Large shoes to fill

Larry the Lion waves hello to Dominic Darby while parents Taffy and John Darby, a MSSU alum, look on.

Larry the Lion waves hello to Dominic Darby while parents Taffy and John Darby, a MSSU alum, look on.

Emily Seigel

Spirit Squad recently found new faces to serve as Larry the Lion and Lucy the Lioness.

Chelsea Jones, junior theatre major, and Kristin Gray, a sophomore pre-nursing major, were selected to represent MSSU as Larry and Lucy, respectively.

Tryouts for the mascots were held Sept. 16.

“There definitely was more interest in Lucy than Larry,” said Cheer and Dance Coach Janel Smith. “I was kind of surprised about that. I figured there’d be more interest in Larry than Lucy.”

Jones also was surprised Larry was not the center of interest.

“To me, [being Larry] would be the best,” said Jones, who saw an advertisement in The Chart about tryouts. Jones is a transfer student from Cottey College and said she wanted to become involved with campus activities.

“That was part of the reason I wanted to try out,” she said. “I thought, ‘what’s a better way to meet some people other than being the mascot of a school?’ ” Jones said.

Grey said she found out about the tryouts from LioNet, and chose to try out for Lucy rather than Larry because of the smaller size of the mascot.

“I think I’ll like it,” she said. “It’s more me.”

Grey said she is becoming comfortable with being Lucy, but wearing the mascot costumes can get hot. She added that people like to sneak up from behind the mascots and scare them.

“When you can’t see them, it’s like, ‘Whoa!’ ” she said with a laugh.

Smith said the tryouts were comparable to years past and consisted of a character walk, as well as a skit that lasted about two minutes.

“We were looking for somebody with charisma, definitely, and somebody that would work well with the kids,” said Smith. “Somebody that was entertaining and funny to watch. They [Jones and Gray] both had cute routines.”

Smith said next semester they will be looking for a new Larry, due to Jones’ acceptance of an internship at Disney World as a Disney character.

“You’ve got to have a mascot. They just make it for the university,” Smith said. “Everybody loves to see Larry and Lucy, especially the kids. They look forward to seeing them at all the games,”

Persons interested in filling the position of Larry next semester can contact Smith at [email protected] or 850-3419.