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Waldo, not just a wildcat

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Not much is known about the time before the Wildcat became the face of Weber State University. In fact, throughout the first few seasons of football, Weber didn’t have a mascot at all.

Weber Normal College, then a church school, took the field each week as the Weber Weberites.

In 1928, Weber State athletics Hall of Fame football player Wallace F. Morris was at practice when one of the players said he played like a pussycat. Stewart “Monk” Holliday, who was a team captain then, heard the comment and and yelled back, “That’s no pussycat! He’s a wildcat!”

Morris is remembered as Wildcat Morris by his teammates and the Hall of Fame.

Later that year, the local newspaper was doing a story on the Weber College football team, and the writer mentioned that the players were as “scrappy as a bunch of Wildcats,” and the name stuck from that day on.

Weber Collage’s president, Aaron Tracy, was opposed to the name. He was a man who had high morals and thought it wasn’t appropriate to call students at a college Wildcats.

Tracy believed that the wildcat name was demeaning and that the school should be named after a lion instead. However, with many bobcats roaming the Wasatch front mountain range, Wildcats fit the school at the base of the range.

In 1954, Weber College had its first rendition of the Wildcat mascot, which was later named Waldo after an ad in a 1965 Signpost copy.

The Wildcats moved to a Division 1 program in 1962 and between 1964 and 1968 the Wildcats had a live wildcat mascot that would attend sporting events in a cage on the sideline.

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Its career ended after it bit a cheerleader on the nose.

In 1979, another mascot made itself known at Weber State sporting events, Primo the Peacock.

It is unclear to why the purple peacock showed up with a Wildcat jersey across its chest but it only lasted one year.

Waldo has become the face of Weber State athletics and has had seven different upgrades.

“There is a total of seven different Waldo costumes including the peacock,’’ library archives Kandace Harris said.

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The evolution of Waldo "Wildcat" (The Signpost / Signpost Archives)

Currently two students, as part of the spirt squad, suit up as Waldo as he has been seen at every athletic event and even community events.

“Right now we have a mascot team of two and they split up their duties,” spirit squad advisor Summer Willis said. “You only see one at a time. We never put both people out there at the same time, so we schedule them appropriately and we are pretty careful on scheduling, but with the amount of commitment that we fulfill.”

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Each night while the Wildcat athletes are competing, Waldo is in the stands saying hello to fans, dancing and showing the world why he is the best mascot in sports.

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