The person behind the mask or, in this case, the Highlander head

Exclusive interview with the mystery student who dresses up as “Angus,” the Highlander mascot

Most students at McLean are familiar with Angus, the kilt-wearing, bearded mascot who frequents the major football games and pep rallies. One can find him posted in front of the student section, running and waving his arms, or dancing with School Resource Officer Scott Davis. There is no doubt that Angus is a symbol of McLean high school and a meaningful supplier of school spirit.

The Angus costume is worn with pride by a lucky individual every few years. It sits in the storage room of the lecture hall.

Angus poses for a picture in front of the bleachers right before performing at the pep rally. Image by Brooke Thomas.

“The head goes on first, and there is also a kilt and a top that comes along with it,” the mascot said. “It is pretty easy to move around in, actually, but it is kind of hard to see through the mesh eye-holes.” 

The Highlander landed an exclusive interview with the mascot, providing the inside scoop about what it’s like to wear the costume and how “Angus” is able to work with student-led groups like McLeadership in order to provide an engaging and fun experience for students. 

When this student first had the idea to dress up as Angus for the school year, they had to seek out information about the duties of the mascot and the credentials that were required for the role. 

“I reached out to some of my friends in [McLeadership], and I told them I wanted to be Angus,” they said. “Everyone was for the idea, and they let me get started almost immediately.”

In the recent pep rally that marked the end of Homecoming Spirit week on Friday (Oct. 21), Angus performed a choreographed dance number with well-known icon around the campus, Officer Davis. 

“I began choreographing the dance with Officer Davis a few days before the pep rally. It was fun to work with him, he was very friendly and open to all of my ideas,” Angus said. 

The mascot enjoyed the creative liberties of the role, as they were able to decide how they wanted to contribute to the pep rally and what they wanted to do.

“I would say I am a pretty creative person, and being Angus is one of the ways I can express that. I like to think up new ideas that will draw a laugh from the crowd, or get people excited,” the mascot said. 

The pep rally also included Angus, along with a few cheerleaders, running from the freshman to the senior sides of the student section. They would hype up the crowd, encouraging the students to cheer as loud as they could when they saw Angus running by.

“Angus does a great job, [they] hype up the crowd and are super easy to spot because of the kilt and the big head,” junior Victor Van Vranken said. 

The student section responded well to Angus’ coaxing, erupting in cheers whenever the mascot would wave or pump their arms. Angus also handed out high fives and handshakes to students while entering and leaving the pep rally.

“One of my favorite things about being Angus is that you can make your hand motions really exaggerated,” the mascot said. “You can’t be emotional with facial expressions, so you have to make overstated movements with your arms to make up for it.”

Angus’ performance at the pep rally is just one that students can expect for the year.

“I’ve been working with McLeadership and hopefully I will make an appearance as Angus during basketball games this winter,” the mascot said. “I also am planning on being there, in costume, at the Langley football game this upcoming Friday (Nov. 4).”