WFLA.