The Return of Kenny


1970 Kennedy Yearbook

Former Kennedy student wears the old Kennedy costume.

Almost everyone at Kennedy knows who our beloved mascot Kenny the Cougar is, but do we really know the backstory of why Kenny was brought to Kennedy?

In the late 1960’s, the student body had voted on the designated mascot that would symbolize Kennedy. After ballots were collected, students agreed they would become the Cougars, with a mascot to match.

Randy Krejci, former Kennedy Athletic Director and a member of the class of 1972, supported the opportunity students were given to think of their own school’s mascot.

“There was tons of student input, so this was not done by the school district or the principals, definitely kids had a chance to choose,” said Krejci.

Despite Kenny’s popularity, he made fewer appearances as the years went on until Sarah Rochleau, president of the booster club, was reminded of the Cougar.

“[Last year], Viola Gibson was holding a fundraiser to purchase a new gator mascot costume,” said Rochleau. “It got me wondering where
the Cougar mascot was. When I was a student at Kennedy, I had very fond memories of having Kenny at games.”

Rochleau went to Activities Director Aaron Stecker to ask if the Booster Club could take on the responsibility of reinstating Kenny. With his approval, Kenny was brought back to life. If you talk to any Kennedy alumni they will remember witnessing the growth and expansion of Kenny and the cougar costume. Christina Langton, language arts teacher at Kennedy, played the mascot as a student in the late 90’s.

“It’s a lot of excitement, it’s fun to see peoples’ reaction and all the little kids at the games want to be your best friend, so you feel like you’re fulfilling a purpose,” said Langton.

Kenny the Cougar is now managed by Rochleau. Since he’s a symbol for all students and staff at Kennedy, it’s hoped he could become the responsibility of a student club.

“I hope that Kenny’s calendar will fill up with requests from different students that can show…their own flair to Kenny’s spirit…[and that he] will bring excitement and energy not just to football games but to all sporting events and even other Kennedy events too,” Rochleau said.

He can typically be found at football, volleyball and basketball games. More recently, Kenny was spotted at cross country meets. Kenny brought the crowd no matter the time or place. Now that he’s back, it’s likely more spectators will attend events to support their classmates. Ever since Kenny was introduced to our school, he has not only cheered us on to victory, but has brought us closer together as a student body since we opened.