Battle of the Beauties: Dolphins and Bucs Cheerleaders Face Off in Boca

They usually cheer from the sidelines, but on Sunday, Miami Dolphins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers cheerleaders took the field — well, the beach at Spanish River Park — to compete in volleyball, tug of war, flag football and on an obstacle coarse.

The event kicked off a week of activities for the Battle of Florida game on Saturday featuring former FAU and UM coach Howard Schnellenberger coaching his South team against former Florida State coach Bobby Bowden’s North squad.


This is a view of the cheerleaders with which fans are most familiar: The Buccaneers’ cheerleaders entertain the crowd during a September game against the Atlanta Falcons at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. (Margaret Bowles/Associated Press)


Dolphins fans are more accustomed to seeing Miami’s cheerleaders perform along the sidelines, as they do here during a September game against the Houston Texans at Sun Life Stadium, than watching them as the main attractions in an athletic competition. (Bill Ingram/The Palm Beach Post)


On Sunday the cheerleaders weren’t cheering, except for each other. Instead they played rather than watched the games. Handshakes were exchanged between the teams before the day’s fan autograph session and skills contests. (Thomas Cordy/The Palm Beach Post)


Miami cheerleaders Natalie W. and Kellie C. greet the Tampa Bay cheerleaders before the competition. Most of the cheerleaders who competed in Sunday’s event were rookies and one and two-year members of the teams. (Thomas Cordy/The Palm Beach Post)


Tampa Bay Bucs cheerleader Paige S. serves during the volleyball match. (Thomas Cordy/The Palm Beach Post)


Dolphins cheerleader Natalie D. laughs during a break in the volleyball game. (Thomas Cordy/The Palm Beach Post)


Carolina D. returns a serve during the volleyball match. (Thomas Cordy/The Palm Beach Post)


Kara P., second from right, cheers with her teammates after the Bucs win a game during the volleyball match. (Thomas Cordy/The Palm Beach Post)


Carolina D. strains during the tug of war contest. (Thomas Cordy/The Palm Beach Post)


Sunday’s strong winds wreak havoc on hairdos, including Cassie K’s. (Thomas Cordy/The Palm Beach Post)


The obstacle course was set up by City of Boca Raton Ocean Rescue personnel. Dolphins cheerleaders Kellie C. and Ariana A. hand off during the rescue board relay. (Thomas Cordy/The Palm Beach Post)


Tampa Bay Bucs cheerleader Paige S. crawls through the sand during a segment of the obstacle course. (Thomas Cordy/The Palm Beach Post)


Ashlee F. straddles an obstacle in the “up and over” segment of the obstacle course. (Thomas Cordy/The Palm Beach Post)


Exhausted Miami Dolphin cheerleader Kellie C. rests during the “up and over” section of the obstacle course. (Thomas Cordy/The Palm Beach Post)


Tampa Bay’s Faith D. is cheered on by teammates during the sandbag drag segment of the obstacle course. (Thomas Cordy/The Palm Beach Post)


Tampa cheerleader Cassie K. outsprints Natalie W. during a tie-breaking match of beach flag. (Thomas Cordy/The Palm Beach Post)


Tampa’s Cassie K., back to camera on left, is congratulated by her teammates after outsprinting Natalie W., right, during the tie-breaking match of beach flag. (Thomas Cordy/The Palm Beach Post)


Ashlee F. listens as her team plots strategy during the competition. (Thomas Cordy/The Palm Beach Post)


Kiley Y. pulls down an interception during the flag football game finale. (Thomas Cordy/The Palm Beach Post)


Natalie D. fights through a stiff -arm tackle. (Thomas Cordy/The Palm Beach Post)


Bucs’ cheerleader Paige S. catches a pass during the flag football game finale. (Thomas Cordy/The Palm Beach Post)


Ashley J. waits for a play to be called. (Thomas Cordy/The Palm Beach Post)


Natalie W. races towards the endzone. (Thomas Cordy/The Palm Beach Post)


Natalie W. breaks away from a tackle to score the game’s only touchdown. (Thomas Cordy/The Palm Beach Post)


Natalie W. celebrates her touchdown run with a teammate. (Thomas Cordy/The Palm Beach Post)


Natalie W. almost breaks free for a second touchdown. (Thomas Cordy/The Palm Beach Post)


Tampa’s Ashley J., is stopped after a short gain. (Thomas Cordy/The Palm Beach Post)


Ariana A., a five-year veteran of the team, will be representing the Dolphins at this year’s Pro Bowl in Hawaii. (Thomas Cordy/The Palm Beach Post)


Miami’s cheerleaders emerged victorious in Sunday’s Battle of the Beauties. (Thomas Cordy/The Palm Beach Post)

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