The Man Behind the Beak


For over 100 years, the Rockhurst Hawklet has been a symbol of pride throughout the Kansas City area. There are around 250 new students every year given the opportunity to even attend our school, but even fewer have ever had the opportunity to wear the suit. For students, wearing the Hawklet on their shirts represents much more than the school mascot. It represents an education and brotherhood that extends through generations.

Wearing a spirit shirt or screaming Rock State at Friday night football games is enough spirit for some. For senior Michael Waris, this simply isn’t enough. Not many students know this, but Waris is the man behind the beak. According to Waris, he has always wanted to be the Hawklet.

“When I decided to not play football this year, I took the promotion and became the Hawklet. I feel like I can contribute much more this way,” he said.

Waris spoke of how it feels physically inside the suit.

“It’s really fun, but it’s also really hot. It feels 105 degrees in there if I were to guess. I need to stay hydrated,” Waris said. “It smells like hard work and a lot of cool ranch Doritos. I get hungry!”

Waris really pursued becoming the Hawklet after talking to varsity football head coach Mr. Tony Severino.

“Coach Severino really gave me the idea. We had some conversations, and he always told me that I should join the spirit club,” Waris said.

After talking with SGA president Ryan Chandler, the spirit club carefully considered it, and he got the position. Although there wasn’t any competition, Waris said that he’s still the best Hawklet out there.

The experience of being in the suit has been both exciting and telling for Waris. Waris has the ability to see the schools spirit through a bird’s eye view (on the field).

While Waris loves being the mascot, he doesn’t think it would be as special without the rest of the student body.

“Honestly, the Hawklet doesn’t mean anything if there isn’t a good group of people surrounding it. I can definitely see a difference this year in school spirit,” Waris said. “Our students put a lot of effort into this and things have turned out well.”

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