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AlumNews: Talon Articles

Eagle mascot returns to games

Tuesday, February 26, 2008  
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By Katie Halstead After a three year hiatus, the Eagles have a mascot once again. Juniors Rebecca Mcgonagill and Bryson Bunger as well as freshman Keegan Terry share the task of entertaining the crowd at basketball games. Oklahoma Christian University last had a mascot in 2003. In 2007, sophomore Justin Geary got everything in order to get the mascot back out for the games. He teamed up with SGA and made a proposal for the current costume. Once they attained the new costume, Geary was the new mascot. "Without Justin having a passion, we wouldn't have this whole thing," Director of Athletic Marketing and Communications Wes McKinzie said. The mascot role conflicted with Geary's schedule, and it was soon time for someone else to step in. McKinzie sent out a mass e-mail to the student body asking for anyone interested in the position. Out of about 15 respondents, the three chosen all had previous mascot experience and a schedule fitting the needs of a mascot. Mcgonagill, Terry and Bunger rotate time in the costume on a volunteer basis, but McKinzie hopes next year the position will be more systematic and a person will get compensated for doing it. "Rotating the mascots for each game works well, and it's a good way to get to see each of their lifestyles," McKinzie said. McKinzie wants one person to be the primary mascot next year and would also like to have a back up selected. The new costume came from Facemakers Incorporated. Most of the funding for the costume came from the SGA, and the rest was covered with allocated funds from the Athletic Marketing Budget. "I am really, really pleased with what the company did to make the costume resemble our logo," McKinzie said. "They did a great job with it." Although McKinzie was very pleased with the costume, the volunteers have voiced some very credible concerns about it. When asked how they felt about the new costumes, they all expressed how the difficulty of moving around in the costume. "If the head was attached to the outfit, it would work better," Mcgonagill said. "The way it is right now, I can't tumble or do much without worrying about the head falling off." A big concern is a child seeing the mascot's head fall off. "Every mascot is different, but we all have the same goal of being there for the kids and making the game fun," Mcgonagill said. "People come to watch the game, but they want to have fun as well." A mascot is a very important ingredient in a game. "I have played sports all my life and its really nice when the crowd is pumped up, and if I can do that for the players, then its really rewarding," Mcgonagill said. The mascot arrives to the game before anyone else does so they can greet the fans at the door and play with the children. "You have to put yourself in the mind set that you're not a student anymore," Terry said. "You're a mascot, and everyone is going to be watching all your moves." None of the volunteers seem to get nervous at the game, and find that being able to hide their identity is actually something they all enjoy. "I think it's awesome," Bunger said. "I've hit on so many girls, and no one knows who I am." Keegan also believes the identity should be a secret. "The number one rule is that people should not know who you are. You aren't their friend that they see walking around on campus," Terry said.

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