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Crims mascot best in state, heads to regional vote
The Yuma Criminal is officially the best mascot in the state of Arizona after winning the first round of the Best Mascot Contest hosted by the USA Today High School Sports staff.
The first round of the national online voting contest, which ended Tuesday, saw the Yuma High mascot competing against four other high school mascots in Arizona: the Gila Bend Gila Monsters, the Heritage Academy Heroes” (in Mesa), the Page Sand Devils and the Valley Vista Monsoon (in Surprise).
The Crims won with a whopping 10,284 votes, or 95.302 percent of the votes cast. YHS will now progress to the regional portion of the competition.
“It is incredible,” said YHS Principal Faith Klostreich. “I would say it reaffirms that we are the most unique and the best mascot in Arizona. We very much appreciate all the friends of Yuma High School and the Yuma Criminals that took the time to vote, and we just hope they continue to do so.”
At regionals, the YHS Crim will be pitted against about eight other schools that progressed from the first round, each one from a separate state. The U.S. has been divided into six regions for the competition.
“There is more competition among the states,” Klostreich noted, although she is confident YHS will do well.
The regional contest begins Thursday at 9 a.m. (MST) and ends at noon (MST) March 14.
During that time, Klostreich encourages Arizona residents and Yuma area residents to go to http://contest.usatodayhss.com to cast a vote for the Crims. People can vote as many times as they want, but must enter a “CAPTCHA” code each time.
“If they could please keep the Criminal alive in the regional competition, that would be very much appreciated,” Klostreich said. “Obviously the mascots become more unique, but there is only one Criminal in the world. People will continue to rally around Yuma High and the Criminal mascot as long as they are aware there is still something out there for them to do.”
One winner from each region will advance to the national contest March 15-25. The national winner will be declared the best high school sports mascot in the USA, and its athletic department will be given $2,000. Second place will be awarded $1,000, third $500, fourth $250 and fifth $100.