Behind Buzz

Senior Anna DePelsMaeker shares about her experience as the mascot.


Delaney Davis

Senior Anna DePelsMaeker performs as Buzz the Hornet at the football game against Central High School on Oct. 7.

Deeya Rohant, Editor

At the state championship playoff football game on Nov. 18, senior Anna DePelsMaeker revealed her identity as Buzz the Hornet, making her one of her last performances as Buzz a memorable one.

DePelsMaeker has been the mascot since her junior year, and her interest in becoming the mascot was sparked by her background in dance. She had been on her middle school’s dance team but was drawn to Buzz’s ability to hype up a crowd and put smiles on people’s faces.

“I really did enjoy dance and hip hop and just the feeling of hyping up a crowd,” DePelsMaeker said. “Dance is such an art form.”

Because she wanted to be the mascot, DePelsMaeker emailed one of her counselors, and she later received a phone call from Kim Carmack.

“We talked for probably 20, 30 minutes, and it was basically like an interview, and I didn’t even know it was an interview,” DePelsMaeker said. “By the end of the phone call she was just like ‘Alright well, the Salt Bowl is this day, and you can come get the costume.”

Since then, DePelsMaeker has taken Buzz to football games, pep rallies, and even elementary and middle schools, where she greets students in the morning before school.

“I’ll just get random requests from various principals around the district and they’re like ‘Can Buzz come to this event on this day?’ and I don’t want to say no, because it’s always so much fun,” DePelsMaeker said.

However, getting Buzz around to events can be a challenge, because the costume is heavy and takes up a lot of space.

“Madison Franks last year had a Jeep and I would get all dressed and then I would just sit in the back of her Jeep and she would drive Buzz over and help walk in and all that stuff, and then we would go do our thing,” DePelsMaeker said. “If I don’t have a helper, then I usually have to wake up like, superduper early in the morning and like make sure I have everything in my trunk of my car, the Buzz outfit, I bring like a big cooler full of water.”

Not only is getting Buzz around difficult, but wearing the costume poses a separate challenge.

“So the main thing that I have to remember is, every movement has to be completely, like even more over exaggerated than I think it should be.” DePelsMaeker said. “Even though I’m usually just standing around and walking, I have to breathe like I’m running, because the air circulation is not as good. And you’re already raising your body temperature, causing your metabolism to go super fast and all that, so it’s just like you’re running but you’re not.”

Because of the high physical demand of mascotting, DePelsMaeker has to train to maintain her strength.

“I basically cross train, so I’ll run like two and a half miles and then treadmill, or I’ll just do 30 minutes of running and then 30 minutes of weight training, usually four to five times a week,” DePelsMaeker said. “On the days that I do actually mascot I’ll do like an like an hour of yoga, just so that my body’s kind of getting stretched out to move in crazy ways and stuff.”

Balancing school responsibilities with mascotting can also be difficult because mascotting is very time consuming.

“I think my downfall was taking three AP classes this year because I don’t know, I mean, I’m managing Buzz really well, I would say, but I kind of regret not like, mitigating my responsibilities in life and I just kind of made my life harder for myself,” DePelsMaeker said.

For DePelsMaeker, she also has to make sure that her personal life doesn’t interfere with Buzz.

“I’ve had some really rough like, situations that have just happened in my personal life before I’ve had to mascot,” DePelsMaeker said. “I think the hardest thing for me is switching off Anna DePelsMaeker and switching on Buzz the Hornet.”

When she’s mascotting, DePelsMaeker has to constantly remind herself that she’s not Anna, she’s Buzz. However, being Buzz also allows her to showcase her personality and character without being judged by others.

“A lot of high schoolers are very judgmental of people and their appearances and how they act, and by being anonymous by Buzz, it’s completely just up to who you are, as with your character to showcase your light, your shine,” DePelsMaeker said.

For DePelsMaeker, the best part about being Buzz is making people smile.

“I want to make people so happy and just brighten up their day without even them knowing who I am because I think I just love making that positive impact on people’s lives,” DePelsMaeker said.

DePelsMaeker is also grateful to the student body for receiving Buzz with so much support.

“I thought I was going to get bullied when I first became the mascot. I thought people were honestly going to think that I was like, mentally insane,” DePelsMaeker said. “But the way that it was received by the student body is such a positive thing. It’s just indescribable. I’m so incredibly grateful for the acceptance and the support of the student body with Buzz.”