Both mascots earn bid to UCA National Championships

Both mascots of Tennessee Tech will be soaring to Disney World in January to participate in the UCA National Championship.

Awesome Eagle and Grandpappy Eagle were both announced as finalists last week for the competition that will take place in January of next year.

The Universal Cheerleaders Association reviewed the national entry highlight videos submitted for each mascot and announced that Awesome Eagle received first place and Grandpappy Eagle received fourth place in the national competition.

The scores for these videos are worth 50 percent of the overall scores for the competition.

Interim Cheer Coach Andrew Halford said Grandpappy has never received a bid before in the past.

“We’re really excited for Pappy. Awesome getting first was just awesome, but Pappy is just icing on the cake,” said Halford. “In our division, they only take five people so we automatically have two mascots in the top five.”

Awesome won first place at the competition last year, so he’ll be putting his title on the line — a title that might be taken by Grandpappy.

Spirit Consultant Drake Fenlon will be joining the Tech Spirit Squads when they travel to Orlando for the competition.

“I’m just excited because this is the first time ever that two mascots from the same school have gone,” said Fenlon. “It’s the first time that a secondary mascot has competed.”

The mascots will prepare a short skit that will be scored and then combined with the scores from the video portion.

Fenlon said Awesome and Grandpappy are keeping their skit ideas close to the cuff, just in case their competitors are lurking.

“They’ve talked to me a little bit in their bird language,” Fenlon said. “There’s a lot of work to be done. Usually we build only one skit and now we have to build two. It’s going to take a lot of long hours in the fitness center, lots of late nights, lots of duct taped fingers and the whole deal.”

Awesome and Grandpappy will be competing Jan. 16, 2015 in Walt Disney World’s ESPN Wide World of Sports, and the cheer and dance teams will compete the following day.

 “This program is unbeatable,” Fenlon said. “This is it. This is the year of the eagle.”