Behind the mask: Students make new Apollo mascot come to life


Photo Courtesy of Westside Community Schools Instagram

Apollo poses for a photo with members of Red Shield.

The new Westside High School mascot, Apollo, was announced one year ago in January 2022. Since then, the suit has been brought to life at games, pep rallies, and state championships by a few select WHS students. These students have had unique, up-close opportunities to show their school spirit throughout the year.

Sophomore Thatcher Bowden came upon the role of school mascot through another student who had access to the opportunity.

“Kemper [Davis] asked me about it and I said I would do it,” Bowden said. “It seemed like fun.

Being Apollo is a unique and fulfilling experience for students involved. However, some cons may come along with wearing the heavy costume for long hours at school events.

“It’s really fun,” Bowden said, “It gets really hot in there. But it’s fun seeing everybody smile.”

Junior Sam Bergman had the chance to represent Westside as the school mascot during the monumental state football game this November. This opportunity came with a backstage glance at what goes into making state football come to life.

“It was very enjoyable, actually,”Bergman said. “I got to go behind the scenes of Memorial Stadium a little bit and I got to see where the mascots change and all that.”

During the state game, the warrior fans and students looked to the new mascot, as well as the Red Shield to create the high energy required to help win the state title.

“[The best part was] easily having people come up and take pictures with me,” Bergman said. “Just seeing the happiness on the kids’ faces made me smile, even under the mask. That, and easily the hype from the Red Shield.”

After just a year of being the new school mascot, Apollo and the students that have had the privilege of suiting up as him have created an environment of school spirit that Westside has never seen before. The Westside community can plan on seeing Apollo boost the crowd at more events throughout the year, including basketball games with the Red Shield.