Nicole Hanke retires after 4 years as Craig Cougar

Taytum Adkins, Criterion Reporter

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






For those of you that have been wondering, the Craig mascot of the last four years has been Nicole Hanke. She just recently stepped down from the role and will be training a new Craig Cougar to be her replacement.

Nicole, who goes by Nikki, started being the school mascot during basketball season of her freshman year. When she’s not in uniform, Nikki is either helping with the school play or working on the book that she writing.

She said, “I don’t know why I choose to do this, but I don’t know who I would be if I didn’t. I also go to competitions with my cheer team as a manager because I’m pretty sure I have no hand-eye coordination”.

During her time as the Cougar, it got progressively more difficult to keep it a secret. At the start Hankey wanted no one to know that she was the mascot. By the end of it her close friends and random people from other schools knew.

“As the years went on it got harder and harder (to keep it a secret). Random people would see me all the time during when our (cheer) team had to take pictures for something and another team just happened to be there” – Nicole Hanke.

Although difficult at times, Nikki thoroughly enjoyed her time as the Craig cougar. She does not have a favorite season.

Nikki said, “I really liked being able to have fun with my team during football and I have a lot of space to move around, but during basketball, I can be around little kids and take pictures and I always know how warm it is so I’m never surprised”.

That is the one thing about being the Cougar: it is very warm in the uniform.

Nicole has now given her role as the mascot to new students here at Craig. She will be mentoring them until they start going to games as the mascot.