BLACKFOOT — Blackfoot High School’s new custom-made mascot may make some schools green with envy, but even if it doesn’t, the green horse with white and black accents is sure to turn some heads.
Bucky the Bronco made its public debut during Blackfoot’s homecoming game last weekend.
“(It’s not like) anyone else’s mascot out there,” said Blackfoot High School drama teacher Micheal Moll, who helped design Bucky.
After catalogs failed to produce the right look for the school’s mascot, he began working with former Blackfoot student Laura Nash, whom he said did most of the work.
“We were very fortunate that a former student works in the industry now,” Moll said, adding that Nash agreed to give the school a discount, which made it possible to order an original.
Moll felt it was important to move away from the old style of mascot — a unisex body with a large head.
“We as a society are growing jaded to where we want things to be better,” he said, adding that kids today are used to more detail and realism.
He points to Disneyland’s characters, which are animatronic. Although they didn’t take Bucky that far, Moll said they did make him so he’s “stepped up a couple notches” over the school’s former mascots, which are decades old and worn out.
“You don’t want something tired out there,” he said.
The former mascots have been retired but may still be put on display, Moll said.
In addition to creating a new suit, Blackfoot High School is creating a new persona for its mascot.
Principal John Pearce believes the mascot is like the school’s brand, and as such, it should represent the entire student body and the school’s values. So, they’re developing a character for Bucky, who will not only appear at athletic events but also at academic and community events.
Pearce said only one student wears the suit right now, but others will likely be called upon so that Bucky can attend more events in the future. He won’t say who is currently serving as the mascot because he doesn’t want Bucky to become associated with an individual.
“That’s part of the reason for the mystery,” Pearce said, adding that Bucky should represent all students no matter who is wearing the suit.
Plus, he thinks the students enjoy the mystery.
Moll said the students are excited to have a new mascot.
“The student body loved it and it appears that the community did too,” he said, adding that the only negative comments he’s heard so far have been about it taking so long for the school to get a new mascot.
“I think they’ve been waiting for something new and exciting for awhile,” Moll said.