Before Warrick became the new face of Waldorf Warriors today, his predecessor Wally was reigning supreme as the cheerleader of the Warrior Nation and first mascot.
But how did he become the mascot of Waldorf?
Wally the Warrior came to be after Julie Gau Jolivette, a former cheerleading coach and first lady of Waldorf, gave birth to the idea of a mascot at Waldorf.
“In the middle 1980s, I had opportunity to go to one of the first National Cheerleading Coaches Conferences in Fayetteville, N.C. and one of the sessions I attended was on mascots and how helpful they can be toward the ultimate goal of cheerleaders – engaging the crowd in support of the team/school spirit,” Jolivette explained.
After this, she attended a National Cheerleading Association summer cheer camp at the University of Nebraska. “There we saw some mascots and could watch their potential effectiveness in person. It became the next thing I had to have in my attempt to build a good program for Waldorf,” said Jolivette.
In 1987, a name campaign was launched and Wally was born.
The Student Senate purchased the suit, but “we didn’t spend the extra money to get the fan in the head piece option and quickly regretted that!” said Jolivette.
After the suit arrived, Jolivette and her team learned to incorporate Wally into routines.
“We learned that it’s really hard work to be a good mascot and it would be most helpful if the mascot had their own coach – perhaps someone from the drama department,” she said, pointing out the need for slow, dramatic motions to communicate with the crowd. She said it was difficult to coach the cheerleaders to the level the college had become accustomed as well as coach the mascot, so Wally sometimes didn’t see action.
In 2007, Dean of Students Jason Ramaker contacted Athletic Director Denny Jerome and asked about Wally’s whereabouts.
“Nobody seemed to know, but Denny Jerome and athletics checked a storage closet in the gym and found him buried in the back all dusty and crunched up. We cleaned him up and re-presented him at games,” Ramaker said, adding that Student Life took responsibility for the mascot from 2007 to 2014.
He said funds were recently raised for Wally’s replacement Warrick through Student Life, Student Senate and Intramurals. The Cheer Team agreed to take over the management of Warrick at different athletic events in the fall of 2014, thus returning the mascot to his beloved home.