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Mascot Madness 2021- Region 1: Meet the Competitors

Mascot Madness 2021 region 1.

It’s been a most unusual year, but Mascot Madness is back! From march 16 to April 7, 33 of our SUNY mascots are once again competing for the title of New York’s favorite college mascot.

Those lovable characters that help our schools and campuses thrive have been hard at work keeping students safe and happy from limited on-campus study to remote learning throughout 2020 and into 2021. What has kept them in top working condition this whole time? We’ve interviewed them all to get caught up with things like how each deals with school operations changing to what they hope for most in the future.

First up is Region 1, which includes our defending champion from 2019.

Herkimer General | Rip Van Winkle | Clint | Benji the Bengal | Finn | Perseus Panther | Red Baron | Walter Wildcat | Baxter Bearcat

 

 


The Herkimer General Herkimer County Community College

Herkimer General mascot1. Who are you and where do you work?
I’m the General, and I work at Herkimer County Community College in Herkimer, New York.

2. How have you stayed busy during the COVID-19 pandemic?
By practicing my dance moves and honing my skills so I can be ready to have a good time once athletics start back up.

3. What sport/activity do you miss cheering your students on in most?
All of them! We have 60 national championships and more than 120 Region III championships under our belt—my Generals are competitive in everything.

4. Favorite TV show/movie you binged during quarantine?
Oh man, that’s tough. There were several good ones: All-American, Ozark, Last Chance U, Good Girls, and Cobra Kai.

5. What quarantine meal did you learn to make to help keep you strong and healthy?
Chicken marsala and chicken milanese. Lean proteins are a staple!

6. Share your best tip to make the most out of a Zoom class or meeting.
Make sure to actually get dressed, and dress for success! I’m never seen without my green and gold officer’s jacket or my tricorn hat, and it makes a world of difference in my self-confidence and daily motivation.

7. Who are you looking forward to competing against the most?
All of the teams and mascots in our region. I can’t wait until we are all competing again—bring it on!

8. Who do you most want to enjoy a meal with when it’s safe to do so again?
My president, Cathleen McColgin.

9. What has your school done best to get through 2020 and be ready for 2021?
So many things! We have really been great as far as transitioning in-person classes to online, thanks to our experience running our Internet Academy for the past 20 years. We’ve also expanded our student-services to ensure students are getting the help they need to still be successful during this challenging time, whether it’s tutoring, career planning, or emotional support. The Herkimer County College Foundation even created a new grant program to help any students who were struggling financially. You can see our full plan at Herkimer.edu/restart. We are constantly educating ourselves on how to do our part to hopefully get things back to normal.

10. Share your favorite joke.
Why did the golfer wear two pairs of pants? In case he got a hole in one!

 

 


Rip Van Winkle Columbia-Greene Community College

Rip Van Winkle mascot from Columbia green Community College1. Who are you and where do you work?
Well, I am still a little drowsy from my long sleep, but let me tell you about myself. My name is Rip Van Winkle, and you should know who I am. Come on! They named a bridge after me! I work at the biggest, little college in the world. I have a long beard, I am passionate about nine-pin bowling, and I love the mountains.

2. How have you stayed busy during the COVID-19 pandemic?
The usual. Long naps, pushups, and pullups. I also have been hanging out with the new Esports team.

3. What sport/activity do you miss cheering your students on in most?
I miss all of the sports at C-GCC, and I also miss being with students who participate in the wide range of clubs offered on campus.

4. Favorite TV show/movie you binged during quarantine?
Well, when I am not sleeping, I like to watch The Masked Singer and Behind the Mask. I also frequently watched some classics, While You Were Sleeping and Sleeping Beauty.

5. What quarantine meal did you learn to make to help keep you strong and healthy?
Squirrel and possum stew with apple pie moon shine (a local favorite).

6. Share your best tip to make the most out of a Zoom class or meeting.
Always make sure to be muted so no one can hear the snoring.

7. Who are you looking forward to competing against the most?
Being the defending champion, I think we have a target on our back. Bring it on!

