09 Feb Airo Security Publishes: ROCKY the RAM: | The Cleveland Daily Banner
By CHRISTY ARMSTRONG
North Lee Elementary school mascot invited to perform at college game
North Lee Elementary School recently acquired a new school mascot. The students who bring him to life have already drawn the attention of a college cheerleading program.
Rocky the Ram made his debut during a pep rallyat the school Jan. 24. Since then, the mascot has been cheering on the North Lee Rams at basketball games and other events.
“We were excited to add the mascot to our team,” said Jennifer Robinson, head cheerleading coach for North Lee. “It was the idea of our principal, Dana Yost, and these guys just ran with it.”
Three boys — 11-year-old twins Thomas and Henry Seo and 9-year-old Hunter Kicklighter — share the responsibility of being the mascot.
They each had to audition. They wowed their coach with their skills. The Seo twins both practice tumbling, and Kicklighter does breakdancing.
“They all three had a lot of energy. It was fun to see,” Robinson said.
They now practice with the cheerleading squad once a week and perform at basketball games, in addition to other school events and service project outings.
For each game, one of the boys prepares to be Rocky the Ram. The others practice their tumbling or dance skills to add to the performances.
“We get really excited before a game,” Thomas Seo said.
“I get excited and really love getting the crowd excited,” Kicklighter added.
The boys said it is not easy being a mascot.
Kicklighter said it can be difficult to see.
Henry Seo said it can get hot in the suit.
However, the boys said being a mascot has its perks.
“I get really popular as Rocky,” Kicklighter said. “I get to meet and take photos with a bunch of different people.”
Robinson said the new mascot was added to help promote school spirit. However, it also provided a new opportunity for the boys to be involved in something new and get to know their peers.
As they have practiced each week, the boys have improved their skills as mascots and entertainers, which happened to draw the attention of Tennessee Tech University’s mascot.
Karly Page, who is currently behind the beak of Tennessee Tech’s Awesome Eagle, attended a basketball tournament at North Lee to see a younger cousin play.
Page was impressed by Rocky the Ram’s performance. She invited the mascot to perform with her at a Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles basketball game on Feb. 1.
“She was so kind to encourage them and tell them they had promise,” Robinson said.
In addition to being part of a college cheerleading performance, the boys got a behind-the-scenes look at Awesome Eagle’s storage room and props.
Robinson said Page also told them about opportunities for college scholarships and community involvement. One of the boys said he now plans to be a college mascot when he is older.
“It was very exciting to know we were going to be at a college basketball game and to see everything,” Henry Seo said. “Everything’s been awesome.”