AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Thursday, officials from Amarillo College invite the community to celebrate with a midday pep rally for the return of intercollegiate athletics. The pep rally will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Aug. 24 on the Oeschger Family Mall at the Washington Street Campus.

According to an AC press release, AC President Russell Lowery-Hart will make welcoming remarks at 11:45 a.m., introducing the players in men’s baseball, men’s and women’s cross country, and women’s volleyball.

AC said as they are introduced, each of the Badger players will toss up-for-grabs T-shirts into the assemblage.

Officials said AC will also unveil a new Badger mascot, who will be joined at the event by something of a colleague in Ruckus, the mascot of the Amarillo Sod Poodles.

“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.”

AC said the last time they participated in intercollegiate athletics was the mid-1980s, AC received the go-ahead from Regents in December of 2020 to reestablish an athletics program. Organizational efforts began immediately.

According to officials 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.