Since 1955, members of the McNicholas community have rallied behind a common name – the McNick Rockets. But for years, unlike the Ursuline Lions or the Turpin Spartans, the Rockets had no mascot to run through the banner at football games or fire up the crowd at a pep rally.
Enter: Rocket Man.
Now an iconic image of the McNicholas community, Rocket Man wasn’t a fixture at the school until 2005, when members of Spirit Club felt that a costumed mascot would help engage the student section during sporting events, pep rallies, and other community events. Having made this new decision about a costume, Michelle Herbert, Class of ’07, purchased the materials for $800, and, with the help of her family, built the first costume for Rocket Man.
As a mascot, Rocket Man (whose identity is kept a secret) often feels a great deal of pressure to perform and engage the student body, whether he’s at a sporting event, or raising enthusiasm by passing the spirit baton to the loudest class during a pep rally.
“When I am at a game, it adds to the school’s personality,” said, “It really doesn’t feel like I am being watched because of the giant suit, but I have fun doing it.”
According to Rocket Man, it takes time, and a lot of energy, just to keep up with the duties required of a school mascot. His favorite part of being McNick’s mascot, however, is a relatively simple endeavor – shaking hands with the children in the crowd, whether they’re young Rockets, or fans from the opposing team. Once the game starts, it’s easy for him to continue to keep the atmosphere hyped-up.
Director of Admissions and Enrollment Christina Mullis feels that Rocket Man contributes to the overall atmosphere and spirit of McNicholas High School.
“When people see Rocket Man, I see them smile and high-five him,” Mullis said.
Having endured ten years of wear and tear damage, however, Rocket Man is in need of some refurbishing. Mullis is working with companies that provide mascots for Catholic High Schools, but the cost of revamping Rocket Man comes in high at $2,500-$3,000.
“Rocket Man needs a body transplant and we need donors,” Mullis joked.
In order to reach the goal, a donation fund has been set up to help revamp Rocket Man. For more information on donations and to find out how you can help, contact Mullis at firstname.lastname@example.org or (513) 231-3500 extension 5809.