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Gadsden, Ala. — – An Albertville High School graduate, Michael Willingham, has been selected as the second Swoop-the cardinal mascot of Gadsden State Community College.

Michael Willingham as Swoop

Michael Willingham as Swoop

He ran the spirit flag at Albertville High for two years at pep rallies and football games, sang and danced in “Centerstages,” a high school performance group, and was the recipient of the “Aggie Week Trophy” at the high school three years in a row. Willingham will major in marketing and plans to transfer to the University of Alabama after graduation.

Dr. Judy Hill, coordinator of student activities, said that Willingham’s audition performance and interview were
“wonderful.” He receives a partial scholarship that is renewable if selected for a second year.

Willingham joins returning Swoop mascot Heather Lamar of Piedmont who performed at numerous basketball games, student activities and community events during 2008-2009. Heather served as the mascot at Piedmont High School for two years before coming to Gadsden State. She was selected for a second year because of her outstanding previous performance, according to Hill. Heather also works in the bookstore on campus but not many students know she is Swoop. Hill said Heather is a hard worker and she is delighted to have her back.

“Being Swoop takes a lot of dedication and creativity,” Hill said. Swoop attends many athletic events, participates in student activities and works with the community outreach unit at Gadsden State. It’s not an easy job. “These kids are improvising from the time they put on the costume until they are able to get out of character. It’s a tough job but one that does so much for school spirit and public relations at Gadsden State.” For more information about Swoop or the Mascot Scholarship contact Dr. Judy Hill at or (256) 549-8329.


  1. Jay says:


  2. blake says:

    i thought heather was mascot at spring garden

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