Awesome Eagle hits Smashville as guest mascot at Thursday’s Predators game

Tech’s Awesome Eagle took to the ice and filled in for the injured Nashville Predators mascot, Gnash, Thursday night.

Gnash suffered a broken fibula in his left leg during “his rigorous offseason training regimen” and called out to some of his fellow mascot friends, including Awesome, to help him cheer on the Predators in his place. While the injury to Gnash was unfortunate, Awesome Eagle and Tech were able to benefit from the time the Predators mascot will be recovering.

“Gnash and I have been friends for quite a while now,” said Awesome. “So when he called asking for my help, it was a no-brainer. I told him I would be glad to help him in his time of need.”

“I found out a few weeks ago that Awesome would receive this opportunity [to fill in for Gnash],” said Andrew Halford, Spirit Squad interim head coach. “We are really excited Awesome got in there and got recognition on a national level.”

A news release sent out by the Predators on Sept. 24 announcing Gnash’s injury said, “Well-known for his daring stunts that include rappelling from the Bridgestone Arena ceiling, using a sled to slide down the lower bowl stairs and more, Gnash’s injury came in the midst of his rigorous offseason training regimen.”

The injury is expected to keep Gnash out for an extended amount of time. Predators Senior Vice President of Communications Gerry Helper said on the Predator’s website, “Predators mascot Gnash suffered a broken fibula in his left leg and is being treated by a team of physicians and trainers from Vanderbilt University Medical Center and the Nashville Predators. We expect him to make a full recovery in six-to-eight weeks.”

“When I heard of Gnash’s injury, I felt terrible for him,” Awesome said. “I know how hard he works to bring the spirit and the energy it takes to get the fans pumped up in Smashville.”

The fill-in will be a great spotlight not only for Awesome but for the University as well. Awesome Eagle is an experienced mascot that won the open mascot division of the 2014 Universal Cheerleaders Association national competition in Orlando, Fla. in January of this year. Filling in for Gnash, while big shoes to fill, should be a doable task for the eagle.

“It was an incredible ordeal not only for Awesome to get the recognition but also an opportunity for Tennessee Tech to be represented,” said Halford. “Everyone in the spirit program works really hard all over the campus and Cookeville; it’s very exciting we can spread out and represent our school and town in different places.”

When asked who accompanied Awesome to the Predators game, Halford said, “Only Awesome got the opportunity to go, but I hope we talked everything up enough that our student body traveled to support Awesome and Tennessee Tech.”