Rocky’s Revival; Face of PHS Returns


Olivia McSpadden

Rocky cheers at a girls’ basketball game with some pom-poms.

A highly-anticipated addition to the cheerblock debuted at the boys basketball game versus Eastern Pekin at home on Saturday, January 14. The guest of honor was none other than Rocky Ram, PHS’s beloved mascot who went unseen for a number of years.

Rocky’s return is owed to new Booster Club Sponsor Chris Jones, who made it his goal to bring the mascot back to PHS after issues with their previous suit forced them to remain inactive.

Jones set out to order a new costume, purchasing Rocky’s costume from a company in Atlanta prior to Thanksgiving Break for $1400 — money that came from a series of Booster Club fundraisers.

“I think this Rocky is a pretty good fit. It’s been quite some time since we’ve had a physical mascot,” said Jones. “Having a mascot adds an extra element of crowd involvement and spirit at school events. Everybody loves Rocky.”

Becoming Rocky Ram is a lifelong dream come true for me.

— Senior Nolan Walker

Rocky arrived on December 19, though the students wearing the costume did not make their debut until almost a month later.

With their new suit secured, the next order of business was who would bring Rocky to life again. Tryouts for who would wear the costume were hosted in the PHS cafeteria after school on January 11, with any high school student eligible to participate. There were five candidates who tried out for the role of Rocky before a panel of four different judges, consisting of the cheer coaches, athletic director and a teacher.

Rocky cheers on the sideline alongside junior Gracie Brown. (TyLynn Taylor)

“The candidates were asked to perform a few simple cheers with members of our cheer squad, do a little spontaneous dancing and interact with the crowd,” said Jones.

Despite the efforts from each student, senior Nolan Walker and junior Eliza Ross ultimately were chosen to share the Rocky Ram suit and all of the duties that come with it.

Rocky will be present at athletic events where he will serve to pump up the crowd with spirit and boost Ram pride.

“Becoming Rocky Ram is a lifelong dream come true for me,” said Walker.