Former Awesome Eagle now in the major leagues

Former Awesome Eagle mascot, Drake Fenlon, will be the mascot of the Oakland A's this season.

COOKEVILLE – When Drake Fenlon was a child, he attended many Golden Eagle basketball games.

But he wasn’t interested in the score.

“As a dorky kid, I didn’t really care about the basketball game as much, so I would watch Awesome Eagle,” he said. “Eventually, it just kind of fell in place and I decided I wanted to be a mascot.”

When it came time to tour campus, he met with Jim Gray, former associate director of admissions, who helped arrange a meeting with Robin Burroughs, the cheer and dance coach at the time.

“When I originally came to college, I wanted to be an anchor on one of the big morning shows,” he said with a laugh. 

But after joining the mascot program, his plans changed.

“I came to Tech basically for Awesome Eagle,” he said.

As a member of that team, he took Awesome to new levels, taking the top spot in the open mascot division in the Universal Cheerleaders Association national competition his junior year. That was the third time Awesome competed in the competition, making it the most memorable experience of his college career.

During his time at Tennessee Tech, he was also involved in a number of other organizations. He was a member of several athletics committees, appeared on stage in productions with the Tech Players, represented students in the Student Government Association, was managing editor of the Oracle student newspaper and contributed to the student-run magazine and radio station.

He also received the university’s highest award, the Derryberry Award, his senior year.

Since graduating with a degree in communications in 2015, he has slowly moved westward, pepping audiences up by dressing as a variety of mascots, from a lion, to a wolf, a donkey then a dog. 

“I was the mascot water boy and backup mascot for the Kansas City Royals for the 2015 season, and they did win the World Series that year,” he said. “I was living in Missouri and was also working for the Kansas City Chiefs and a fun hockey team called the Missouri Mavericks, so I had four part-time mascot jobs that kind of made up one very low paying full-time job.”

Then some opportunities opened up in Southern California. He joined the Lake Elsinore Storm, a minor league Padres affiliate, as its full-time mascot.

“That is one of the few full-time mascots in the minor leagues,” he said.

He was with that team for three seasons.

“I was in the hot desert, over 100 degrees, and I turned into a stick of beef jerky at times,” he said. “I learned everything about how to run a program, how to make mistakes and learn from those mistakes.”

He also learned a lot from his experiences as Awesome Eagle while at Tech.

“I’m thankful for those who showed me the mistakes and how to work through them,” he said.

When major league baseball season starts later this month, he will don the mascot for the Oakland Athletics, the elephant known as Stomper.

His goal is to make Stomper the best character he can be.

“I’m still trying to figure out his trademark move,” Fenlon said with a laugh. 

Spring training for the A’s began Feb. 21 in Mesa, Arizona, while the regular season begins March 28.

Fenlon couldn’t be more excited.

“It’s a new journey, new adventure,” he said. “I’m looking forward to it.”

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