Cornelius named SD’s top mascotRegional voting begins with chance to advance to national competition.
By: Brooke Cersosimo, The Daily Republic
Cornelius grinned from ear to ear when he was announced the state’s best mascot Tuesday in online voting conducted by USA Today High School Sports.
The Mitchell High School mascot beat out four other South Dakota mascots to claim the crown, including the Rapid City Central Cobbler, Sturgis Scooper, Newell Irrigator and Sioux Valley Cossack. Cornelius faced his stiffest competition from the Irrigator at the end of the race, which began Feb. 25 and lasted eight days, but he shucked and popped his way through.
Cornelius received 78,256 votes, surpassing the Irrigator’s 75,580 votes. None of the other South Dakota mascots surpassed 23,000 votes.
Mitchell High School Activities Director Geoff Gross said the victory says a lot about the community and Kernel fans.
“It says that we take pride in our mascot,” he said. “It’s definitely unique and we’ve known that. Now it’s time to prove ourselves to the rest of the nation.”
The school’s mascot will now compete in the region competition, which begins today and ends March 14. Other states in South Dakota’s region are Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota and North Dakota.
“It’s a long row to hoe, but Cornelius is up for the challenge,” Gross said.
Gross said Cornelius isn’t worried about his competitors to the north but is concerned with his competition in Indiana.
Indiana’s top mascot received around 250,000 votes.
Fans can vote at http://contest.usatodayhss.com to help Cornelius win the regional round.
The top six mascots, one from each region, have the chance to be named the best high school mascot in America.
Prize money will be awarded to the top five schools’ athletic departments after the final March 15-25 voting period.
The national winner will receive $2,000, second place will receive $1,000, third is awarded $500, fourth receives $250 and fifth place is awarded $100.