Photo by Liz Ruger
At every big Richmond High School sporting event, there is one face you can count on to be there: the Red Devil itself, Rowdy.
Although we get to see them pump up the crowd, we’ve never been able to hear the voice or see the face. Until now.
We had the opportunity to talk to Rowdy and get some insight into what it’s like being the mascot. We were able to get behind the mask and see the person inside, their inspirations, and their favorite parts of firing up the Red Devil crowd.
Register: When did you become the mascot?
Rowdy: “I became the mascot my sophomore year in 2019. I started during basketball season, so my debut was the first boys basketball game of that year.”
Register: What was your inspiration for becoming Rowdy?
Rowdy: “When I was in 8th grade I went to a football game and they had a mascot. It was a cheap costume, but it was fun whenever he interacted with me and my friends (Editor’s note – Rowdy’s costume was introduced in 2018). I thought to myself that I wouldn’t mind doing that. I think I’m a little introverted, but I like interacting with people, so being hidden behind a mask would let me have fun with random people, kind of take away the nervousness that comes with social interactions. I definitely was getting out of my comfort zone. I liked the idea of just brightening up someone’s day, just short fun moments with no other meaning than that. When I came to the high school, school spirit had taken an obvious decline and I noticed there wasn’t a mascot anymore for the past two years, so I thought I might see if I could take on that role.”
Register: How does it feel to be Rowdy?
Rowdy: “It feels nice. It’s really fun to mess around and make people laugh. It’s nice to do things for my own enjoyment and entertainment for other people. I love the fans, especially the kids. It’s just a really fun experience.”
Register: How do you best hype a crowd?
Rowdy: “It depends a little bit on the season. Football season I’m able to walk up and down the track, while basketball season I have almost like a script of where I need to be at what time and what I need to do, so there’s a little more freedom with football season to do different things. I wave, high-five, and interact with people. People tend to like when I run flags or just mess around. Sometimes I’ll dance or do something just for laughs. I try to be an energetic and friendly mascot.”
Register: How have your past experiences been?
Rowdy: “They’ve been good. People are nice and friendly. I think they enjoy having fun with the mascot. It’s always a nice experience when people come up to take pictures or get excited if I give some attention to them, just to know they’re having fun with and like the mascot. I think the student section has gotten more involved with the mascot which makes it fun too. As time goes on and more people know about and are used to the mascot, I think the more enjoyable it is because people are more open to interacting with the mascot. Of course, there are some people that aren’t as nice, but for the most part, my experiences have been good.”
Register: What was your best moment?
Rowdy: “My best moment with fans would probably be when I had two women come up to me while I was standing next to the ticket table during basketball season and they asked if they could take a picture and that they were my biggest fans. I recognized them from past games in the stands, every time I’d wave they’d wave back and try to get my attention. Another time that I’m equally fond of is at an away game where there were little kids from the other school. They kept asking me for a dance-off and scheduled it during a quarter change. One of them did the worm and I did the robot, I thought it was so much fun and light-hearted. One of my favorite memories with the basketball team is during a pregame, they let me lead the slide with them, the team this year is definitely the most friendly with the mascot. It’s nice to have some fun with the team.”
Want more Rowdy? Check richmondreddevils.com for upcoming game schedules. Also, keep an eye out for more from our interview with Rowdy in the future, including what they hope their mascot legacy will be, a few lighthearted moments, and more.