Thunder the Antelope

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A downpour of love on Family Weekend

October 15, 2018 / by / 0 Comment

Story and photos by Theresa Smith GCU News Bureau The campus chemistry was gradually altered on Friday afternoon, from thousands of young people intent on making their way from class to class, to laughter, hugs and leisurely reunions of Grand Canyon University students with their moms, dads, brothers and sisters. Along the Promenade, joyful families picked up their burlap bags, donned their purple “GCU family’’ T-shirts and scattered all over campus. Families in Thunderground cheered for spares and strikes on the bowling alleys and picked up their cue sticks for billiards. Outdoor tables outside the Student Union and Lopes Way filled with hungry families fresh from touring classroom buildings and residence rooms. With 1,370 families and 4,870 family members, including students, it was the largest Family Weekend in the event’s five-year history. Amid the buzz of activity, the experience of one freshman was similar to many of her peers. Despite talking to her mother every day, she was homesick. “I have been missing my mom a lot,’’ said Jessica Mireles as she wrapped her arms around her mom, Mariela. “I am going home for Thanksgiving, and that’s still a month away, so it’s great to see her and the rest of […]

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Sneak Peek: Camp Elliott and Midnight Madness

September 28, 2018 / by / 0 Comment

By Theresa Smith GCU News Bureau Long lines of students sitting on the grass or the pavement, endlessly playing cards, snacking, talking and dozing? If it sounds like madness, it is — Midnight Madness. Grand Canyon University students seeking premium seats for Midnight Madness are tailgating and tenting, as organized by the leaders of the Havocs, GCU’s nationally recognized cheer section. “Camp Elliott grows every year and people do it because they like it,” said Havocs Co-President Shelby Langston.  “Yes, they want a good spot for Midnight Madness, but they also enjoy being outside with their friends and changing it up.”  Camp Elliott, coined for Daniel Elliott, the first student to start the tradition, in 2015, will end on Friday, Oct. 5, at 10 a.m. when all students will be given their lineup numbers.  The doors to GCU Arena will open at 11:15 p.m. for Midnight Madness, featuring the men’s and women’s basketball teams, along with their coaches, Dan Majerle and Nicole Powell, and performances by the spirit teams: the Thundering Heard Pep Band, Cheer, Dance and Thunder. The theme for this latest edition of Midnight Madness is mysterious. “They are in for a wild night since The Joker, “Thunder,’’ […]

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Storm, power outage can’t stop Lope-A-Palooza

August 24, 2018 / by / 0 Comment

An early pre-event start and a power outage sent a frenzied crowd of over 7,000 students into an even higher energy level of dancing, clapping, singing and cheering at Thursday night’s Lope-A-Palooza at GCU Arena. The Thundering Heard Band, Cheer team, Dance team, Thunder and the Havocs leaders put on an unforgettable show to kick off the academic school year and pump up new and returning members of the Havocs to support athletics, including the men’s and women’s soccer teams who made an appearance prior to their home opening matches tonight.

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Cheer team’s victories go beyond the competition

August 14, 2018 / by / 0 Comment

  By Theresa Smith GCU News Bureau Just for a moment, forget about winning the top award in every category and focus on the outcome that does not appear in the official results. After days of driving the Grand Canyon University Cheer team, consecutive mornings of listening to their daily devotionals, witnessing their approach to each other, and their evident love amid catching each other with sure hands and an authentic smile, the bus driver was profoundly affected. GCU Cheer coach Emily Stephens, who began the program 11 years ago, was brought to tears when Dean, the bus driver, took her aside and told her that he was thinking about returning to church, and the deciding factor was his observations of her 49-member cheer team, plus Thunder and Thunder’s friends. “It was the most exciting thing for us,’’ she said upon returning from the Universal Cheerleading Association (UCA) camp at the University of California-Santa Barbara. “He said he felt a spirit coming up from the front of the bus. The fact that the group could show him that love and that spirit and represent Christ is remarkable. For him to feel that and make that decision after being with our […]

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Dance Whisperer Genung-Koch has team on move

July 25, 2018 / by / 0 Comment

Grand Canyon University Dance team coach Jacque Genung-Koch is the driving force behind the phenomenal success of the program, which integrates with the Cheer team, Thunder, the Havocs and the band for a highly charged atmosphere at athletic contests and campus and community events. She says there’s more anticipation than ever for this year.

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Cheer, Dance Make Big Impression at Camp

August 17, 2011 / by / 0 Comment

Congratulations to GCU’s cheer and dance teams, which brought home several awards from last weekend’s UCA/UDA summer camp at the University of California at Santa Barbara. The camp also was attended by Arizona State University and the University of Arizona. The dance team took third place, and cheer won the Leadership Award (described as “If you were not a member of your own team, which team would you want to be on?”).

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Video: A Day With Thunder

June 15, 2011 / by / 0 Comment

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=http://youtu.be/8wMVwuEjhls

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Thunder No Turkey at Gompers Holiday Feast

November 18, 2010 / by / 0 Comment

Thunder officially has arrived in the big leagues. The Antelopes’ mascot has always been a major deal at 33rd Avenue and Camelback, of course. But now the Horned One has participated in the annual Thanksgiving dinner at Gompers Habilitation Center, which brings together mascots from Phoenix-area pro sports teams for what Gompers’ executive director, Mark Jacoby, fondly calls “a cyclone of chaos.”

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