Willy’s secrets are spilled
Everyone recognizes the giant cat who pounces around at our rallies and sports games, but few really know who is actually inside the costume.
Some say that Willy the Wildcat, a creature of legend, was born in a jungle during the time when our greatest president, Grover Cleveland, lived. The government raised him and engineered him into a super dancing wildcat. The government sent Willy into the future to fight intergalactic rats from the eighth dimension in the year 2150, but he was accidentally transported to the year 2004 instead. So Willy decided to get a job at OHS and replaced his great grandson, who was 135 years old at the time, as the new mascot.*
In reality many people have dressed up as Willy the Wildcat. It has been a tradition to keep Willy’s identity a secret. According to Leadership teacher Amy Dellefield, the last time that Willy’s identity was revealed, the person acting as Willy was beaten up while in costume. These days, she said, Willy has a bodyguard to protect him.
Senior student Thomas Sin played Willy at a rally in 2010. Sin stated, “It was exciting at first, but then it really got hot.” Many students who have worn the suit have stated that it really gets warm in there. Sin managed to hold out for 45 minutes, which was the entire rally.
The current Willy suit we use at OHS events was introduced in 2004. A fan is built inside the helmet to help keep the wearer cool, but it is currently broken.
Senior student Miles Gordon also used to play Willy. Gordon said that he only managed to hold out for one quarter of a basketball game. Gordon said, “I would like to leave others to try it, but if I had to do it again I would.”
“Many students like to become Willie because they think it’s a fun thing to do,” said Dellefield. “[Willie] brings joy to people’s lives and events.”
Students interested in filling Willie’s furry shoes can speak with Ms. Dellefield.