Posted by Philip Poole on 2012-02-18

It was an historic night Feb. 18 when Dudes-A-Plenty scored a sweepstakes three-peat in 2012 edition of Samford University’s Step Sing. It was the fifth Sweepstakes Award for the all-male group, which organizes annually solely to perform in Step Sing. They also won in 2005, 2007, 2010 and 2011 and were first runner-up in 2006, 2008 and 2009.

With the theme “Rush,” the group told lessons of true friendship and contentment among a group of railroad workers traveling to California to strike it rich with gold. Directors of the 2012 show were Josh Sizemore, a senior journalism and mass communication major from Nicholasville, Ky., and Matt Wambles, a senior journalism and mass communication major from Dothan, Ala.

Dudes-A-Plenty also earned the excellence award for music and choreography and the participants’ choice award for music.

IGnite (independents and Greeks united) took first runner-up with “None of Your Business.” The group was created this year to bring more Greek and independent unity on campus and was performing in Step Sing for the first time. The group also received the participants’ choice award for overall show and excellence awards for choreography and theme.

IGnite directors were Amanda Elenteny, a senior history major from Lawrenceville, Ga., and Caroline Smith, a junior nursing major from Birmingham.

“Stomp the Yard,” presented by Zeta Tau Alpha, took second runner-up. The group also received participants’ choice awards for costumes and choreography. Directors were Kelly Ray, a senior marketing major from Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., and Katie Leigh Mardis, a junior family studies major from Decatur, Ala.

Zeta previously won Sweepstakes Award in 2003, first runner-up in 2007 and second runner-up in 2006.

In a change from recent tradition, each participating group provided an emcee for their show. A new award, Best of the Emcees, was presented to Taylor Horneman, who played Willy Wonka in the Chi Omega show. Horneman is a junior biology major from Louisville, Ky.

Alpha Omicron Pi received the community service award, continuing their multi-year streak of raising the most money for the Step Sing philanthropy. They contributed $1,890 of the $7,120 total raised for Cornerstone Schools of Birmingham. Founded in 1993, Cornerstone enrolls about 260 students and provides a challenging within the content of biblically-centered spiritual formation.

Step Sing is an annual student-organized and produced competition that is professionally judged. It is considered one of Samford’s most cherished traditions. Fourteen groups, involving more than 1,000 students, participated in this year’s competition.

The three-night extravaganza was the 61th anniversary of the annual student production, which originated on the steps of Renfroe Hall on Samford’s East Lake campus before the university relocated to its present campus in the late 1950s. This was the 41th anniversary of the Sweepstakes Award.

Matt Davidson, a senior journalism and mass communication major from Lilburn, Ga., was overall director. Assistant directors were Quincy Dion Price, a senior music theatre major from Newnan, Ga., and Nick Boardman, a junior accounting major from Cleveland, Ohio.

Terra Garmon, coordinator for student activities and events, provided administrative leadership for the 2012 show.

Click here Step Sing Interview to see a post-win interview with Dudes-A-Plenty directors Matt Wambles and Josh Sizemore.


Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.