Fits like a glove

Sophomore takes new spin on Trocia


Hollan Reed

Beth Dietze performs at Watermelon Supper as Trocia the Tiger.

Story by Emma LeFors, staff writer

The sweat seeps through her shirt and soaks her hair as she dances around the field. “Never stop moving,” she repeats over and over in her head. 15 minutes till her next break. She keeps dancing, and right when she starts to think she might collapse from exhaustion, a little kid runs up to her with his mother in tow and says “Look Mom! It’s the Texas High tiger!” All of a sudden, she is filled with new energy.

Sophomore Beth Dietze is the new school mascot.

“I’ve always thought about being the mascot,” Dietze said. “My mom was also a mascot when she was in school, and it just seemed like a lot of fun.”

Although she had thought about it before, she had never put those thoughts into action until cheer coach Courtney Waldrep approached her.

“She asked me if I wanted to do it,” Dietze said. “I guess because I am a very outgoing person.”

Dietze attended cheer camp in July at the University of Texas, where, alongside the cheer squad, she learned the art of being a mascot.

“I absolutely loved it,” Dietze said. “I was there training with other mascots so I wasn’t as uncomfortable. I’m glad that my first experience was with other people who were doing the same thing as me.”

Dietze is a part of the cheer class and has a cheer uniform to wear when she’s not in her tiger suit, which was not what she expected.

“I would have expected the suit to be much hotter than it was,” Dietze said. “It’s not even heavy. It honestly wasn’t bad at all.”

Dietze described wearing the suit like wearing a rubber glove.

“Whenever you put on a rubber glove, it’s not hot in the glove, but your hands still sweat. It’s kind of the same situation with the suit because the suit does not breathe as well,” Dietze said. “I still sweat like crazy, but that does not mean I’m particularly hot.”

Dietze is never allowed to remove her costume in public , so she has to know certain hand signals to communicate. Pretending to sip water and then breaking an imaginative stick means she needs a water break. Pointing two fingers in the air and making a circular motion means she is going to take the suit off. Arms crossed in front of her chest means emergency, like she is going to faint or vomit.

“No matter what the situation is, if the kid is crying, even if I’m about to vomit, I can’t take the suit off at any point,” Dietze said. “I have to stay in character.”

Interacting with children is one of her favorite experiences, even though she knows some will be afraid of her.

“[A child] was in the elevator, and I had to go up the elevator to change,” Dietze said. “I didn’t know she was in there, and I opened it. I’m in my suit, and she just screams as loud as possible. I got so scared, and I just kind of stood there. I didn’t know what to do.”

The Texas vs. Arkansas game was her first game to attend in uniform, and she hoped people would view her as a mascot with character, similar to those of popular college mascots.

“Every mascot needs their own personality,” Dietze said. “Like Hook ‘Em [from the University of Texas]; he’s more of a prankster type character that you would see messing with the cheerleaders. And then you see the bear Bruiser from Baylor. He’s really serious, he’s still like a nice character, but he’s still serious. And then there’s the Arkansas hog, she’s really sweet, really girly.”

In addition to providing comic relief on the sidelines and at school events, Dietze said her top priority is to promote school spirit.

“Last year, I feel like I didn’t really have as much school spirit, and I feel like other people didn’t either,” Dietze said. “Because I’m the mascot, I feel like I renewed my excitement for my school. I feel like I can scream over the hilltops that I go to Texas High because I’m just excited about it, and I feel like the image that I set for our school definitely helps other people have more spirit.”