Straughn senior earns scholarship as LBW’s first mascot

Published 11:00 am Wednesday, May 25, 2022

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Straughn High School senior Stuart Nelson is taking four years of mascot experience to the next level after signing to be the first-ever mascot at LBWCC Wednesday, May 18.

“I am grateful for this amazing opportunity to continue being mascot for a college because it’s something I have wanted to do since the eighth grade. My biggest goal is to become Aubie at Auburn,” Nelson said. “I am looking forward to all the smiles I will be able to see from the children I see or the adults I come across while wearing the suit.”

He added that he chose to attend LBW because he did not want to move away from home. “It means the absolute world to me knowing that I will be LBW’s first-ever mascot and Straughn’s first-ever mascot to get a scholarship for doing the things I do.”

Nelson first took on the role of “Taz” at Straughn his ninth grade year.

Stuart Nelson celebrated a scholarship to LBWCC as the college’s new mascot with support from his fellow cheerleaders and former cheer coaches Christy Carter, front left, and Misty Barnes, front right.

“My attention was drawn to it by Mrs. Lee Lumpkin. She would always come to me and be like, ‘Hey, I think you should try out because you have the personality for it and would do a great job.’ I decided to try out and made it. I kept doing better and learning, and it was all because I had her and wanted to make her proud,” he said.

“I would just like to say how proud we are of Stuart. He has sacrificed four years sweating in this costume. It’s not easy work, and anything we asked him to do, he was willing to do it. I know he will continue that at LBW as their new mascot. We appreciate all his friends showing their support for him like he has supported them through the years,” Former SHS Cheerleading Coach Christy Carter said.

“We look forward to having Stuart as our new mascot at LBW Community College. He’s proven to be an exceptional mascot and individual. I know he will do a great job in this role,” said LBWCC President Dr. Brock Kelley.

While he looks forward to becoming LBW’s mascot, Nelson stated he would always keep his memories at Straughn with him.

“The thing I enjoyed the most was the smiles that came from all of the kids. I will miss the teachers and the football games. Most of all, I had several fun memories and my friends. My biggest highlight was when we beat Alabama Christian (ACA) to go to the playoffs my senior year.”

He was appreciative of the support from his family and friends. “It means a lot knowing that they all care about me. They show me that they really want to see me succeed in life, go far, and do great big things. I have had many influencers in my life, but my biggest has been my mom. She always pushes me to do my best and try my hardest at everything because she wants me to live a great and healthy and successful life,” Nelson said.

Stuart Nelson had several family members in attendance for his acceptance to LBWCC.

He is the son of Daniel and Vanessa Nelson with two younger brothers, Cash and Ewing. Nelson will graduate from Straughn High School on Friday, May 27, 2022.

“I would like to stay that if you have a dream, go for it because it could always work in your favor, and you’ll be happy when it does. Also, be the best you can be and push yourself to be even better,” he said.