Inside WVU Game Day: The Mountaineer Mascot - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Inside WVU Game Day: The Mountaineer Mascot

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The Mountaineer Mascot celebrates a WVU touchdown at FedEx Field. The Mountaineer Mascot celebrates a WVU touchdown at FedEx Field.

MORGANTOWN – The atmosphere at Milan Puskar Stadium on game day is truly unlike any other and the Mountaineer mascot plays a big part in making the experience one of a kind.

“I always grew up as a big Mountaineer. I figured when I got to school here that was the best way for me to give back to what I have been given so much growing up, the Mountaineer family, the Mountaineer spirit. ” Greenbrier County native and current Mountaineer mascot Troy Clemons said.

“I felt the Mountaineer mascot was the best way for me to see the state and spread some Mountaineer love and to see the people of West Virginia.”

During football season that is exactly what Clemons does at every home game. His duties start 2.5 hours before the game when he escorts the team on the Mountaineer Mantrip.

“The Mantrip is a pretty big event for us,” Clemons said of the game day tradition. “I lead the team into the stadium and get to touch the big brick of coal. It’s a pretty surreal feeling when you walk through those gates. That’s when you know the game is right around the corner.”

Once the team is inside the stadium, the Mountaineer’s to-do list is far from finished.

He heads back through the gates and into the Blue Lot where the fun is just getting started. After a few hours of interacting with the faithful WVU fans and firing off the rifle, it’s time to head down to Mountaineer Field and get ready for kick off.

“I listen to the Pride of West Virginia come out. That’s the time I like to just stand there and watch them because they are so great,” Clemons said.

“Other than, that it’s full speed ahead between leading the team onto the field, pushups after all the touchdowns getting the rifle ready to fire, going into the stands and starting some cheers, just making the most of it.”

Once fans hear the sound of the rifle, they know the fun is just getting started. The Mountaineer leads the team on to the field and gets the crowd cheering loud and proud as the football team makes it grand entrance.

Aside from firing up the fans, pushups are a main part of the game day routine. After every touchdown, the Mountaineer and cheerleaders start cranking out enough pushups to match WVU’s points on the scoreboard.

Cranking out 30+ pushups repeatedly is hard enough, let alone in buckskins and a coonskin cap. Then add in the struggle of doing them on a platform with a stadium full of fans watching your every move. There’s no time to slack off.

“The camera man never comes around when we are scoring seven points, but when we are putting 50 on the board he has his camera right there watching us all do the pushups. The hardest part is having to keep that form for dang near 50 push ups sometimes.”

And that has been the reality for Clemons for the past two weeks. In WVU’s home opener, the Mountaineers scored 56 points. In Saturday’s win over Delaware State, WVU tallied up 59 more. In two weeks, the Mountaineer has already racked up close to 200 pushups per game.

Luckily for the Mountaineer, that is the only physical part of the job.

“The buckskins get warm. I just drink a lot of water and wait for October,” Clemons joked.

Along with the rifle and gunpowder, the “possibles” bag is also essential for the mascot.  He carries post cards to autograph and hand out to fans, snacks and anything else he could possibly need, hence the name. Clemons said deer jerky is his favorite game day snack to carry around, which comes in handy after all those pushups.

No matter which part of the game day ritual he is doing, Clemons said his favorite thing to do is take a long look through the stands and around the stadium and he remembers exactly why he wanted to become the West Virginia Mountaineer.

“Anytime you are in that stadium and you look around and you’ve got 60,000 Mountaineer fans around its pretty wild. You just have to take it all in and you can’t forget what moment you’re in.”

From the very first “Let’s Go Mountaineers” chant to singing Country Roads with a stadium full of friends and everything that happens in between, it is just another day in the life of the Mountaineer Mascot.

“It’s a true honor. I get to represent the place I grew up loving. I get to go have all the fun and go to all the games and interact with all the Mountaineer fans. It’s been an honor and it’s been a lot of fun,” Clemons added.

Check out the video player above to get the full look at Inside WVU Game Day: The Mountaineer Mascot.

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