A San Angelo cheerleader will get the opportunity to perform at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Florida, on New Year's Day.
TLCA senior Devan Vanderburg, who has represented Auggie the Eagle all four years of her high school career, was named an All-American Mascot at the Universal Cheerleaders Association Mascot Camp in July at Texas Tech University in Lubbock.
Vanderburg then accepted an offer to perform as one of the mascots at the 76th annual Citrus Bowl. The college football game will feature Iowa vs. Kentucky on Jan. 1, 2022.
Vanderburg recalled what it was like hearing her name announced as the winner.
“They’re like ‘Auggie the Eagle!’ and I cried,” Vanderburg said. “The whole way back here [to San Angelo], I bawled my eyes out.”
Vanderburg also earned a leadership award at the UCA mascot camp, and she was offered a future job as a mascot instructor with the organization.
“She should’ve been All-American mascot all four years, in my opinion,” said TLCA cheer coach Bailen Gomez. “Her energy is phenomenal. She always has a really good, positive attitude, no matter what.”
Initially, Vanderburg had no interest in joining the cheer team, having previously played on TLCA’s basketball and volleyball teams in junior high.
That changed her freshman year when Vanderburg signed up to become the school mascot following the recommendation of a cheerleader’s mother. She grew to love being a mascot, enjoying being able to do anything she wants to entertain crowds.
“I could do whatever I want or act silly and goofy, and not a lot of people would know who I am,” Vanderburg said.
“Now everybody knows who she is,” chimed in Vanderburg’s grandmother, Janey Munoz.
Following high school, Vanderburg plans to major in psychology or music theory and hopes to become a mascot when she goes to college. She says she will most likely attend Angelo State University, where she has been accepted.
Munoz expressed appreciation for Vanderburg's cheer coach as well as various local companies who sponsored Vanderburg and the school’s cheerleaders.
“Devan was fully supported and very blessed,” Munoz said.
This article originally appeared on San Angelo Standard-Times: San Angelo TLCA mascot to perform at Citrus Bowl on New Year's Day