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School mascots have spirit, fun

Admiral Dave is no longer missing in action — or collecting dust in a closet. The Farragut High School mascot re-emerged this year after a seven-year furlough.

The Bearden High School Bulldog has also reappeared after taking a year off.

FHS junior Joe LeSage said he is the first to don the Admiral uniform since Farragut had a mascot in 1998.

“I will always be a hero who brought Admiral Dave back,” LeSage said.

LeSage said he likes to “pump up the crowd” at games and the Admiral Dave uniform provides an “element of mystery.

“I did it to remain anonymous,” he added, “but now more people know who I am.”

LeSage said the Admiral likes to appear at games where you “wouldn’t normally see a mascot,” including volleyball, soccer and baseball games.

He added during football games he mostly has to stay on the track and he enjoys the one-on-one contact he gets with the fans at other sporting events because “not an overwhelming number [of people] come after me.”

LeSage said he “thankfully” has not been victimized while wearing the Admiral uniform, but he has had some “close calls.”

“At the Farragut [vs.] Bearden soccer match, Farragut fans were picking on me, I thought it was weird, they were throwing things at me,” he added. “It’s detrimental, that’s exactly what I don’t want to happen.”

Despite the negative, LeSage said he enjoys being the mascot.

“I have to say at the Farragut [vs.] Bearden football game, I rushed the field, it was so awesome being at the Bearden fifty-yard line holding up four fingers because we’ve won four years in a row,” LeSage added.

LeSage said with all the fans packed around the football team and the coach, “that unity is why I do this, to get that support right there.”

This is not the first time LeSage has been a mascot. He said he was the mascot when he was in eighth grade at Farragut Middle School.

LeSage added that he would like to be the Admiral again next year, but he would step aside if someone who could be at more games or be more “pumped up” wanted to wear the uniform.

LeSage said he’s just glad “to be the catalyst to bring Admiral Dave back,” and he hopes the uniform does not continue to “collect dust” when he graduates.

BHS junior Elizabethe Wouters is familiar with LeSage’s experiernce as mascot.

Wouters said she took on the role of the school mascot because she’s “usually the funny one, it’s exciting, I wanted to see if I could do it. Our football team is not the best, but it’s nice to have someone rooting for them. I did it for school spirit.”

Wouters is also a Marching Bulldog Band member, so she cheers on the football team in the Bulldog uniform during the third and fourth quarters.

“It’s really awesome,” Wouters said. “A lot of people come up to me and say, ‘Who are you?’ Once they see it’s me, they say, ‘Lizzie, I didn’t know you’re the dog, that’s so cool.’

“Yeah, it’s really cool,” she added.

Wouters said as mascot, she gives hugs to the “little kids” that come up to her and she gives high fives and pats on the back. She also cheers with the cheerleaders and dances with the band in front of the stands.

She added, “People take pictures of me,” which, she said, is exciting.

Unlike LeSage’s “close calls,” Wouters said she has been tackled and punched in the stomach.

“That’s the worst part when people intentionally hurt you and I am setting an example for the school, it’s hard when you can’t control what other people do and when people look and see I’m getting beat up but I’m still being nice, then the school gets recognition for being nice,” Wouters added about why she keeps a positive attitude.

“All in all,” Wouters said, “it’s a cool experience. I didn’t know it would be this much fun. … Last year we didn’t have anyone and when I walk out [in the] third quarter, people yell and get hyped up. I think it helps a little.”


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