Enigma part of mascot mystique
Alumnus Matt Stolt said he remembers making fun of his high school’s mascot, but after two years as UH mascot Shasta, Stolt had changed his mind.
After a tough first semester, Stolt took charge of his college career and decided to get involved in the school and make the best of his college life.
‘I’ve been very much involved with UH, been in the band two years; played football two years; mascot for two years,’ Stolt said.
While playing football as a walk-on for former head coach Art Briles, Stolt put on the Shasta costume and entertained the fans while cheering on his teammates.
Stolt said researching the team and staying in shape is crucial to being a good mascot.
”Mascot’ is an athletic event. I eat right, I sleep right, I train right,’ he said. ‘I keep myself hydrated. I watch what the weather is going to be like. There are times where I am drinking water like there is no tomorrow.’
Stolt attributes his success as a mascot to his experience on the University football team as well as his enthusiasm for school spirit.
Although the job of the mascot is not always an easy one, particularly during hot summer games, Stolt said he loves putting on the costume and pumping up fans.
‘I think (it) is more exciting (when the team is down) because I know the upset is coming or I know we are going to be victorious,’ he said.
Stolt said he enjoys being the center of attention during halftime shows, but his favorite part of being Shasta is giving back to the community. Stolt has made appearances in costume to visit children in hospitals or hand out presents on Christmas day.’
‘When I go out there and make a kid’s day, that is what makes it worth it,’ Stolt said.
As he enters his third year of being Shasta, Stolt said his only regret is revealing the identity of the man behind the mask.
‘If I could go back and redo it, it would be great for me to be a mystery. I would like to be unknown,’ he said.
This year, Stolt said anonymous backup mascots will take the field during games.
‘I have a brand new crew coming in this year,’ he said. ‘Sometimes I will be in the suit and sometimes they will be in the suit. Honestly, nobody is going to know who it is because they are going to move just like me, do push-ups just like me, flips just like me. The mascot will be a mystery title.’