The Man Behind the Mascot

February 22, 2020

Brent Chandler in uniform at a football game in 2019. Photo by Amy Chandler.

 

On a Friday night, Brent Chandler’s heavy armor settles on his shoulders as he runs around hyping up the crowd. The little kids stare in awe while the older ones cheer for their friend and school mascot.

 

Chandler, 18, is a senior at Athens Academy and the man behind the mascot. At the beginning of the year, Chandler received an email from the school looking for a new Spartan mascot. Chandler responded to the email expecting there to be others also interested, but since he ended up being the sole respondent, he took the position.

 

Chandler said his favorite part about being the mascot is “how the little kids look at me like I’m this big, not really human, but just like something else. And they all like giving me high fives and are just awed by me. It is a really weird thing to have happen.”

 

However, Chandler’s job does not come without challenges. During the football game versus Prince Avenue this year, Chandler was doing his job cheering on his team when a group of people began trash talking him. Luckily, his fellow Spartans came to his defense.

 

Chandler also deals with his armor. When he first received his uniform, his mother thought it was too heavy, so they bought another one. However, he wanted to stick to the traditional warrior look rather than the Michigan State figure, so he bought a third one. Now, Athens Academy has three mascot uniforms.

 

That does not stop the uniform from challenging him. Chandler claims to wear about 15 pounds of armor. During his first game he had to sit             Brent Chandler (middle) with

down so that he wouldn’t pass out.            cheerleading coaches Kelsie Webb (left)

But he says that “the more you do it,        and Dana Cox (right). Photo by Amy

the more you get used to it.”                       Chandler.

 

After being asked if he would be the mascot again, Chandler said, “I think I would. I think it was a good experience and one I probably won’t forget.” At the same time, Chandler also said there was a very low chance of him pursuing his hobby as a mascot through college. So we must enjoy his enthusiasm while he is still here being our passionate Spartan cheering on our school.

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