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As many people are gathering supplies and props in preparation for dressing up for next week's festive holiday Halloween, there are some students in the area who are accustomed to wearing a costume on a regular basis.

The Daily Citizen-News spoke with a group of avid individuals who support their high school by serving as a mascot at football games and around campus. Here's a look into their life behind the costume.

Southeast Whitfield does not have a mascot costume, and North Murray does have a mountaineer outfit but it is not currently in use.

Christian Heritage's Leo the Lion

aka seventh-grader Duncan Carpenter

Daily Citizen-News: What's the job like?

Carpenter: The first time I ever did it was at a basketball game. Then during a pep rally last year (in the sixth grade) during football season, someone said that they needed someone to wear the mascot. I just said, "Why not?" and I've been doing it ever since. We don't do it during football games because it can get chaotic, but we usually do it for special events and before football games.

DCN: What's the best part of the job?

Carpenter: It's fun to see the little kids. Some of them run away, but most of them love to take pictures with me and play with me.

DCN: What's the worst part of the job?

Carpenter: Definitely how hot it gets. It's like 20 degrees hotter in that thing. It's also made for someone who is older and taller than me. I was also kind of scared the first time because I don't think that thing had been washed since the last time someone had used it, and I really hadn't seen it in a while.

DCN: What keeps you going and do you want to continue?

Carpenter: Everyone knows it's me now, and I just did it because I had nothing else to do. I would like to keep doing it as long as I'm not playing in the sports they need me for.

DCN: Do you have any advice for future mascots?

Carpenter: Just be ready for people to not recognize you as you, and be ready for the heat.

DCN: What do you think it would be like to have a real lion mascot?

Carpenter: It would be scary. I don't think any kids would even go up to it. They would probably just run away.

DCN: Are you going trick-or-treating or to any Halloween parties? If so, what are you really dressing up as this year?

Carpenter: I don't know what I'm going to be yet, but I'll go trick-or-treating. I'll probably go soon to find a costume.

DCN: What's the funniest memory you have while in costume?

Carpenter: One time I tripped and my head fell off. I quickly put it back on and I don't think anybody saw.

Coahulla Creek's Bolt the Colt

aka senior Landon Conley

Daily Citizen-News: Tell us about the job.

Conley: It's supposed to be a secret since it's like our school entity and more for the spirit rather than an actual person. The first time I did it was during my sophomore year at the powder puff football game. I was friends with one of the cheerleaders and they wanted someone, but then the next school year when I was a junior, our theater teacher was asking around for actors who wanted to do it for football games. Since I had already done it, I got plugged in again.

DCN: What's the best part of the job?

Conley: Since the target audience is smaller kids, all of them want to come to the fence and high-five me and wave to me. I went to the elementary schools last week and I sat down with them at one point and they went crazy. Even though they can't see me, I'm still smiling when I'm in there because you've got to put everything into it. It still gives off the good energy.

DCN: What's the worst part of the job?

Conley: I'm trying to (theoretically) look through all the sweat and heat that I've endured, and I'm also (physically) looking through two little nostril holes in the mask. It takes a minute to adjust.

DCN: Do you have any advice for future mascots?

Conley: It's not something that you can just do like half motions and things. You have to go all in with as much energy as you can. That's how you get as much reaction as possible.

DCN: What do you think it would be like to have a real colt mascot?

Conley: It would be more interesting. But, I would just want to see if it could dance or not because that would be the deciding factor.

DCN: Are you going trick-or-treating or to any Halloween parties? If so, what are you really dressing up as this year?

Conley: A bunch of my friends suggested that we just go trick-or-treating as a last time kind of thing, so we'll see what happens.

DCN: What's the funniest memory you have while in costume?

Conley: One of the mittens for the hooves has been missing since like April, so when I perform I have one hoof and one human hand. One of the little kids at one of the elementary schools thought Bolt was disabled.

DCN: How has the process been trying to keep it a secret?

