AWC Spirit Team, mascot win awards at UCA/UDA Summer Camp Competition

Matador Cheer and Dance teams take home eight first-place trophies at California event

Yuma, Arizona August 20, 2012 -- Arizona Western College is proud to announce that the AWC Spirit Team and 'Andale' (AHN-dah-lay)-the Arizona Western College mascot-won numerous awards at the Universal Cheer Association/Universal Dance Association's 2012 Summer Camp, which was held at the University of California-Santa Barbara in Santa Barbara, California. The teams took home a total of 12 awards from the two-day competition, which pitted them against some of the top community college teams in California in an event that featured two dozen two-year colleges and four-year universities. The announcements come as the team's student-athletes completed their first day of classes for the 2012 fall semester on the AWC campus.

The Matador teams faced off against such strong Los Angeles-area community colleges in the competition as West Valley College and East Los Angeles College, as well as Mount San Jacinto College in Riverside County. The AWC Cheer Team-under the direction of AWC Spirit Team Coach Tiffany Minnick-took home first-place awards in Game Day Challenge and the Overall Leadership Award on the first day of competition. They bested that total on the competition's final day, grabbing first-place trophies Time Out Cheer, Sideline, and Band Chant. They also walked away with the Small Co-ed Division II Overall Superior Award. As for the AWC Dance Team-under the direction of AWC Dance Team Coach Katie Wendt, they came home with a first-place award for Superior Recognition for Traditional Fight Song, a fifth-place award in Home Routine, and a great sign that the program is continuing to progress: the Overall Program Improvement Award, which is awarded by the UDA to programs that they see steadily improving each year. Finally, 'Andale' made his presence known for the first time while competing against school mascots on both the community college and four-year university level. AWC's mascot wound up taking second place overall in the Mascot category (behind only 'Wilbur the Wildcat-the official mascot from the University of Arizona). He also won first place in the Game Field Challenge.

Minnick, who has seen the overall spirit program at AWC more than triple its numbers since she took over the program in the spring of 2008 (to 24 student-athletes for 2012-13), is ecstatic about the showing in California and what it says about the future of the program. These kinds of competitions are so vital to build the confidence and chemistry of our squad," remarked Minnick. "Being able to compete against some of the best programs in our region and fare as well as we did makes our kids want to improve even more than they already do, and perform even better in front of our Matador fans. We also hope it inspires those in our area high schools to realize that they can continue to excel in cheer and dance at the next level while earning their education here at AWC. I'm so proud of our kids."

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