Jacob Carver is the new big cat on campus.
About three hours before Smith-Cotton football’s first game of the 2015 season, everything was set and ready to go, except one detail: no mascot. Scrambling to find someone to fill the position, Teri Turner, Smith-Cotton’s theater arts teacher, chose junior Jacob Carver to step up and answer the call.
“He’s really energetic; he’s really good with all kinds of people and really enthusiastic so he’s the first person I thought of,” Turner said. “He was a little caught off guard, but once he sat down and thought about it he liked the idea.”
“I have a lot of school spirit and I like showing school spirit,” Carver said. “I thought it would be fun to go out and do whatever and go crazy.”
But being the school mascot is hard work. Carver shared how he must do athletic conditioning and drink lots of water to be in good shape for games.
“It’s extremely hot in the costume. I almost passed out one time,” he said. “I feel like I’m on the front line minus the injury.”
With some water and a cool-down break at halftime, Carver was right back out there and ready for the second half.
Nikkolle Warren, captain of the S-C cheer team, is pleased with the way Carver performs, saying: “He does good; he brings a lot of energy to the spirit squad.”
Carver took to the tiger mascot position like a natural with his previous experience playing the role of a big cat. Last year, Carver played the role of Snug in Smith-Cotton’s production of “A Mid-Summer Night’s Dream,” where his character turns into a lion.
“I already knew how to act like a ‘feline’ so it just helped me more,” Carver said.
After Carver is done pumping up the crowd and “getting them hyped for a touchdown,” he plans on participating in S-C’s spring play as well as this year’s Theater for a Cause production. Theater for a Cause was the brainchild of Alec Wilken, who graduated last year. The program donates all proceeds from a production to local charity. Last year was the first year for Theater for a Cause, which raised about $600 for the Sedalia Literacy Foundation.
“The purpose is to give back to the community as a department; we want to give back and raise awareness,” Turner said.
This year’s Theater for a Cause production will be “I Dream Before I Take the Stand,” which is about a trial where a women is testifying about a sexual assault and will make the viewer think about how points of view can be altered. All of the proceeds for this production are to be donated to CASA.
Eli Kemp is a student at Smith-Cotton High School.