By Joao Vitor Bonanoni/ Staff Writer
Missouri Valley College, together with Central Methodist University’s cheer team, developed an unofficial competition between the mascots Thor, the Viking, and Eddie, the Eagle, to increase the game day experience.
“We called it the Mascot Cup, getting our mascots to compete against each other in all sports that we play against each other,” said Tamika Drake, Assistant Athletic Director and Director of Game Day Operations.
The mascots have been entertaining students and fans during athletic events hosted in both schools. The first event that students were able to notice this competition was during the soccer game at Gregg-Mitchell Field, where the mascots entertained the crowd with a penalties contest.
“It was such a great event. Both mascots had so much fun interacting,” said Nicholas Lutz, Cheer Head Coach. “And fortunately, we won it!”
Another event was hosted at the women’s volleyball game at CMU, E.P. Puckett Field House, where Thor and Eddie entertained the fans with a serve competition.
Drake has been working together with the Athletic Department, Cheer, and Dance teams to bring life to athletic events on campus.
“We are trying to be creative, trying to bring attention, to bring people to the games and the stands,” Drake said.
Thor has been one of the main attractions of this engaging game-day experience. During football, soccer and volleyball games, the mascot has interacted with students, families, and young fans.
“It creates another level to our game day experience. It allows us to give Missouri Valley College Vikings a face,” Drake said.
Lutz also believes that Thor can be a great factor in creating the face of the college and entertaining young fans in the stands.
“Anyone who is familiar with or recognizes MVC, they recognize the Viking,” Lutz said. “The mascot, that’s the face. That’s how they relate.”
“It is a good thing, it is a fun thing, it is a positive thing, that’s what Thor’s represent,” said Ken Kujawa, Director of the Viking Sports Network.
During this semester, two students have been living out Thor’s life at home games and other events. As a way to keep the confidentiality and the magic behind Thor, students haven’t had their identities revealed by the Athletic Department and Cheer team.
“We try to keep it a secret,” Lutz said.
Based on the success that the mascot program is bringing to the game day experience and the opportunity to create a face for the Vikings, the Spirit Squad is planning to recruit more students interested in it.
“We are looking for anyone interested in it,” Drake said.
“We are definitely still looking to grow the program,” Lutz said.