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Local mascots know how to add spirit to school football games

Kavoris Harris, 15, left, and Alexus Baldwin, 17, share bulldog duties for Natchez High School.
JUSTIN SELLERS/THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT — Kavoris Harris, 15, left, and Alexus Baldwin, 17, share bulldog duties for Natchez High School.

They’ve got spirit, yes they do.

Local athletes and cheerleaders do a very good job of keeping fans pumped up during games, but some schools get a little extra help from some costumed characters.

Natchez High senior Alexus Baldwin and freshman Kavoris Harris are the faces beneath Natchez’s Bulldog mascot.

The students say it is the mascot’s job to be the embodiment of school spirit.

“You have to be active and funny and just have a lot of spirit for your team,” Harris said.

Baldwin said she likes the mystery that goes along with wearing the bulldog outfit.

Vidalia High School 11th graders Peyton Cowan, left, and Loren Canty, both 16, share mascot duties for the Vikings.
Vidalia High School 11th graders Peyton Cowan, left, and Loren Canty, both 16, share mascot duties for the Vikings.

“If you’re good, a lot of people who don’t know who’s under there will be trying to figure it out,” she said.

Baldwin and Harris are stepping into the suit for the first year, and both say they are excited to take on the role.

“I think it’s going to be a lot of fun,” Baldwin said.

Vidalia High School juniors Peyton Cowan and Loren Canty are debuting this year, also, as the Viking.

Cowan said she knows the mascot may not be the focus of every fan’s attention.

“I know they’re going to be paying attention to the game, but it’s our job to keep them pumped up … to keep the momentum going,” she said.

Cowan doesn’t exactly know what all she will do to keep the crowd entertained this season, but, above all, there will be dancing.

“Dancing is definitely my favorite part,” she said.

Canty said each mascot should have some signature moves but said she wanted to keep hers a secret for now.

“I think we’ll have some things this season that will keep the crowd guessing,” she said.

Wilkinson County Christian Academy 10th grader Olivia Hurst, 15, is in her second year as mascot for the Rams.
Wilkinson County Christian Academy 10th grader Olivia Hurst, 15, is in her second year as mascot for the Rams.

Wilkinson County Christian Academy fans will likely see a dancing ram at their games, too. Sophomore Olivia Hurst, now, in her second year as WCCA’s Ram, said dancing is also her favorite part about being a mascot.

“I try to look as funny as I can and just really get into it,” she said.

Hurst has been a ball of energy since she was a child and says she now has a place to focus that energy.

“You need a lot of energy to be a mascot, and I’ve had a lot of energy since I was born, so it’s perfect,” she said. “You have to have a lot of confidence and a lot of enthusiasm, too.”

But it’s not all fun and games being a mascot, Hurst said. It takes a lot of work, too.

“When it’s hot, I take breaks under the bleachers and probably drink five bottles of water,” she said. “You have to be prepared, but it’s a lot of fun.”