College Dance Team Central

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Former WSU Crimson Girl On Sonics Calendar Cover

Go 2 Guy: Coug graces cover of calendar

Seattle P-I


"Jim, Jennifer Carroll from the Sonics. Our dance team's swimsuit calendar is coming out on Friday and a Coug is on the cover. Just wondering if you'd like to write about it."

"Uh, no thanks Jennifer, if you don't mind, I'd rather talk to, look at and write about sweaty men for the 18 millionth time."

Yeah, right. Of course I'd like to write about it.

The 15-month calendar, featuring all 15 dance-team members, goes on sale today and can be purchased for $15 at the Sonics & Storm Team Shop or online at

Before and at halftime of tonight's game against Sacramento at KeyArena, dancers will autograph the calendars at designated locations on the concourse, and at the FSN HD Lounge postgame.

In return for the autographs, fans are being asked to donate to Holiday Assist, a Sonics and Storm foundation that supports holiday events and other giving campaigns.

Two years ago, the Sonics asked the Go 2 Guy to help select pictures for the inaugural dance-team calendar. I was really busy and had many conflicts but somehow rearranged my schedule and found the time.

I've been snubbed since, probably for good reason, evolving from stately judge to dirty old man.

It appears the Sonics have this swimsuit-calendar thing down anyway, and I'll say this -- unless I'm missing something, 2007 cover girl Denee Wolpert has Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue potential.

The '06 Washington State graduate had never modeled or posed for a photo shoot before.

"I just kind of went with it," said Wolpert, 23.

At the shoot, Sonics director of marketing Ben Wilson, photographer Nigel Cooper and graphics designer Cole Meier looked at Denee, looked at each other and knew right away -- that's the cover shot.

An advertising major at WSU's Edward R. Murrow School of Communication, Wolpert is working as an account coordinator at a local ad agency.

She grew up in Spokane, went to North Central High School and was a member of the WSU dance team.

Last summer she danced for the arenafootball2 champion Spokane Shock.

Wolpert is only the second Coug on the Sonics' dance team in the past 12 years, the other being Tricia Benzinger.

"We tried to hold her back and thought about having a JV team because she's a Cougar, but the reality is, everybody adores her," Wilson said. "She's been a hit."

Wolpert said she purchased the swimsuit at Bikini Beach in Kirkland.

"It was the most expensive swimsuit I've ever bought," she said. "But it was well worth the money."

As a red-blooded male, I think she looks terrific in the cover shot and inside shot for January 2008. But there's a part of me who's the father of a 15-year-old daughter who wonders what Denee's dad thinks about this. If the Go 2 Girl ever poses for a calendar, I might have a problem with guys lusting over her provocative photo.

It's an issue easily won by the red-blooded male now, but that could change.

As for Denee's dad: "He said, 'Wow, that's great!' " Wolpert said. "He was encouraging, believe it or not. But he hasn't seen the pictures yet."

The Go 2 Wife saw them all, and if you want a woman's perspective, she thought Abby (April '07) and Leanne (September '07) were the cutest and most likely to take home to meet your parents. Jillian (July '07) looks as if she's most apt to end up in a Victoria's Secret catalog.

She also thought Donabelle (June '07) was the sexiest and that Denee was a beautiful girl but used too much hair spray.

So what if Washington State lost the Apple Cup? A Coug is on the cover of the Sonics' dance-team calendar.

"I never would have put my chips on that," Wilson said.


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