H.S. BASKETBALL | Somerset Briar Jumpers Take Pride In Unique Mascot

02/22/2017 06:16 PM

The Somerset Briar Jumpers take a lot of pride in their school.

“I think it’s cool because we go to a very special school and attending Somerset is something that I consider an honor to do, so it just adds to that pride that we have that we are the only school in the nation that is a Briar Jumper,” said senior girls’ basketball player, Emily Vaught.

“I wouldn’t want to play here if I was another team,” added junior baseball and boys’ basketball player, Trae Harmon.

But what exactly is a Briar Jumper?

“A Briar jumper is a bunny, I guess, more of a rabbit,” Vaught explained.

“I think it would be, single-handedly, the most prestigious mascot in the state of Kentucky. We’ve been here for over 100 years,” added Coady Sturgill, a senior baseball player and a leader of the student section.

“Like if you look at us, our mascot is not that intimidating. It’s not an intimidating factor so when you go play a team that has like a bulldog or something, that’s kind of scary, but a bunny? Like people look at you weird and they’re like, ‘really?’,” Senior girls’ basketball player Kaitlyn Johnson joked.

“People like to make fun of it because it’s not necessarily scary, but I think it’s cute and it’s unique. we’re all unique and it represents us,” Jessica Nelson, a member of marching band and a student section leader, said.

“Have you seen a bunny? Have you seen the bunnies with red eyes and the giant claws? They scare me. I wouldn’t mess with them,” Ty Tevis, a junior student section leader and member of the football team added in.

How they became the Briar Jumpers, is a subject of debate.

“We were playing a team in Louisville- literally years ago in football,” Tevis explained

“And they were playing a team that they were supposed to get completely demolished through,” Vaught added.

“We beat them and we weren’t supposed to beat them, like they were the best team in the state and we beat them in football,” Tevis continued.

“After the game, they were all jumping down and they were all really excited and someone had made the comment that they looked like a bunch of jumpers and that’s kind of how the name stuck,” Vaught told Spectrum News.

“Because they said the running backs, people running all over the field looked like rabbits hopping around in the briar patch,” Jake Cothron, a boys’ basketball player added in.

“And they wrote in the newspaper that we were just ‘running around the field like a bunch of briar jumpers’ and that’s how we became the Briar Jumpers,” Tevis finished.

One thing is very clear, the Somerset students are proud to be a part of the Briar Jumper Nation.

“It’s family,” Evan Saindon, a senior baseball player said.

“A Briar Jumper is someone that is 100% loyal to their school and bleeds purple and gold. We love our school to a fault, Tevis said.”

Vaught agreed.

“We take it very serious to say ‘I’m a Somerset Briar Jumper and I wear purple and gold’ and that’s just something that comes along with being a Briar Jumper. That’s what makes us special.”

The Lady Jumpers defeated Casey County 68-62 Monday night in the 47th District Tournament. They advance to the championship Wednesday, where they host Rockcastle County at 7:00 p.m. eastern.

Watch the full story on the Briar Jumpers here:

Lyndsey Gough

Lyndsey is a Video Journalist for Spectrum News. You can catch Lyndsey’s work on Sports Night, the only nightly show dedicated to covering everything from high school to college sports in Kentucky. She loves covering all sports but it’s the personal stories that really stand out to Lyndsey, like the story of a community coming together to remember high school track start Trinity Gay who was killed. Lyndsey came to Spectrum News from WBKO in Bowling Green where she was an Anchor, Reporter and Producer covering news and sports. She’s a lifelong Kentuckian and a graduate of UK. Sports Night airs at 6:30 and 10:30 weeknights on Spectrum News. If you have a story idea for Lyndsey email her at Lyndsey.gough@charter.com.

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