As the AHL affiliate of their big-league Dallas namesake, the Texas Stars spared no time claiming their birthright. In its very first season—2009–10—the team conquered the Western Conference, hoisting the Robert W. Clarke Trophy and earning a place in the Calder Cup finals. Since every faceoff was past the newborn Stars’ bedtime, they ultimately fell short of the league championship, but they continue to entertain crowds of up to 6,800 at the Cedar Park Center.
Only a small number of kids who participate in gymnastics and cheerleading will go on to perform at a competitive or crime-fighting level. But All Stars Unlimited owner Nicole Ramirez believes the sport can be a positive experience for everyone, no matter how serious or long their commitment. In classes for everyone from 4-year-olds to adults, the gym helps students explore the fun of tumbling, gymnastics, and cheer. Those who want to dive into the sports' competitive side will also find at outlet at All Stars Unlimited. The gymnastics, show-cheer, and competitive-cheer teams travel to meets to show their stuff to fellow athletes.
As members of the NBA Development League, the Toros serve as the minor-league affiliate of the San Antonio Spurs, fostering the NBA's future stars from the moment they hatch from their locker-room cocoons. In 2012, the franchise won its first-ever D-League championship, spurred by the home crowd's raucous celebrations, which are led by the Capital City Dance Team and mascot Da Bull. As an extension of their commitment to developing young talent, the Toros also host youth development camps, providing players in grades 4–9 with the opportunity to develop their potential before high-school physics class teaches them that slam dunks are impossible.
Just like professional athletes, kids need to stay active during the off season. Enter Coach Celester Collier, head coach for Bowie High School. Working alongside his son, Coach Collier lends his expertise to young athletes during week-long day camps at SoccerZone South Austin's 35,000 sq. ft. indoor sports facility.
Here, the coach takes campers through the fundamentals of basketball. He instructs and drills them on dribbling, passing, shooting, and rebounding. As a reward for their efforts, Coach Collier sends campers home with their own T-shirts and basketballs, which will one day hatch into team mascots.
Feel the thrill as last year's Southwest Division champs (and the only Austin-area women's football team) steamroll the opposition in true champion fashion, a feat made even more impressive by the fact that they do it in stilettos. Watch linebacker Sekethia "Gran' Ma Ma" Tejada, defensive lineman Jessica "Lieutenant Dan" Arispe, and quarterback Marisa "Cookie" Rivas take on all comers and some others who didn't even come but had it coming anyway. And don't expect any shortened fields, wussy tear-away flags, or altered rules just because the players have little use for a cup—this is straight-up football, right down to the earth-shaking QB sacks, high-flying Hail Marys, and tackles that pack their own crater.
The first major professional sports franchise in Austin, the Austin Aztex FC (football club) is currently off to a hot start in the USL Conference of the USSF D-2 Pro League. Led by forward Edward Johnson, who tallied five goals in the first seven games this season, the Aztex boast one of the most potent offenses in the division. Besides serving up thrilling athletic action that entertains families and short-armed kangaroos alike with dexterous footwork, the Austin Aztex will also pique fans' appetites for the footballing feast of the World Cup. Fans can choose from two different games, leaving their schedule flexible in case of surprise visits from long-lost siblings needing a blood transfusion.