Dixie State University’s Brooks the Bison receives warm welcome from huge crowd

DSUBrooksDebut7While receiving cheers from thousands of adoring fans, Dixie State University’s new mascot, Brooks the Bison, made a triumphant debut Thursday evening during halftime of Trailblazer Football’s 21-14 victory over New Mexico Highlands. A near-capacity crowd fueled the energy and excitement felt as Brooks made his entrance into Legend Solar Stadium. Fans showed up in droves to cheer on the football team as they played with the Trailblazer moniker and under the leadership of Coach Shay McClure for the first time. “The crowd support Thursday night was incredible,” Dr. Jason Boothe, Dixie State athletics director, said. “It was a great environment, Brooks was first class and the team got the win, so we're off to a good start! We owe tremendous amounts of thanks to the fans. I look forward to seeing another great crowd next Saturday night as the Trailblazers take on South Dakota School of Mines & Technology at 6 p.m.” During halftime of the season opener, Legend Solar co-founders Shaun Alldredge and Shane Perkins were invited to join President Richard “Biff” Williams and Boothe on the field to be recognized for their $10 million contribution toward renovating Dixie State’s football stadium. When it was time to present the Legend Solar co-founders with commemorative footballs, the tokens of appreciation were missing. Seconds later, Brooks rode into the stadium on a motorcycle, carrying the footballs, saving the day and receiving thunderous applause from the crowd, which was led by the Dixie State cheerleaders and The Dixie Blaze Dance Team. The mascot then huddled with the dance team and joined them for a high-energy routine that was complete with Brooks performing a flip. Dixie State’s newly named student section, The Stampede, greatly contributed to the evening’s energy. The completely full student section came prepared with painted faces, signs and large metal trashcans that served as drums. The university’s pep band sat near by and contributed to the lively atmosphere. “The energy and Dixie Spirit were so thick, it was nearly palpable,” Ezra Hainsworth, president of The Stampede, said. “We had high expectations for the overall outcome of the game with the new Trailblazer Nation app and Trailblazers rebrand, but we honestly exceeded all of our expectations, especially with attendance. Last year, the registered student section hit about 850 people, and as of Friday morning, we already have over 1,200 users on the spirit app. We really set the bar high for this year's athletic events.” Brooks’ debut came after Dixie State spent a year developing the Trailblazer identity and coordinating a massive rebranding effort across the campus and entire community. The Trailblazer identity recognizes Dixie State as a trendsetting institution that is dedicated to employing innovative teaching techniques and preparing students to be Trailblazers in their careers and personal lives. The identity has been the perfect fit for Dixie because of its nod to St. George’s blazing-hot climate. The new identity is paired with the bison mascot because the burly beasts were America’s original trailblazers. Trails created as bison stampeded across the country were adopted by Native Americans and pioneers as hunting and warrior paths and assisted with the migration out west. Dixie State’s mascot is named after Dixie’s original trailblazer, Samuel Brooks. The eager student spent the night on the steps in front of St. George Stake Academy on the eve of its opening in 1911 to be the first person to pay the institution’s $10 tuition and secure student status. To learn more about Dixie State University’s Trailblazer identity, visit dixie.edu/identity.