‘Busta the Bearcat’ announced as new Bearcats basketball mascot

Published 12:30 pm Sunday, July 16, 2023

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A new Bearcat basketball mascot was unveiled Friday at a BHS youth cheer camp.

“Busta the Bearcat” is the new dedicated mascot for the Bearcats basketball team. Head Cheer Coach Kimberly Barthel said the team needed its own mascot.

“Football has Buddy and Bella,… and I was told the school was looking into buying some new [mascot suits], so I just felt like it was time for basketball to have one,” Barthel said.

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The name Busta was voted on by the cheer squad. It won over the second-place name, “Bruno.” The spelling of Busta comes from the phonetic spelling of the name “Buster.”

The cheer team revealed the mascot at the end of a cheer camp showcase. Throughout the week, the team ran a cheer camp for 4-13 year-olds. The campers learned cheers and dances and performed them for parents and family members at the end of the week. Buster came out at the end, getting a big reaction from the kids and the crowd. 

The cheer camp ran Monday-Friday with different themes each day. Tuesday’s theme was “Too Cool to Fail School,” and campers showed up in all black and sunglasses. That day, Coach Barthel and assistant coach Dee Perkins talked with the campers about preparing for the upcoming school year and the importance of having good grades and staying out of trouble. 

The campers spent time outside Wednesday on an inflatable water slide for “Wet and Wild Wednesday.” The coaches planned a  color run for Thursday, but bad weather forced them to cancel, so they gave the campers free time in the gym. Friday was the showcase, where the campers performed the cheers and dances. Coach Perkins said the showcase was a hit.

“They learned all five cheers and two dances in two days,” Perkins said. “The showcase went awesome.”

The varsity and junior varsity cheer team members helped out as volunteers during the week. They assisted the campers and helped them learn the cheers.