The Eye of the Tiger; New Mascot has spirit

Susie DeRoss, Views Editor

Every student knows that the Joliet West High School mascot is the tiger.  Recently, this tiger has become more important because of the last sports teams finally splitting from Central.  West is regaining independence, and the students are starting to have more school pride.  This is an inspiring story in itself, but another story worth hearing is that of the new student who will be dressing up as the tiger mascot. 

Jeff Randich, a freshman, will be taking on the job.  Dressing up as the tiger and boosting school spirit at assemblies and sports games is tremendously important.  Even in junior high, Randich was interested in becoming the mascot and making others happy.

Unfortunately, Randich’s mother passed in September after seven years of cancer.  Naturally, his counselor reached out and offered any help she could give him.  She asked Randich if there was anything she could do for him.  Surprisingly, his only request was becoming the Joliet West tiger mascot. 

The counselor was able to give him a chance in the tiger suit at eighth grade step up night.  Randich thoroughly enjoyed being able to walk around the school and show students and families how much school spirit West has.  Along with being able to make people smile, he specifically remembers a little girl who ran up to him.  She was yelling “Tiger!  Tiger!” and was thrilled to receive a hug from him. 

Not too long after that night, Randich’s counselor called him down to her office once again.  This time she was able to tell him that he was chosen to be the official mascot.  Since then, Randich has appeared at girls and boys varsity home games, and he will continue to do so.  He told us that he always tries to get the crowds going, even though they often seem confused by what he’s doing.  Randich obviously has an enormous amount of school spirit and hopefully it will spread to all of the students at Joliet West.