Aggie Idol charity talent show makes 10th run

June 1, 2017

DAVIS, Calif. - Dance acts by the UC Davis football and women's swimming teams plus a solo guitar-and-vocal performance from soccer player Noah Wilson scored the top places in the 10th installment of Aggie Idol, the annual UC Davis student-athlete charity variety show Thursday night. This was the first such show held at Aggie Stadium and the seventh that supported Team Davis, a local nonprofit organization that serves local children and adults with developmental, cognitive and/or physical disabilities.


Claiming first prize was a number entitled "Coach Craig's Team of Champions," a dance medley featuring Aggie football players Quincy Bennett, Nick Fehrenbach, Jordan Franklin, Tiger Garcia, Ethan Hicks, Dan Plum, Wesley Preece and Christian Skeptaris, providing their interpretive movements.


The UC Davis women's swimming & diving team entered a dance act for the second straight year, this time with Kirsten Brand, Aislinn Dresel, Cora McClelland, Angelica Nowack, Jamie Pincin, Kristin Schumann, Olivia Smith, Macayla Thomas and Elise Wright performing to "Wannabe," "Calabria" and "Uptown Funk" toward a second-place nod.


Wilson was one of only two individual acts on the evening's bill. He delivered an acoustic rendition of the Maroon 5 hit "Sunday Morning," marking the second year the Petaluma, California, product qualified for the final slate of winners. Wilson joined field hockey's Courtney Hessler and women's soccer's Rachel Smith for the last year's runner-up performance. In fact, he is a third-time Aggie Idol entrant, having sung "L-O-V-E" as part of a team number during Aggie Idol VIII in 2015.


As always, the true winners of Aggie Idol -- Team Davis -- took its turn on the stage, singing the Bobby Day smash "Rockin' Robin" as a tribute to the organization's president Robin Dewey. The performers received a standing ovation, and later were presented with medals for their contribution.


This year's Aggie Idol also featured a coach for the first time in six years. Daniel Leyson, the Child And Meisel Families Director of Men's Water Polo, sang "Bruce R. Burningham," a self-penned guitar nod to a favorite professor. The 2016 Western Water Polo Association Coach of the Year had previously delighted fans with his ukulele tunes on social media during the university's Give Day campaign back in April.


Student-Athlete Advisory Committee officers Alec Adamson (men's tennis), Dresel (women's swimming & diving), Lani-Rae Green (women's tennis), Agustina Singh (field hockey) and Danielle Steffen (women's track & field) ran the show and served as emcees, in addition to kicking off the show with a medley of two vastly different although similarly titled songs: "Stacy's Mom" by Fountains of Wayne, and "Jessie's Girl" by Rick Springfield.


The Aggie football team had two entries on the set list, as second years Darius Livingston and Erron Duncan gave an impassioned reading of the R. Kelly/Usher hit "Some Girl." Wilson later saw five of his soccer teammates take the stage, with Marte Formico, Luke Hazel, Nabi Kibunguchy, Sean Nagle and Andrew Williams performing a dance number called "Mostly White Noise."


Director of Athletics Kevin Blue, women's golf coach Anna Temple and football coach Dan Hawkins formed the panel of judges. Aggie Idol previously supported such charities as Heifer International (2007), Special Olympics Northern California (2008) and Invisible Children (2009), before Team Davis became its annual beneficiary starting in 2011. Aggie Idol initially took place in Upper Hickey Gym, then moved to Freeborn Hall for five years until the latter building's closure. The 2014-16 editions were held at Toomey Field. The outdoor shows have no admission, but SAAC collects donations throughout the show.


For more information on supporting Team Davis, please visit www.team-davis.org.