8. Who do you most want to enjoy a meal with when it is safe to do so again?
I think it will be nice to sit down at the annual Thanksgiving lunch with the entire college—a great time for faculty, staff, and students to reconnect and talk about our adventures during this crazy time.

9. What has your school done best to get through 2020 and be ready for 2021?
The College maintained strict protocols about social distancing, wearing masks, washing hands; mandated testing every week for all on-campus students and employees; and recently became a mass vaccination site for the Columbia County Department of Health.

10. Share your favorite joke.
Why did Rip Van Winkle make a great custodian? He swept for 20 years.

 

 


Clint the Cougar Clinton Community College

Clinton Community College mascot Clint the panther outside in front of lake.1. Who are you and where do you work?
Clint the Cougar, Clinton Community College

2. How have you stayed busy during the COVID-19 pandemic?
I help administer the weekly COVID tests and cheer on our SUNY eSports Tournament players virtually.

3. What sport/activity do you miss cheering your students on in most?
I miss all student engagement, but I can’t wait for our first track meet.

4. Favorite TV show/movie you binged during quarantine?
I watched Tiger King. I am not sure if I liked it or not, but it sure was entertaining and nice to see some fellow cool cats.

5. What quarantine meal did you learn to make to help keep you strong and healthy?
Seasoned fresh deer meat with mashed potatoes and lots of veggies!

6. Share your best tip to make the most out of a Zoom class or meeting.
Make sure you mute yourself so others cannot hear you growling.

7. Who are you looking forward to competing against again the most?
Everyone! I miss competing and high-fiving everyone.

8. Who do you most want to enjoy a meal with when it’s safe to do so again?
My CCC students in my den on campus. Hopefully someday soon…

9. What has your school done best to get through 2020 and be ready for 2021?
We have been diligently following COVID guidelines, which resulted in 0 campus outbreaks!

10. Share your favorite joke.
I am a serious cougar, so this is hard. Why don’t cougars ever say YOLO? Because they have 9 lives!!!

 

 


Benji the Bengal – Buffalo State College

Buffalo State mascot benji Bengal holds a baseball bat1. Who are you and where do you work?
Benji the Bengal, SUNY Buffalo State

2. How have you stayed busy during the COVID-19 pandemic?
It’s been hard. I missed my Bengals and spiraled for a bit ordering takeout from Mister Pizza every night for the first couple of months. After gaining the “COVID-19”, I realized I needed to turn things around. Our fitness center reopened this semester and I have clawed my way back into shape and I can’t wait for our spring sports to start competing.

3. What sport/activity do you miss cheering your students on in most?
I miss seeing all of our student-athletes and fans.

4. Favorite TV show/movie you binged during quarantine?
I can tell you what I didn’t watch – that Tiger King!! If Joe Exotic ever gets out of the clink, he better not come to Buffalo.

5. What quarantine meal did you learn to make to help keep you strong and healthy?
After gaining the “COVID-19”, I started one of the mail-order meal services. I’m bathing suit ready now.

6. Share your best tip to make the most out of a Zoom class or meeting.
Keep your shirt on or your camera off.

7. Who are you looking forward to competing against again the most?
Probably that Blue Devil from Fredonia. Our school’s have a great rivalry and it is always fun to get together and cheer on our teams.

8. Who do you most want to enjoy a meal with when it’s safe to do so again?
My mom! She is a bit older, so we’ve tried to be really careful, but I can’t wait to be back at her kitchen table.

9. What has your school done best to get through 2020 and be ready for 2021?
SUNY has done everything it can to maximize our student experience and keep our campuses safe.

10. Share your favorite joke.
On which side does a Bengal have the most stripes?

The outside!

 

 


Fineas a.k.a “Finn” – Suffolk County Community College

Suffolk County Community College mascot Finn1. Who are you and where do you work?
I am Fineas a.k.a. “Finn” and I work at the best college in the country, Suffolk County Community College!!

2. How have you stayed busy during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Watching Netflix and trying to stay fit with beach body workouts.

3. What sport/activity do you miss cheering your students on in most?
Basketball has always been my favorite but honestly, I miss them all.

4. Favorite TV show/movie you binged during quarantine?
Cobra Kai! Three seasons, love that 80’s music, can’t wait for season four to come out.

