So, you want to be West Virginia Universitys new Mountaineer mascot? WVU will soon be holding tryouts to determine who will shoot the musket, run across Mountaineer Field and cheer onEer fans during the 2004-05 school year.

Interested students can pick up applications now through Tuesday, Feb. 3, at the Mountainlair Information Desk, E. Moore Hall front desk or Towers main front desk.

To be eligible, a student must be enrolled as a full-time undergraduate or graduate student at WVU and have at least a 2.0 cumulative grade point average. Applicants are expected to submit two letters of reference and complete five essays, including their proudest moment as a Mountaineer.

Completed materials are due no later than 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 10, to the Erickson Alumni Center. In addition, all applicants must be available for an interview on Sunday, Feb. 15, at the Alumni Center, and finalists will be expected to participate in a cheer-off competition during one of the last mens home basketball games.

Brian Anderson, Mountaineer Selection Committee co-chairperson, said students will be scored on how well they connect with fans during thecheer-off.

Well be looking at how they interact with students, children and fans. Also, at how they handle the musket,he said.

One of the most beloved of all West Virginia athletic traditions, the Mountaineer first appeared at WVU sporting events in the late 1920s. The Mountaineer is selected each year by a committee made up of athletics officials, faculty, staff and students from the Mountain Honorary.

Chosen from among the student body, the Mountaineer is selected based on his or her enthusiasm and character.

Were looking for somebody whos not just looking to be the school mascot because its a lot more than a person just dressing up in a big furry suit and jumping around at a basketball game,said Anderson.Its really an embodiment of the University. Trey Hinrichs has been the mascot for two years. He goes over to the Childrens Hospital, and hes there at the game to lead the crowd and all that stuff. Theres a lot that goes into it.

Anderson noted the Mountaineer mascot will be expected to attend all home football and mens and womens basketball games and will participate in any away contests determined by the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics.

We definitely want somebody whos able to manage his or her time pretty effectively because whoever becomes the Mountaineer will certainly be involved on and off campus, and it will become that persons life for a year or two. The Mountaineers going to have be able to manage school and stuff and it can be pretty consuming,he said.

The formal announcement of the 2004-05 Mountaineer will be made Tuesday, March 2, at the WVU -Syracuse mens basketball game.

For more information, e-mail Anderson at banderso@mix.wvu.edu .