LINSEY MALIA ’18 is one of four students who regularly plays Ace the Skyhawk at various athletic events throughout the year. The psychology major and sociology minor also handles all of Ace’s scheduling and hires new students each year to take on the role of the friendly Skyhawk. So what does it take to be Ace? We asked Malia, and here is what she had to say.
Why do you enjoy playing Ace? Stonehill was my first choice, and I knew that if I got in, I would want to be the mascot. It’s cool being Ace because nobody knows who is under the head, so I can really get the crowd going and be as crazy as I want. I love going to the parents’ section at the football games. They love Ace.
Skills needed: School spirit. You need to be willing to go to every event and be as energetic and enthusiastic as possible. When a song comes on, I dance and go up to people to get them to dance. When the crowd is quiet, I usually throw my arms up or put my hand to Ace’s ear so that they make some noise. I sometimes have t-shirts to throw to the crowd, so, of course, that gets them excited.
Mascot challenges: The heat. I will never forget the first time I was Ace; it was almost 100 degrees outside. People couldn’t even sit in the stands. It was the first football game of the 2014 season, and I had to take a break every 10 minutes to get water. Even when it isn’t hot out, it still gets extremely hot in the suit.
What has being Ace taught you? Perseverance and commitment. There are some days when I dread having to go out in the heat, or the crowd is small and not very loud. But I always do my best to push through and make the best out of the experience. If I’m having fun, then chances are the crowd is having fun, too.
Little known facts: Being Ace is a work study job listed as “Identity Rep” on the job site. Ace attends home and some away events: football, soccer, field hockey, volleyball, equestrian, cross country and tennis in the fall; basketball and ice hockey in the winter; baseball, softball, track and lacrosse in the spring.
Ace also attends the Stonehill welcome days and other events. There are no tryouts to be the mascot. Anyone who applies gets to be Ace.
Other campus activities: Peer and Moreau Honors Program Mentor, My Brother’s Keeper and Habitat for Humanity Volunteer, Work Study in the Athletics Office