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He's a New Bee — With Fighting Bee Spirit

Barney The Fighting Bee

September 2017 | by Brandon Albrecht '21

Barney the Fighting Bee got a makeover and had his debut on Saturday, Sept. 16, when the No. 23-ranked St. Ambrose football team battled top-ranked, defending national champion, St. Francis of Indiana to Brady Street Stadium.

The new Barney was unveiled during a pregame show featuring the SAU Athletics Band, the dance team, and the cheerleading squad.

The new mascot was designed to look more like the Fighting Bee featured on SAU Athletics clothing, marketing materials and, especially, on the wall designs located throughout the brand new Wellness and Recreation Center.

The yellow-and-black bumblebee costume has been retired.

"The old mascot simply didn't look like our actual mascot," said Megan Cooney, director of athletic bands. "Our Fighting Bee is what all of our current students and alumni identify with. The new mascot undeniably looks like Barney the Fighting Bee!"

Barney is represented by a mascot team comprised of St. Ambrose students Autumn Olson, Max Cosby, Lindsey Jurkovik, and Joaquin Buena Diaz.

"These students all have past mascot experience, whether it be from dressing as an Easter Bunny to being a mascot when they were in high school," said Danelle Langeneckert, head dance and cheerleading coach and the department's newly introduced spirit coordinator. "By having a new mascot resembling Barney more realistically, it is going to connect all of our spirit efforts together and get the audience more involved."

"The Dance and Cheer Teams along with the Fighting Bee Athletic Band have worked extremely hard on creating spirit in the St. Ambrose community," Langeneckert said. The teams worked together to create a spectacular pre-game show for the 2017 football season, which involved Barney.

The new Barney also visited with revelers outside the stadium prior to kickoff.

At halftime, there was birthday cake and a special "Happy Birthday" serenade to the new bee from the fans.

Athletics Director Ray Shovlain noted St. Ambrose is home to the only "Fighting Bees" in the nation, and said having a mascot as iconic as Barney is important not only to students and alumni but to the faculty and general St. Ambrose community as well.

Saturday's pre-game show also showcased the cheerleading team. Along with the dance team which performed at halftime. Both squads are among the most competitive in their NAIA-sanctioned sports. The dance squad has won three national titles in the past six years and last year finished fourth.

The cheerleaders have scored second, third and fourth-place finishes in national competition in recent years.

MORE LIKE THIS:AmbroseZine, Athletics

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