COLUMBIA — Captain America watched from the stands as Mark McGwire was chased by a police officer across the gym floor to the song “Monster Mash.”
It’s safe to say that Halloween night lent an extra touch of chaos to Cougar Madness, Columbia College’s annual athletics department-sponsored event to kick off the school's basketball seasons. Costumed students scrambled around the gym playing knockout, musical chairs and wrapping themselves in toilet paper in the community-building event.
Columbia College women's basketball opener:
Thursday vs. Oklahoma Baptist at 7 p.m. at the Arena of Southwell Complex
Columbia College men's basketball opener:
Friday vs. Concordia Seminary College at 7 p.m. at the Arena of Southwell Complex
Cosmo, the morning DJ for Columbia radio station KTXY/106.9 FM, was the master of ceremonies, narrating the night’s events over the gym speakers. Dressed in a gorilla suit, he blended right in with the student body.
“This is the first time Cougar Madness has been on Halloween,” Cosmo said. “We have a lot more students in costume than we were expecting.”
Mike Davis, head coach for the Columbia College women's basketball team, said the event usually consists of a scrimmages, but that was cut out of this year’s event because the women open their season on Thursday, and the men open their season on Friday.
Still, Davis saw the events, including multiple highlight videos and a dance-off between the men's and women's teams, as a good start to the season.
"It showed we've got some good dancers on the team," Davis said. "I don't know how much that helps on the court, but it's always a fun event."
Junior guard Heather English, who was a third-team National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics All-American last season, also enjoyed the event, particularly the dance-off and her team's performance of "the Wobble," which earned her team a victory in the competition based on audience applause.
"It's fun and good to see people come out and support us at events like this," English said. "Plus we got our first win of the season, so we're starting out 1-0."
Supervising editor is Grant Hodder.