‘Piece of pride’ in running for OVC Mascot Challenge

Nicole Ely/The News
Dunker dances for the crowd at the basketball game on Feb. 13.Nicole Ely/The News Dunker dances for the crowd at the basketball game on Feb. 13.

Story by Kelsey RandolphSports Editor

Nicole Ely/The News Dunker dances for the crowd at the basketball game on Feb. 13.

Nicole Ely/The News
Dunker dances for the crowd at the basketball game on Feb. 13.

In its fourth year, the OVC Mascot Challenge is posted and Murray State’s Dunker is taking the lead.

“He’s the best way to reach local elementary schools as kind of a face of the athletic department,” said Amy Wyatt, director of Marketing and Promotions for Athletics.

Dunker won in 2013 and 2015 – the goal is to go for a repeat of last year. Wyatt said it’s important for Dunker because higher education budget cuts could reduce the activities for Dunker.

“It’s great overall, the recognition, it’s great bringing Dunker home with a win,” Wyatt said.

Dunker is a scholarship position that runs through the entire year. Dunker attends all home football and basketball games as well as various home baseball, softball and soccer games. He’s made appearances where he can. Dunker is also required to visit the local elementary schools, in order for young students to associate Dunker with Murray State.

“Once a Racer, always a Racer,” Wyatt said.

Among Dunker’s other responsibilities are to pay visit to the Murray Rotary Club, junior Racer events, birthday parties and most of the Summer O’s and the summer book reading at the Murray-Calloway Public Library. Wyatt said Dunker usually tries to attend events where President Davies is in attendance and to make campus appearances as often as he can.

The scholarship position allows for Dunker to be a student and the friendly face of sports.

“He’s a piece of pride for our university and represents us,” Wyatt said.

The Mascot Challenge is hosted by Delta Dental and is only for the OVC. The voting runs until March 3 and the winner will be announced at the OVC Tournament, which will end March 5.

The winning mascot receives $1,000 for scholarship purposes. Dunker will travel with the team to help fans cheer on the Racers.