The Real Mr. T

Junior Chad Machen does a routine with the cheerleaders at summer cheer camp.

Junior Chad Machen does a routine with the cheerleaders at summer cheer camp.

Gracie Long, Editor in Chief

Wiggling into a brown falcon suit, junior Chad Machen prepares to join the OTHS cheerleaders in a routine at the SMU summer cheer camp. Machen springs from the floor, spins and dance until the very end of the routine. With the new found knowledge obtained at cheer camp Machen is now ready to take on the crowds of fans at school events.

“I knew I wanted to be the mascot when I saw how much fun the mascots had,” Machen said.

Cheer coach Hanna Ward knew Machen was the right choice for the mascot when he was a student in her algebra class. According to Ward each day he came to class he was energetic and happy. After one of his first appearances as Mr.T at cheer camp, he was selected as one of the only two mascots out of 20 to get All American.

“During our time at camp he really stepped up and became a part of the team,” Ward said. “He brought so much energy and animation to Mr. T and really brought him alive.”

Machen is privileged to be the first official mascot in OTHS history. With the new identity of Mr.T comes responsibility. Creating fun and engaging skits that will excite and pump up the crowd now falls into his talons. Dancing is enough to tire most people out, but Machen is faced with the challenge of dancing while wearing a heavy falcon head and body.

“The hardest thing about being the mascot is having to come up with skit ideas, but the cheerleaders help a lot with that,” Machen said.

Machen is the mascot, but he also participates in other OTHS activities. Machen’s other talents include being on the swim team and playing the french horn for the band. Though he will have many things on his plate next year, Machen is ready to take on the challenge.

“I hope to bring excitement to the games and pep rallies and get people really pumped for Tompkins,” Machen said. “I’m excited to go to the games and pep rallies and interact with that crowd.”