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Let’s Go … Mountaineers

Mascot finds ways to represent WVU during COVID pandemic

When you’re the Mountaineer of WVU, you aren’t just a mascot on the sidelines at a football game.

You’re, well … an icon.

Or, at the least, a highly visible representative of the state of West Virginia, and its flagship university.

You do Read-Aloud events and ride in parades.

 You do church suppers and pose for maybe a million selfies.


Check that.

These days, you do what you can.

You bridge communication gaps, however you can.

“Well, it is pretty interesting, being the first social-distancing Mountaineer,” Colson Glover said, recently.

“I’ve actually been doing virtual events,” he continued.

“I want to be out among the fans of our great state, but this is what we’re all going to have to do, until we get through this.”

In other words: Let’s Zoom, Mountaineers.

The Mountaineer, M.D.

When the state does go public again after the pandemic, Glover will emerge as the 67th mascot in school history to don the buckskins and crack the long rifle at events of import across the Mountain State.

Which is also the place where he wants to belong, professionally.

Glover plans on practicing medicine here after his neurosciences studies are complete in Morgantown.

He wants to set up a clinic in his hometown of Lewisburg, in Greenbrier County.

Greenbrier County is great for the outdoors, said Glover, who is also minoring in wildlife and fish resources.

However, he said, you don’t get anything for free.

All that scenery, as the future physician puts it, can’t help, if you’re fearful you might have a brain tumor or other serious neurological malady.

Then, he said, it’s a three-hour drive, no matter which address you plug into the GPS.

You’ll motor to the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, or WVU in Morgantown — but don’t count on a quick appointment at either place, he said.

 “Your consult is going to be three or four months out,” he said, “because everybody is so booked.”

That might be too late, he said.

“I want to provide a medical need for my county and for southern West Virginia,” he said.

In the viral (clinical, not virtual) sense, it was too late for this semester when he was named mascot.

That was during a men’s basketball game against Baylor on March 7 at the Coliseum.

Right before COVID-19 clamped down.

‘Dude, you’re awesome’

Glover wears his pandemic sensibilities on his buckskin sleeve.

He grew up with a bent for medicine.

His dad is a pharmacist and his mom is in pharmaceutical sales.

 Both went to WVU and have season tickets.

The WVU mascot bug, meanwhile, has been a chronic condition for quite a while.

Glover encountered it around nine years ago on the steps to the College of Law after a football game.

A skinny, pipe-cleaner of a kid was waiting for a certain Mountaineer to emerge.

Those steps from the stadium to the upper lots are steep on a good day — and this was after a game.

When then-mascot Brock Burwell made the trudge, he was clearly feeling it.

This was after four quarters of stoking the energy of the crowd while doing pushups after every WVU touchdown.

Plus, a buckskin outfit isn’t going to be friends with the thermometer on a warm, Indian summer day.

“Yeah, he was pretty beat-up,” Glover said.

“He was tired, sweating. I gave him a Gatorade.”

 The beard of the stocky, gregarious Burwell parted for a smile.

He shook the hand of his future replacement and said, “Dude, you’re awesome.”

Glover, watching him drive away in his signature, funky Jeep, said, “I have to do this.”

A name for the (WVU) ages

Visit his Twitter page to get a sense of how he’ll do that.

There, you’ll see a video which is his way, right now, of shaking hands with Mountaineer Nation.

He recorded it at the historic Herns Mill covered bridge (built in 1879) down from his family’s home in Greenbrier County.

“I got it in a couple of takes,” he said.

It’s both a proclamation of WVU fandom and a PSA for pandemic awareness, ending with a thundering, “Let’s Go!” that echoes across the old span, in a literal distance-bridging of familial communication.

“I can get pretty loud,” he laughed.

In case you’re wondering, his first name is a family name.

“I was named for Colson Hall,” he said.

Yes, that Colson Hall.

 The building on the downtown campus.

“My parents wanted me to stand out in kindergarten.”

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