The spellbinding aura of optimism and exhilaration that invariably permeates Amarillo College with the dawning of each fall semester will be markedly heightened this year by the rebirth of Badger Athletics – in three sports.

AC will mark its return to competitive intercollegiate athletics with a celebratory midday Pep Rally on Aug. 24, and virtually everyone is invited to join in the festivities, meet the players and coaches, and enjoy a free ballpark-style lunch.

The Pep Rally is open to the public and takes place from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 24 on the Oeschger Family Mall at the Washington Street Campus.

AC President Russell Lowery-Hart will make welcoming remarks at 11:45 a.m., with introduction of the players in men’s baseball, men’s and women’s cross country, and women’s volleyball to follow. As they are introduced, each of the Badger players will toss up-for-grabs T-shirts into the assemblage.

Additionally, the College will use this opportunity to unveil its striking new Badger mascot, who will be joined at the event by something of a colleague in Ruckus, the mascot of the Amarillo Sod Poodles.

The gala will be enhanced even more when representatives of AC’s Student Life organizations lead the College’s “Claws Up” cheer.

“Our goal in returning to competitive athletics is all about creating and expanding opportunities for students, so it’s extremely gratifying to bring the first student-athletes on board and introduce them to the community,” Mark White, athletics director, said. “A lot of people at the College and within the community have done a great deal of work getting us to this point, and for all of them we are deeply thankful. We welcome everyone to this Pep Rally with open arms.”

The College, which last participated in intercollegiate athletics in the mid-1980s, received the go-ahead from Regents in December of 2020 to reestablish an athletics program. Organizational efforts began immediately.

Incidentally, by the time the Pep Rally rolls around, the AC volleyball team will have already launched its season with a number of road matches, while the men’s and women’s cross country teams and the baseball team will be on the very cusp of their own inaugural competitions.

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