Ace: A mascot who takes his job seriously


Ace tours Burlington spreading school spirit!

Rebecca Cunningham

Ace the Seahorse, Burlington High School’s mascot, faced a new challenge when schools closed in March: lack of school spirit. Ace knew the detrimental long-term health effects from which students with little school spirit would suffer. A plan in mind, he quickly joined the @seahorsepride instagram team. Ace posted photos and videos of himself visiting teachers, congratulating seniors, encouraging students to get outside, or simply absorbing the summer sunshine through his blue and white skin. We have watched the videos, and seen the posts but how much do we really know about Ace? The Register secured an exclusive interview with the mysterious mascot, to ask the hard-hitting questions. 

Day in the life?

Mainly, I wake up every morning wanting to make the best of every moment. The pandemic has challenged me, though. Sometimes I want to just stay in bed and watch documentaries on sea life, but mostly I’m able to keep a positive attitude and just forge ahead.

What are your responsibilities as the BHS mascot?

I view myself as a cheerleader of sorts, but not one that can do back flips and splits. (Frankly, it’s hard enough to walk on land.)  I want BHS students to see me as having their backs whether it’s in the Reef, on the DG Weaver bleachers, or in a graduation car parade. BHS students are the best. They inspire me to be my best self. 

Image: Ace // Ace thanks Dave Hartnett and volunteers for organizing food drives across Burlington

How do you measure up to other highschool mascots and why?

Is this even a real question? I mean, not to sound cocky, but there’s no comparison. A wolf? A redhawk? A hornet? Please. I’m the only high school seahorse mascot in the country. Let that sink in – the ONLY seahorse in the country. 

How do you get hyped for an important game or meet?

I wake up early, eat a well-balanced breakfast, do some burpees to get the blood flowing and collect all of my seahorse gear – hats, t-shirts, hoodies, towels – and place them in a circle. Then I sit inside that circle for a half hour, visualizing a win. (But a loss is ok, too.)

Life philosophy?

Speaking of the #seahorsepride Instagram Pandemic Project, you can see that I don’t really do anything super well. I trip, I bonk my head a lot since I forget how long my neck is, my tail gets caught on everything, I don’t see well – you get the picture. What I am willing to do is take risks. I’m willing to try everything even if I have no idea how to do it. Paddle boarding was something I really wanted to master, but my body just doesn’t bend in the right places to make it work. I had a blast trying, though! 

Video: Ace // Ace practices for a big win

Favorite summertime activity?

Swimming, obviously. 

What’s a quirky hobby you have that students would not expect?

I’m kind of obsessed with the painter Bob Ross. Even though he passed away in 1995, his art lessons are widely available online. 

What are some common questions/comments you get asked in public?

I’m so glad you asked because maybe now that this interview is in print, people will learn that I am NOT a zebra. I’m a seahorse. A proud seahorse. 

How do your friends and family feel about this honored position? Do they support you? Are they jealous of you?

At first my family was a little embarrassed by our Instagram Pandemic Project. They didn’t like that I was exposing my clumsiness to the public – as if my clumsiness has anything to do with them? But then they sort of got hooked on the story line and anxiously awaited the next post. I think they are a little jelly of my confidence. 

Do you ever visit your ancestors (the seahorse fossils)? Do you think you make them proud?

As you know, seahorse fossils were found when the original high school was built (now EMS) in the late 1800’s. I hold the EMS campus close to my heart, knowing that 12,000 years ago my peeps swam beneath it. As for making them proud? We seahorses stick together no matter what. Seahorse pride is in the water and the wind.

Want to see more? Visit @seahorsepride on instagram.

Image: Ace // Ace thanks teachers for all their hard work