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The Piedmont Highlander

The Piedmont Highlander

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Whopper Steps onto the Field

Smet With Whopper

  As the flag football team runs their plays on Havens Field, alongside them runs a little basset hound puppy named Whopper.

  Athletic Director Bradley Smet adopted Whopper, a 12 week old basset hound, a month ago. Since then, Whopper has become valued by the new flag football program. 

  Whopper first started coming to flag football workouts during the preseason.

  “I started bringing him as soon as I felt comfortable with him being around people,” Smet said. “It’s just a good way to get him outside socializing and the girls seem to really enjoy having him around.”

  Whopper now comes to flag football practice every day, said varsity assistant coach and junior varsity head coach Hayley Adams.

  “I think it was natural for Whopper to start coming and giving the girls the idea that flag football is really fun,” Adams said. “It’s so fun that we’re the only sport on campus that has a live dog that comes.”

  Whopper’s fun presence has been appreciated by the team during their practices. 

  “He cheers up the whole field and it’s nice having him there,” freshman Jo Palsa said. “He definitely helps the team’s morale.”

  Whopper has quickly become well-loved because of his silly personality and floppy ears.

  “Whopper is always tripping on his ears or trying to eat Coach Smet’s crocs,” senior Lucy Wheeler said. “He is so goofy.”

  Whopper sometimes gets so excited that he tries to join the team on the field, said sophomore Dahlia Osman said. 

  However, Whopper has also become notorious for peeing wherever he chooses. 

  “I’m not enjoying how much he pees everywhere,” Adams said. “But his cuteness overweighs how naughty he’s become.”

  Because of his frequent attendance at practice, Whopper has become known as the flag football team’s mascot. 

  “Whopper became our mascot from day one, and he’s a necessary asset to our team,” Wheeler said. 

  Adams said that varsity head coach Beth Black and herself are even using Whopper to help with coaching. 

  “Whopper actually looks like the footballs so we’ve been teaching the girls how to hold the footballs as if we’re holding Whopper,” Adams said. “You don’t want to drop Whopper and you want to keep Whopper safe.”

  In the past month, Whopper has become massively popular among the team. But Whopper’s popularity was completely a surprise, said Smet.

  “I thought they would be like ‘Ohh he’s a cute puppy!’ and then just ignore him,” Smet said. “I never expected it, but it’s pretty awesome.”

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About the Contributor
Madelyn Hill
Madelyn Hill, Sports Editor
Madelyn Hill (12) is a sports co-editor for TPH. Outside of school, she enjoys playing volleyball, traveling, and spending time with friends.
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