Student steps up to be school mascot

Published 9:11 am Wednesday, March 22, 2023

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By Elisabeth Altamirano-Smith | Community Columnist

Football has been a central part of Chilton County’s community for about 100 years. Generations of families have memories encircled around high school football games, band competitions, cheerleading and pep rallies surrounded by friends and high-school spirit. A foundational part of high school spirit for decades was the mascot — “Chilco” the Tiger. For decades, Chilco has danced his way into hearts, making appearances at football and basketball games. However, the last few years, CCHS has been without a mascot because of a lack of interest among students — until now.

CCHS sophomore Eli Crawford has stepped up to be Chilco. At age 16, he does not have any experience being a mascot, but he feels it is an important part of school spirit and encouraging students.

“The mascot brings all the hype at the football games, and with our football team growing, we need hype,” Crawford said. “The mascot would be involved with pep rallies, football games, basketball games and community events.”

In order for Crawford to participate as the CCHS mascot, he must undergo a 4-day training at cheer camp in Auburn during the summer, which will teach him the basics of being a mascot and dance routines. The cost for the camp is $1,400, so Crawford is hosting a fundraiser to pay his way. He is calling on past alumni to make a donation to cover the cost of his fee.

“This is a part of history that I want to continue,” Crawford said. “When people come to games, I want them to enjoy their experience and remember their high school years.”

In addition to his interest in raising school spirit as mascot, Crawford is a member of the Student Government Association, the soccer team and the Blast from the Past cast.

Jennifer Crawford, Eli’s mother, said that being Chilco is a role that will come easy to him.

“I think Eli will be a great mascot because he is and always has been a natural entertainer,” Jennifer Crawford said. “At any of last year’s football games, he could easily be found dancing and cheering along with the band and cheerleaders.”

Eli Crawford has started a “Bring back the mascot to CCHS” fundraising page online at (search ELI CRAWFORD). Eli is asking for alumni to make donations via the link or by leaving a donation at the school office marked with his name.

John and Jennifer Crawford are the proud parents of Eli.