By JOEL GANTT
Not every Pima Community College team was called the “Aztecs,” the football team used to go by “Storm.”
When the football team was formed, the Storm was the name chosen after a vote was taken from students, faculty and staff.
“The team is going to be called the Storm, as if, there is a storm coming out of the East and don’t get caught by it,” said then East Campus President Mary Retterer.
This was Jan. 24 2001, when PCC was flush with cash and was fresh from renovating three campuses and building two more in the 1990s and the athletic department had visions of expanding. There were talks of having football and softball teams at both the east and west campuses along with having baseball teams at the desert vista and west campuses.
Retterer called it “replicating” and these teams would be able to play each other and if a student attended the east campus they would only be allowed to play for the east campus team.
That was all talk and never happened, no Pima Aztec team from the West Campus ever battled a Pima Storm team from the East Campus.
The Storm became the name of the golf teams that were also relocated to the East Campus. Both teams practiced at Fred Enke Golf Course, located adjacent to East Campus and the eastern campus even had its own athletic department.
Along with a team name the consensus also decided on team colors. The actual color was called “desert sky blue.” Desert sky blue was paired with black and silver trim to produce the uniforms.
The name served Pima well as they went to a bowl game in Pima’s best year, 2004. That year the No. 11 Storm (8-3) beat No. 4 Kilgore College in Kilgore’s backyard at the Pilgrim’s Pride Bowl in Mount Pleasant, Texas.
“The name and the colors are very unique and attractive. I think people will get real excited about the uniqueness of the colors and the name,” said defensive backs coach Keith Graham in 2001.
Apparently people didn’t get too excited about the name or the colors because the team name was changed to the Aztecs in 2005. All Pima teams became the Aztecs and the school colors, for every campus, were changed to navy blue and black, from orange on the West Campus and desert sky blue at the East Campus.
Since the name change Pima has won six games so maybe they should consider a throwback game with desert sky blue helmets.