5. What quarantine meal did you learn to make to help keep you strong and healthy?
Homemade sushi, I’ve got some great rolling skills.

6. Share your best tip to make the most out of a Zoom class or meeting.
Get a good night’s rest, the last thing you want is to get caught napping through a class.

7. Who are you looking forward to competing against again the most?
I’d like to battle BLAZE from SUNY Cortland! Bring it BLAZE!!

8. Who do you most want to enjoy a meal with when it’s safe to do so again?
I’d like to meet up with WOLFIE from Stony Brook. We live very close to each other.

9. What has your school done best to get through 2020 and be ready for 2021?
Suffolk County Community College has offered all types of assistance to all our students both virtually and some in-person services. Making sure everyone is on path for SUCCESS.

10. Share your favorite joke.
What do you call the stuff caught in a great white shark’s teeth? SLOW SWIMMERS!!

 

 


Perseus the Panther – Purchase College

SUNY Purchase mascot Perseus Panther1. Who are you and where do you work?
My name is Perseus the Panther and I represent the pride of Purchase College.

2. How have you stayed busy during the COVID-19 pandemic?
During the pandemic, I have been exercising and keeping fit by running the Purchase loop twice a day.

3. What sport/activity do you miss cheering your students on in most?
I don’t have favorite, I love all my teams! I do miss the energy of fans cheering on our Panthers though!

4. Favorite TV show/movie you binged during quarantine?
My favorite show to binge watch was “Tiger King,” though I’m hopeful a “Panther King” spinoff will be released soon!

5. What quarantine meal did you learn to make to help keep you strong and healthy?
My favorite quarantine meal was avocado toast … you can’t always eat meat after all!

6. Share your best tip to make the most out of a Zoom class or meeting.
Make sure you do what you need to do to stay engaged! And always have coffee!

7. Who are you looking forward to competing against again the most?
Probably our Skyline Conference rival, the Panthers of SUNY Old Westbury. Time to remind them who the real Panthers are!

8. Who do you most want to enjoy a meal with when it’s safe to do so again?
I can’t wait to share a meal with all of my student-athletes again, like we used to do at the end of each season.

9. What has your school done best to get through 2020 and be ready for 2021?
Throughout 2020, Purchase student-athletes, fans and staff members remained engaged even when we are apart through our social media channels and frequent zoom meetings. We have continued to do that in 2021, but are happy to get back onto the field and have sports return to Purchase College!

10. Share your favorite joke.
Why are panthers so much stealthier than their jaguar and leopard cousins?

Because they’re never spotted. 

 

 


Red Baron Corning Community College

Corning Community College mascot Red Baron1. Who are you and where do you work?
The Red Baron from SUNY Corning Community College!

2. How have you stayed busy during the COVID-19 pandemic?
I’ve really taken advantage of an extra-long hibernation period.

3. What sport/activity do you miss cheering your students on in most?
Softball! Can’t wait for the season to start again in just a few weeks! We’re ready to take on Eddy Rondack (of SUNY Adirondack) in our home opener.

4. Favorite TV show/movie you binged during quarantine?
Who didn’t love Tiger King? (Sorry Coby of SUNY Cobleskill)

5. What quarantine meal did you learn to make to help keep you strong and healthy?
I’m a huge fan of that feta pasta trend! I’ve been making just pans of it at a time and can’t get enough.

6. Share your best tip to make the most out of a Zoom class or meeting.
Make it fun and use a filter. Did anyone see the one that turns you into a cat? How about making one that turns you into a bear?

7. Who are you looking forward to competing against again the most?
I’d love to take on Victor E. Knight from SUNY Geneseo again—it would be a revenge game from when we both ended up in the Final Four in 2017.

8. Who do you most want to enjoy a meal with when it’s safe to do so again?
I’m looking forward to catching up with our president, Dr. Mullaney—and of course all of the students!