Conley: It's not such a secret anymore, because I've changed in front of the whole football team before and also have ran around with half the suit on. All my friends tell me that even though some people don't know who it is that they can still tell it's me just by the way I walk and act. It's been fun overall.

Dalton's Aly Cat

aka freshman Aly Lount

Daily Citizen-News: How did you get the job?

Lount: My sister (senior Megan Lount) is a cheerleader so she was telling me how they were doing mascot auditions and so I went for it. I had to come up with a dance routine that was a minute and 30 seconds long and perform it in front of judges at the end of last year.

DCN: How has it been so far?

Lount: The best part is that I wasn't really nervous to do it at first since people don't really know it's you. My favorite event so far has been Homecoming since it was really rowdy.

DCN: What's the worst part of the job?

Lount: It's so hot, and I can't see out of it. I actually have to have another person walk me around because I don't know where I'm going.

DCN: Are you going to continue until you graduate?

Lount: Probably not. I'm thinking about joining color guard. I'll definitely finish this year and then see what happens.

DCN: Do you have any advice for future mascots?

Lount: Be sure to stay hydrated.

DCN: What is a catamount and what do you think it would be like to have a real one on campus?

Lount: It's kind of like a bobcat, and it would be scary because it would probably be running around trying to eat people. It's probably not a good idea.

DCN: Are you going trick-or-treating or to any Halloween parties? If so, what are you really dressing up as this year?

Lount: A group of my friends are all going as Spongebob (Squarepants) characters, and I'm going to be Mermaid Man.

DCN: What's the funniest memory you have while in costume?

Lount: During my audition, I was jumping around and one of my feet flew off. One of the people who was judging us ran over and grabbed my other shoe and just threw it out of the way.

Murray County's Indian

aka junior Montana Carroll and her horse Magnum

Daily Citizen-News: How did you get the job? A longstanding tradition at the school, the mascot rides out to the field on a horse before the start of home football games and plants a fiery spear into midfield.

Carroll: I started my sophomore year since there was already someone doing it, but I've always wanted to do it. I told them to just let me know when I could start because I remember coming to games and always seeing the horse ride out and thinking it was so cool.

DCN: What was the first time riding out before a game like?

Carroll: I was so nervous because there is fire and then as soon as you come around the corner you see all the people. My heart dropped because I knew if I didn't make it into the ground I would be really embarrassed.

DCN: What's the best memory you have?

Carroll: The North Murray game this year was so fun and eventful. Coming out and seeing everybody in our county sitting there was awesome, and everyone wore pink that game, too. Usually after I run out, too, all the little kids will run up behind us and either want to pet the horse or talk to me.

DCN: What's the worst part of the job?

Carroll: I haven't made it a few times, and I've tried to catch it (the spear) with my foot and bring it up, but since it's on fire I didn't want to burn myself or the horse so I kick it over. It can also be stressful to pull the trailer behind the field house if we're not early. At times it's crazy.

DCN: Do you have any advice for future mascots?

Carroll: Just don't be afraid and follow your dreams.

DCN: Are you going trick-or-treating or to any Halloween parties? If so, what are you really dressing up as this year?

Carroll: We do a special event at our saddle club, but I don't really have a costume.

DCN: Where did you get all your gear and costume material for the job?

Carroll: I just got the headdress online, but I had to do some looking around. My dad lights the spear right before I go out on the field. He is the one who helps me with most of it.

Northwest Whitfield's Bru the Bruin

aka as a team of seniors Hanah McHan, Heavenly Standridge, Kaylee Webb and junior John Farley

Daily Citizen-News: What's the dynamic of your mascot duties?

Farley: We're in the suit at every home game and every pep rally, and we have a schedule set up for us to know who is supposed to wear it and when. Hanah is our escort and she doesn't get in the suit, but it's much easier to have it like that. We usually go out like 15 or 20 minutes before games and then we switch out at halftime to someone else.

DCN: What's the best part of the job?

