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 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.
TCU football kicks off its 2010 season with its opener against Oregon State. In a recent USA Today coaches' preseason poll, the Horned Frogs were ranked no. 7 and the Beavers were ranked no. 22, making this matchup a cleated clash between two gridiron gangs with much to prove to the college football world. Both squads have something to prove to themselves, too—TCU's 2009 season ended with a Fiesta Bowl loss to Boise State, while Oregon State lost to Brigham Young University in the 2009 Maaco Bowl Las Vegas. In between the rushing, tackling, throwing, and kicking, keep an eye peeled for potential fisticuffs between mascots Super Frog and Benny Beaver, as each represents not only their respective university but also different water-frequenting members of the animal kingdom.
A playlist of popular tunes absorbs the subtle clicks and wooshes of wheels on wood as skaters glide around the golden floor at Arlington Skatium. Open-skate sessions allow rollers of any age to rack up laps, while preschool/stroller skate sessions grant two-foot fledglings and baby buggies exclusive access to the floorboards. The center also hosts skating classes to help students shave seconds off of their morning commute. Between sets, blue neon lights show the way to the snack bar, where skaters can refuel with a pizza or soda before settling down for a nap in the arcade room.
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.