The start of school can bring mixed feelings. Students are slowly switching out of the summer routine and into the academic rigor of classes. However, back-to-school events can provide a welcome break, from the ASB brunch activities to the back-to-school assembly. This year during the assembly, the crowd was not only cheering for the dance team or their class during the historic tug-of-war, but also for the new school mascot.
On August 17, the school introduced the mascot as ASB Spirit Associate sophomore Kenneth Moussavian, a temporary fill-in, who ran onto the turf wearing the eagle costume. He participated in activities with the cheer team and interacted with the crowd, trying to show that the mascot will have a positive impact at school events during the year.
“His presence really stood out,” junior Nathan Hart said. “He was probably more acknowledged than any other particular person or event in the assembly.”
The school previously had an eagle as the mascot for sports games and assemblies, but in past years, ASB retired the costume to the student store. Over the summer, several ASB students and Assistant Principal Cristy Dawson came together with administration and staff to discuss bringing back the mascot.
“I think it is just symbolic,” Dawson said. “There is nothing more that is the absolute epitome of spirit than the mascot.”
One motivating factor was that other local schools, such as Mountain View High School and Egan Jr. High School, have mascots.
“Coming to high school and not seeing a mascot made me a little sad because it showed that there wasn’t a lot of school spirit here,” Crittenden Middle School graduate senior Bhavdeep Singh said. “It definitely affected my spirit for the school.”
A mascot seemed logical for students to have the complete high school experience, and now that there is a mascot, this perspective has changed for some.
“I thought it was pretty cool that we actually have a mascot now,” sophomore Elvis Li said. “At Egan we had a viking, and I was thinking, shouldn’t high school have one too?”
In the future, the mascot will appear at school assemblies and sports games. However, the overall role of the mascot is still in its developing stages. As the year progresses, ASB hopes to experiment with the mascot’s role at different assemblies and games, and find other effective ways to interact at school. Currently, ideas include having it soar at freshman orientation or eighth grade night.
“[The mascot represents] our school spirit,” ASB member junior Michelle Albright said. “This is our mascot, our school, our eagle. I feel that before, school spirit was just a broader idea and that there was nothing to really focus on. The mascot is a really good way to rally everyone together and make [school spirit] more of a centralized effort.”
Before the mascot soared into athletic events and campus activities, tryouts for this position were held on August 30 and 31. Applicants were required to submit an application with questions that asked about their experience with attending school activities and sports games as well as their ideas on interacting with the crowds at these events. In addition, applicants had to go through an interview process with the spirit team, which consisted of Dawson, the ASB spirit commissioner and an ASB spirit associate. The panel also included a student representative and several other ASB students.
“We really wanted to see what each applicant can do with the mascot character and how they can get the crowds going,” Senior Class President John Lee said. “That’s what the mascot is about, bolstering our school’s spirit in terms of cheering during games and assemblies … and we needed to find a student who can do that for us.”
After deliberation, senior James Brewer was chosen as the mascot for the school year, with several other students chosen as alternates.
“He’s demonstrated that he has lots of spirit and experience going to games and participating, so we are really excited about him,” Dawson said.