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Soaring to the Citrus Bowl; Regal the Eagle named All American mascot

By Racey Burden | Published Wednesday, October 11, 2017
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Top Mascot

TOP MASCOT – Aidan Cottrell, also known as Regal the Eagle, was named an All American mascot. He’ll perform with other All Americans at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando in January. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Out of the thousands of high school mascots in the country, only around 50 are selected to be All Americans.

Aidan Cottrell, a Decatur junior and Regal the Eagle, is one of them.

Cottrell planned and performed a routine at summer cheer camp, and that routine earned him the All American distinction. Top mascots are invited to perform in a pre-game show at the Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Fla., so Cottrell will get to show off his mascot skills in front of a crowd of 60,000 plus a televised audience in January.

“As an All American you get to meet up with the best mascots, and I hope it’s going to be like an enlightening experience,” Cottrell said. “I hope I learn how to be a better mascot and give the crowd one heck of a show.”

But Cottrell actually didn’t want to be a mascot until right before tryouts last year, when a friend’s mom told him he’d be good at it. He tried out and won the role, helped by his acting background. Cottrell has starred in several school plays, including Decatur’s adaptation of “Godspell” this fall.

“I have completely lost the ability to get embarrassed. I’ll do anything for laughs,” Cottrell said. “I’m used to acting like an idiot. I’m very good at that.”

The lack of stage fright will no doubt help when he’s on the biggest stage of his life at the Citrus Bowl. The All American mascots at the bowl will perform a routine they’ve learned over the course of a week stay in Florida, which includes a trip to Disney World. Though he doesn’t know what the routine will look like yet, it will undoubtedly include a lot of crazy moves.

“A good mascot never stops moving,” Cottrell said. “A mascot is its own spirit team for the spirit team.”

They’re also there to inspire the smallest members of the crowd, which Cottrell says is his favorite part of the mascot experience.

“All the little kids’ faces light up when they see the big, blue bird. They just start screaming,” Cottrell said. “Every kid’s dream is to be a superhero, but Regal the Eagle is the next best thing.”

Cottrell and his family have to pay their own expenses to get to the Citrus Bowl. If you’re interested in helping them raise funds, visit gofundme.com/aidans-citrus-bowl-dream.

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