9. What has your school done best to get through 2020 and be ready for 2021?
We teamed up with Clinical Associates of the Southern Tier to offer free and confidential counseling services to our students. Everyone knows 2020 has been hard! SUNY CCC has been working to make sure students have somewhere safe to go to talk about any of the challenges they may be facing. The Student Assistance Program also works with faculty and staff to help train in topics like Communicating with Students under Stress, Signs and Symptoms of Personal Distress, Mental Health Awareness, and more.

10. Share your favorite joke.
What’s a bear’s favorite dessert? Blue-beary pie! (Not really … it’s honey)

 

 


Walter T. Wildcat – SUNY Poly

SUNY Poly mascot Walter Wildcat1. Who are you and where do you work?
I’m Walter T. Wildcat and I ‘work’ at SUNY Poly…. but is it really considered work when you are having so much fun? (But, it’s more of a lifestyle than a job.)

2. How have you stayed busy during the COVID-19 pandemic?
A LOT of cat naps, and hung out in the Center for Global Advanced Manufacturing (CGAM) and watched the lasers in the machines and the FOUP (front-opening unified pod) transport move shiny wafers across the ceiling.

3. What sport/activity do you miss cheering your students on in most?
Welcome Weekend is my favorite—I love meeting all of my new WildcatFam. I miss the heck out of all of our sports teams. And, of course, our Wildcat Weekend (because it’s named after me).

4. Favorite TV show/movie you binged during quarantine?
Watching Tiger King for the 17th time; that mess is mesmerizing

5. What quarantine meal did you learn to make to help keep you strong and healthy?
RAT-atouille (my own “special” recipe!).

6. Share your best tip to make the most out of a Zoom class or meeting.
If you see someone trying to talk but their mute is on make sure you have a note card ready that says ‘you’re on mute.’

7. Who are you looking forward to competing against again the most?
C-GCC’s Rip Van Winkle… I’m coming for you buddy!

8. Who do you most want to enjoy a meal with when it’s safe to do so again?
I’m nuts for ESF’s Oakie the Acorn!! Not sure what acorns eat though…

9. What has your school done best to get through 2020 and be ready for 2021?
My wellness tips helped our campuses stay #WildcatStrong and our wildcat pride continues to grow.

10. Share your favorite joke.
This one’s for my friends in Wildcat ESports… “Why do cats’ always win video games? Because they have nine lives!”

Watch Walter go through memories of 2020 and prepare for 2021 in his training video.

 

 


Baxter Bearcat Binghamton University

Binghamton University mascot Baxter Bearcat1. Who are you and where do you work?
My name is Baxter Bearcat and I work at Binghamton University. Best job in the world!

2. How have you stayed busy during the COVID-19 pandemic?
I’ve been training like crazy—yoga, kickboxing, bocce ball. Anything I can do to up my mascotting game.

3. What sport/activity do you miss cheering your students on in most?
All of them. I miss big crowds and high-fiving every person I see, but I’m happy everyone is being safe and smart. When things get back to normal, I’ll be ready and roaring!

4. Favorite TV show/movie you binged during quarantine?
I’ve been obsessed with “How to With John Wilson.” It’s an HBO show hosted by a Binghamton alum. Hope I can cameo someday.

5. What quarantine meal did you learn to make to help keep you strong and healthy?
I make a mean green smoothie. I mean, c’mon, it’s green.

6. Share your best tip to make the most out of a Zoom class or meeting.
I can’t speak, so I just suggest nodding and giving a thumbs up now and again so people know you’re actually paying attention.

7. Who are you looking forward to competing against again the most?
I’ll take any school at this point. Stony Brook, Albany, Hogwart’s, you name it. I just want to compete!

8. Who do you most want to enjoy a meal with when it’s safe to do so again?
I think it’d be cool to grab a spiedie sub with President Stenger. I might even let him have some French fries.

9. What has your school done best to get through 2020 and be ready for 2021?
We’ve been smart about wearing masks, socially distancing, and looking out for each other. We’re safe and ready to focus on learning.

10. Share your favorite joke.
What has two thumbs and smells like popcorn? This guy.

Written by Julie Maio

Julie is a Communications Assistant at SUNY System Administration.

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There is 1 comment

  • Jerri A Duane says:

    Where is the Red Dragon from SUNY Cortland?

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