New 2016-2017 WVU Mountaineer Hails from the Greenbrier Valley
Anyone who has ever watched a WVU Football game has seen the West Virginia Mountaineer Mascot in action. Dressed in leather buckskins and wearing a coonskin cap he fires an antique looking black powder musket into the air whenever the team scores a touchdown, celebrates with the fans when things are looking good and rally’s them whenever the “12th man” – the boisterous WVU fans- need to make their loud appearance to rally the team.
Well this year we have a brand new Mountaineer wearing the leathers and carrying the rifle. On Friday, June 10th he was the star at a “meet and greet” appearance before local fans at the Greenbrier Valley Airport, and Allegheny Mountain Radio was there to talk with him. I’ll let him introduce himself.
“I’m Troy Clements, I’m from Maxwelton right outside of Lewisburg here” Troy said. “I’m the 2016-2017 Mountaineer, the 64th Mountaineer Mascot for WVU. They started in the 1930’s. I just took over April 22nd. My first appearance was April 23rd here at the spring Football Game here at the Greenbrier, so that was a lot of fun to come home for that.”
Have you ever wondered how a WVU student goes about becoming the Mountaineer Mascot? We asked Troy to explain the process he went through to win the position.
“The process pretty much goes you turn in an application, which consists of a few essays and things like that – just your typical application stuff but then the addition of those essays to go along with it” said Troy. “And out of those applications, they pick 10 people. Those 10 get to go in for an interview where you sit down with the selection committee at a table and they interview you for about a half hour and out of those 10 then they’ll narrow it down to the final 4. And that’s where you get to dress up in the buckskins and you go to a men’s basketball game- the next to the last game of the season. So you go out there -2 of you go in the first half and 2 of you go in the second half and you get to be the Mountaineer for that time. And then for the last home game of the year they bring you back onto the court and that’s when they do the announcement of your 2016-2017 Mountaineer.”
Troy explained how he felt when they called out his name as the new Mountaineer.
“It was unbelievable…was an unbelievable feeling, probably never be able to recreate that again, it was unbelievable” Troy said. “Pretty overwhelming, I was a little nervous cause I could just feel like my heart was beating like in my neck. It was the weirdest feeling ever. That is just such a relief when they said my name. To be able to hear that and run out there in the middle of the court and grab the rifle, it’s ah..it’s a pretty surreal feeling.”
You have to be a student at WVU in good standing to serve as the Mountaineer, and I asked Troy about what year he is in at the University.
“I graduated in May so I’ll be starting my Masters Program this year” said Troy. “Got two years of that.”
Of course I asked Troy about Pocahontas County.
“Love going up to Pocahontas County, it’s a great place” said Troy. “There’s been many good Mountaineers come from there. I’m excited to get back there. I haven’t had an appearance in Pocahontas County yet, so I’m looking forward to maybe going to some of the schools there. We have request forms and stuff that people can send it, so I look forward to get down there and interacting with them and being the best representation I can of people in Pocahontas County and the people of the State of West Virginia. That’s something I definitely won’t take lightly and I appreciate the opportunity. I would really like to get down there and do some things. That would be great.”
You can see Troy in all his Mountaineer get-up on with this story on our website, www.alleghenymountainradio.org. Well, I’ll let Mountaineer Troy Clements close out this story.
“Let’s go Mountaineers.”