New UVa-Wise mascot gets name
The announcement of a new Highland Cavalier mascot at the beginning of the year gave the start of the college’s full NCAA Division II membership a little bit more excitement.
A contest to give the big, smiling Cavalier a name befitting his stature ended at the Oct. 17 home football game with his new moniker — ‘Smiddy.’ At this year’s fall convocation and activities fair, the search to find the group of lucky students who would serve as the school’s mascot began.
Director of News and Media Relations Kathy Still discussed the process behind deciding to unveil a new mascot.
“Chancellor Henry selected a committee to plan various ways to celebrate our first year as full NCAA Division II members, and the idea of bringing back a Cavalier mascot grew from a committee meeting,” Still said. “Chancellor Henry was in full support and she assigned a subcommittee from members of the NCAA committee to create and purchase a mascot costume, hold try outs to choose several students to serve as the mascot, and take steps to make sure the selected students worked with the athletic trainer, maintain good grades, and that they receive a stipend for their work as mascot.”
For anyone wondering who is under the costume, the identity of the students that participate will not be revealed until they graduate. Even then, the identity of the mascot will only be disclosed if that student chooses to do so, according to Still.
“The identity of the students will not be revealed until the student graduates,” Still said. “The graduating students will be allowed, if they choose to wear a part of the costume during commencement as a way to let their classmates know they were the mascot,” Still said.
‘Smiddy’ also has an entourage of handlers to help him engage with fans at various events, Still said. Even though you will not know the real identity of the college’s new mascot, ‘Smiddy’ will become part of the Cavalier family at athletic events and other college functions.