DELPHOS — Blue Jays and Wildcats alike banded together for The Lima News’ high school mascot bracket.
The city of Delphos whittled down the bracket of 16 mascots, pitting the Delphos St. John’s Blue Jay against the Delphos Jefferson Wildcat. At the end of voting Thursday, the Wildcat prevailed victoriously, but the two schools came together to show not only their school spirit but the spirit for their city.
One city, one team
The Blue Jay and Wildcat came together to make a combined Tik Tok to encourage community members to vote.
“My dad and I were bored at home one day and we decided we should make a video promoting the mascot competition,” said senior Audrey North. “We just did it to keep myself occupied and to entertain other people on the internet.”
North is one of the two Wildcats for Delphos Jefferson and posted the original video of the Wildcat doing some things around the house.
Mahlon Haunhorst, sophomore at Delphos St. John’s and the solo Blue Jay for St. John’s, responded by reaching out to see if they could combine forces once again.
“I thought it was a cute idea so I asked her if she was OK with it,” Haunhorst said. “We worked together at the Mascot Olympics and it was really fun.”
The two got in their costumes and had their families help record the Blue Jay and Wildcat cooking, cleaning, playing cornhole and pool and even napping around their homes.
“I don’t really care who wins, this has just been a great opportunity for the community to come together,” Haunhorst said. “I’ve had a lot of fun during this.”
Under the heads
North has been going undercover as the Wildcat for two years. It began when she was asked to pitch in for a kids event.
“I’m really good friends with the cheer coach — she used to be our softball coach — she was talking about it one day, having someone dress up as the mascot for the kids event, and I did it and the kids loved it,” she explained. “From there, I decided to do it for the football season and I loved that so I continued on for basketball.”
For Haunhorst, she knew long before she put on the suit that she wanted to be the Blue Jay.
“When I was in preschool, the mascot came to visit, and I knew I wanted to be that — I loved the bird,” she said. “There hasn’t been a bird in about five or six years, and we wanted to bring the tradition back. I didn’t want to go to tryouts (my freshman year when they were bringing it back), but I got there and had the time of my life.”
What makes a mascot
North and Haunhorst clearly know how to rally a community.
“It’s just about getting their school spirit going and getting a lot of people involved,” North said of the secret to being a good mascot. “You have to pep up the cheering section at games and also be there for the kids.”
Haunhorst said becoming the Blue Jay has helped bring out her personality more.
“What makes a good mascot is getting involved with the crowd, always being energetic, being happy all the time and having fun,” she said. “I personally think the mascot has brought me out. I went into my freshman year quiet and not super social, but the Blue Jay has really pushed me on my limits. I’ll just stand at the football and basketball games, looking up at the stadium or gymnasium and see everyone looking at me, just screaming, and I love it.”
Reach Tara Jones at 567-242-0511.