It’s that time of year again. The finalists competing for the coveted position of representing West Virginia University as the Mountaineer have been selected.

The final four will compete against each other in a cheer-off at the Feb. 27 WVU-Cincinnati men’s basketball game beginning at 2 p.m. Saturday.

The contestants consist of Brock Burwell, a multi-disciplinary studies major from Harrisville; Erik Edwards, a civil engineering major from Morgantown; Adam Harris, a civil engineering major from Morgantown; and Taylor Richmond, a political science major from Beckley.

Burwell, who has been selected as the Mountaineer alternate for the past two years, is happy to once again be in the running to become the next mascot.

“This has been a dream of mine since I was a child. I really have grown in my understanding of what it takes to be the Mountaineer over my last two years as the alternate. I want to be the individual who represents this school on and off the field in a positive way,” Burwell said.

Edwards is running because he wants to give back to the University that has given him so much.

“To be selected as an ambassador to represent our University and our state would be an incredible experience. It would definitely be the highest honor achieved so far in my lifetime. To put it plainly, I cannot put into words what this honor would mean to me,” Edwards said.

Harris decided to run for Mountaineer mascot because of his deep connection with the University and his love for WVU sports.

“It is a passion of mine to cheer for all the teams and show my pride at the sporting events. It would mean a lot to me if I received the position of Mountaineer mascot, because I could expand on what I already do,” Harris said.

Richmond spoke of his deep roots with WVU, as his family which has been attending the University for generations.

“Since arriving at WVU, I’ve wanted to be the mascot. The Mountaineer is the face of the students and citizens and I would like to put the passion I’ve put into student government and other school activities into being the Mountaineer,” Richmond said.

During the cheer-off, each contestant will have a chance to interact with the crowd. After the game the Mountaineer Mascot Selection Committee will score each student based on their performance. The winner will be decided based on an accumulation of scores from all three stages of the selection process, which included an interview and series of essays. The student in second place will be offered a position as alternate mascot.

The committee is comprised of five student representatives, two athletic officials and two faculty/staff members.

The new Mountaineer will be announced at the WVU-Georgetown men’s basketball game on March 1.

For more information, contact committee chair James Staten at 304-322-0852 or .



CONTACT: James Staten, Mountaineer Mascot Selection Committee