Sophomore Trista Browning never envisioned joining the EDS cheerleading team. However, after hearing how fun cheer was last year, Browning decided to give it a shot. Instead of taking on a traditional cheerleading role, she decided to embrace the role of Day School’s mascot, “Ed the Eagle,” to best showcase her school spirit. Lacking a consistent person dedicated to playing the mascot, Browning felt that she could fill the void. Her amazing charisma and energy were a perfect fit for the role, and cheer coaches Sarah Brooks and Tia Rogers helped prepare Browning for her debut on the sidelines.
The original plan was for Browning to wear the Eagle costume for both the JV and Varsity games. However, as anyone can probably imagine, Browning found, “It was way too toasty in there.” Instead, Browning was given a megaphone in order to make noises during the JV game. If an opposing team is shooting free throws, a spectator might hear Browning make random noises such as “kakaw,” or unintelligible squeaks as a distraction technique. During cheers, Browning loudly yells “EDS!” into her megaphone, helping fans rally behind the Eagles. Before the Varsity game, Browning slips into the Eagle costume, ready to create some magic.
While the Eagles are racking up points during the Varsity game, Browning is on the sideline, showing off her newest dance moves that she practices during school. She also tries to strike a balance. Browning states that if the game gets too crazy she’ll “move into megaphone mode and make some eagle noises for a slight advantage.” She understands that in a close and intense game, having that extra voice can give the Eagles the victory. Simply put, Browning’s energy contributes to the already raucous Day School crowd.
Trista Browning eats, sleeps, and breathes being the mascot. During halftime of one game, I asked her what she was thinking about, and the only answer she could give was “Eagle. Eagle. Eagle. Eagle. Eagle.” When asked how she gets hyped for the upcoming game, Browning shared, “It’s too easy. Like any other day, I work on my killer dance moves during school and jest a little. Then of course I do some cartwheels beforehand. It gets me going.” Browning jokingly continues, “I mean how could it not?”
March is a time of great excitement for Day School fans, and Browning hopes to carry that same energy as the Eagles look to repeat a Sectional Championship after their 2021 win. Anyone who has met Trista Browning knows she has a big personality, and embracing the eagle is a great way to showcase it.