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Ligonier Valley High School welcome Rams mascot

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Bill Pribisco | for the Ligonier Echo The photo was taken by Bill Pribisco 1/18/13 at the Ligonier Valley High School gym.
The new Ligonier Valley High School Rams mascot is introduced to the spectators at a high school basketball game.
By Peter Turcik
Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013, 9:01 p.m.

At a recent boys basketball game, the Ligonier Valley High School cheerleading squad introduced the school's new Rams mascot. This is the first time Ligonier Valley has had a mascot since merging with Laurel Valley Middle/High School in 2010.

Cheerleader Emma Markle, a junior, said the squad purchased the mascot suit this year with funds received from the student council as well as from the squad's own budget. Juniors Caitlin Michaels and April Goodman entered tryouts to wear the suit and will contribute to pumping up crowds and promoting school pride.

“I'm so stoked. It's always been my secret dream,” Michaels said. “When I was in middle school, I wanted to be the Mounties mascot. Then we became the Rams, and I wouldn't be able to do it. I thought maybe my senior year we could purchase a Rams mascot.”

Michaels' wish came a year early, when she learned about the new Rams suit. Michaels earned the position by performing “Gangnam Style,” a song and dance by South Korean artist Psy.

“I told Caitlin we had already purchased the mascot, and we were having tryouts in a couple of weeks,” Markle said. “She was really good.”

Both Markle and Michaels think the inclusion of the mascot has been a popular move with the students. Michaels said she has received a great deal of publicity since being named mascot. She also said that it has brought together the students from both schools, creating a kind of unity behind the Rams image.

“I think a lot of people like it. I think it's a new twist,” Michaels said. “We haven't had a mascot for a few years because we consolidated. I think it shows support and how we have all bonded to become the Rams. We take pride in our school and who we are.”

Peter Turcik is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.

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