Standridge: Seeing little kids' reactions is pretty great, but also having alumni come back to see the mascot because that's what they remember when they were in high school. I love when people ask for family pictures like a mom and a dad that went to Northwest with their freshman and then tell us they've got some other kids in middle school that are coming up.

Webb: It's kind of like you don't feel that special until someone wants to take a picture with you, so that's pretty exciting.

DCN: What's the worst part of the job?

Farley: It can be hard because you're trying to have fun, but you're also trying to not mess the suit up and be as safe as possible. Some of the kids can be a little aggressive and I get worried because they'll hug you or pull you and you're not sure what to do.

DCN: Do you have any advice for future mascots?

Webb: You definitely have to just go for it, but to a certain extent you have to be a people-person.

Standridge: You have to love what you do for sure.

DCN: What do you think it would be like to have a real bruin mascot?

Farley: I think trying to take care of a real bear would be pretty difficult and maybe wouldn't be the best idea. It would be kind of cool to say we have a real bear at our school, though.

Standridge: A live bear? That changes the game entirely. There would not be as many family pictures, that's for sure.

DCN: Are you going trick-or-treating or to any Halloween parties? If so, what are you really dressing up as this year?

Standridge: That's more of a secret than being the mascot. No, I'm kidding. I think I'm going to be Eleven from "Stranger Things."

Farley: I have a banana costume that's usually a fan favorite.

DCN: What's the funniest memory you have while in costume?

Farley: I think just being in the suit for the first time since it was such a weird thing. I'm a different person when I wear it because I walk all crazy and exaggerated. Not being able to talk was weird, too, you just have to wave at people.

Webb: It was during a game that (Chattanooga's News) Channel 9 was there. They were interviewing somebody, and I couldn't see so I walked right in front of the camera.

DCN: What's it like to have a group of people instead of just one person?

Standridge: To experience games with my friends like that, I probably would have never met some of these people. The relationships that form outside of the mascot go so much farther.

TONIGHT'S GAMES

Christian Heritage (6-1, 3-1 in Region 6-A) at North Cobb Christian (6-1, 3-1 in Region 6-A), 7:30 p.m.

Christian Heritage faces another top region opponent when it travels to North Cobb Christian.

The Lions are coming off a win over then-undefeated Bowdon, 28-14. Quarterback Christian Thomas threw three touchdown passes, two to Evan Lester and one to Ethan Smith. Gage Leonard ran in the final touchdown.

North Cobb is coming off a shutout win last week over Mount Zion, 31-0.

Last meeting: North Cobb won in 2018, 24-7.

Coahulla Creek (1-6, 0-5 in Region 6-3A) at Calhoun (6-1, 4-1 in Region 6-3A), 7:30 p.m.

The Colts fell to Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe last week, 29-10. Tyler Locklear rushed for a touchdown and Angle Cabrera made a field goal.

Calhoun defeated Murray County last week, 35-0.

Last meeting: Calhoun won in 2018, 56-13.

Gilmer (3-4, 1-2 in Region 6-4A) at Northwest Whitfield (5-2, 2-1 in Region 6-4A), 7:30 p.m.

Northwest is looking to bounce back from its first region loss as it hosts Gilmer.

The Bruins fell to Pickens on the road last week, 35-10.

Gilmer is coming off a loss to Heritage last week, 35-22.

Last meeting: Northwest won in 2018, 40-17.

Southeast Whitfield (0-7, 0-3 in Region 6-4A) at Heritage (6-2, 3-1 in Region 6-4A), 7:30 p.m.

The Raiders are coming off a bye week after falling to Gilmer on Oct. 11, 17-14.

Heritage defeated Gilmer last week, 35-22.

Last meeting: Heritage won in 2018, 55-34.

Adairsville (3-5, 2-4 in Region 6-3A) at Murray County (4-4, 2-4 in Region 6-3A), 7:30 p.m.

Murray County hosts Adairsville for its senior night.

The Indians fell to Calhoun last week, 35-0.

Adairsville is coming off a loss last week to Sonoraville, 28-7.

Last meeting: Adairsville won in 2018, 34-6.

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