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Longtime cheerleader director Tracy Sormanti will be first woman inducted into Patriots Hall of Fame

Longtime New England Patriots cheerleader director Tracy Sormanti has been selected for posthumous induction into the team Hall of Fame as a contributor, team owner Robert Kraft announced Monday.

Sormanti is the first woman to garner induction into the Patriots Hall of Fame. She will also be just the third contributor -- joining Patriots founder Billy Sullivan (2009) and radio broadcaster Gil Santos (2013) -- selected by the Kraft family for enshrinement.

Sormanti passed away on Dec. 4, 2020, after a lengthy battle with multiple myeloma. She was with the Patriots for 32 seasons.

"Tracy Sormanti was one of my first hires after I bought the team and, for the past 27 seasons, she was one of our greatest ambassadors," Kraft said in a statement. "No one was more passionate about the Patriots and committed to using our brand to connect with fans than Tracy. She loved preparing her teams for their performances, both on and off the field, and did so with great compassion and conviction. Her countless contributions spanning the past three decades have entertained and positively impacted the lives of so many in our communities. It is an honor to select Tracy as a Patriots Hall of Famer and to know that her legacy will be preserved for generations to come."

Sormanti, a Rhode Island native, began her days with the Patriots in 1983 as a cheerleader and was a member of the cheerleading squad from 1983-84 and 1991-93, finishing her cheerleading career by representing the Patriots at the 1993 Pro Bowl. Sormanti was named Patriots cheerleading director not long after Kraft purchased the team in 1994. Over 27 seasons, Sormanti's squads took part in 10 Super Bowls, made "tens of thousands of community appearances and visited more than 30 countries on dozens of military USO tours to entertain our troops at military bases around the world, serving as Patriots ambassadors on patriotic missions," per the team statement.

The team also announced Monday that the team's HOF induction ceremony for defensive lineman Richard Seymour would be held on Saturday, Oct. 23, near the Patriots Hall of Fame. Seymour was initially due for induction in 2020, but the ceremony was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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