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Sept. 21, 2012 / Features / The Caledonian / 9

HYPED UP HIGHLANDER New mascot learns the ropes of leading the school diego bruno staff writer

my first time actually as a mascot at an official game,” Branigan said. “The games are tough as I don’t have any idea what to do.” Though it’s tough, his favorite school activities to participate in are the pep rallies. He enjoys the loud crowds and excited students. “This year I look forward to the homecoming game, as the mascot’s participation and school pride is essential.” Although Jake loves being in front of people and is very sociable, he faces his very own fears in representing our school. “The thing I am most scared of as being the Highlander mascot is getting booed at,” Branigan said. Jake has proven he has all it takes to be our school mascot by being very enthusiastic and cheering on the crowd to get as involved as possible. “It is pretty awesome, I feel like Batman,” Branigan PHOTO BY ARJUN PAI said.

Jake enjoys being a mascot and getting to be in front of all the crowds. Nevertheless, it is not his utmost favorite thing. “My favorite thing is getting to wear a skirt,” Branigan said. “The thing that I look forward to the most as being a mascot are all the themed pep rallies.” Jake got to showcase his mascot skills at the first football game against Dallas Skyline on Aug. 30. “The first game at Skyline was difficult and awkward, as it was

It is that superior team spirit that keeps the Woodlands Highlanders at the top of our athletic game in each individual sport and season. Every year, it is our Highlander mascot that gets us pumped up for every game we play. The 2012-2013 school year’s mascot, Jake Branigan, represents TWHS with pride. He has always dreamed of being our school mascot. “What mainly made me want to be a mascot is because of the pretty cheerleaders,” Branigan said. He has all the friendly and outgoing personality that makes him an ideal mascot that represents our school spirit. Although he holds the character that made him into a mascot, his tryout process last year was not easy. “It was p r e t t y awkward for me because I had to dance for these two middle-aged w o m e n , ” FIRE IT UP Branigan said.

BRANIGAN PUMPS UP THE CROWD AT THE HIGHTOWER GAME.

TALENTED TWIRLERS emily aubert & sarah spillane staff writers

Junior Catherine Potter and sophomore Lindsey McCormick are excited to start the new school year as TWHS twirlers. “I love twirling, because it is unique and different,” Potter said. Although McCormick is new to TWHS, she is not new to twirling. She has been twirling almost her whole life. “This is my first year as a TWHS twirler, but I have been twirling for ten years,” McCormick said. Potter, on the other hand, is a veteran T W H S t w i r l e r. She is v e r y excited to be a twirler during her junior year. “ I have been twirling for three years and this is my second year as a twirler for the school,” Potter said B o t h McCormick and Potter love to compete and have decided to do it this year.

“I have a competition in October and Catherine has one in January,” McCormick said. McCormick and Potter both perform at football games, pep rallies and outside school competitions, but the most challenging for them are the competitions. “I would say that the competitions are the most nerve wracking, because the judges are watching you closely,” Potter said. “Also, you tend to compare yourself to others at

competitions and that puts a lot of pressure on you.” McCormick a l s o agrees that competitions are the most intense part of twirling. “I feel the most pressure at nationals, because there is a lot at steak” McCormick said. H o w e v e r , competitions are not the only event that makes them nervous. They also admit that

performing in front of the student body and faculty at pep rallies can be nerve wracking at times. “We get butterflies in our stomach for pep rallies sometimes, because it is intimidating to perform for your peers,” Potter said. Between competitions, school events, and practice, the TWHS twirlers have very busy

schedules, but they manage to balance it pretty well. “It’s hard work, but it is super fun,” Potter said. Twirling takes hours and hours of practice and dedication, but for these twirlers it is worth it. “I am so proud of what I have accomplished in twirling,” McCormick said. “It is rewarding to see my hard work pay off.” Like any sport, twirling can be challenging at times, but both McCormick and Potter agree that it is all worth it in the end. At the end of the day, they are doing what they love.


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