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LSUS Athletics - Wed, Oct. 11, 2017

Soccer has returned to LSUS, bringing back a beloved sport and also ushering in a new face! On Saturday, September 30, the 50th Anniversary Soccer Back in Play event also doubled as the unveiling of LSUS's new mascot.

The new mascot was selected by the SGA, who worked closely with LSUS student athletes to find the right fit. SGA overwhelmingly voted to recommend the River Monster, propelling it from a proposal to a reality.

The SGA also created a story arc that connects the LSUS campus location, adjacent to the Red River, and the history of our region with the LSUS Anderson Watershed Research Station. This research station is located on 45 acres of land just across the levee beyond the back athletic fields of LSUS. The Station, unknown by many, is part of the Red River Education and Research Park (itself a part of Bickham Dickson Park). It is a valuable university asset for marine science research and learning. Now, the station will also serve as the mascot's new home. The River Monster will reside beneath the station, conveniently sandwiched between his two favorite places-campus and the Red River.

The connection between the mascot and the Research Station contributes to a greater appreciation of the whole campus by shining a light on the parts of LSUS that, while vitally important, sometimes go unnoticed. Additionally, linking the mascot to the history of the Red River aligns with the university's focus on regional history. This focus includes the Pioneer Heritage Center and Northwest Louisiana Archives, and LSUS is proud to have a mascot that is both fun and historically connected to the area.

"The Athletic Department is extremely excited to welcome our new mascot," said LSUS Director of Athletics Lucas Morgan. "We would like to thank the students and the committees for their bold decision to think outside the box and be creative. A mascot is supposed to be fun and goofy and we believe the students hit a homerun with their choice! We are looking forward to seeing him on the sidelines at our games and bringing him with us when we help out in the community. It's a great day to be a Pilot!"

The Story of the LSUS "River Monster"
In June of 2015, substantial rainfall caused the Red River to reach its highest level in over 70 years. Out of the rising waters, a friendly and mischievous river monster surfaced, who had apparently been traveling up and down the river for quite some time. The monster wanted to shed his nomadic ways, and decided to make Bickham Dickson Park his home to settle down for good. Faculty and students of the Red River Education and Research Park (RRERP) were the first to encounter this intriguing character and quickly befriended the lonely creature. He promptly began telling outlandish tales of mischief and mayhem from his journeys along the river.

The creature told of one of his first encounters with people along the Red River in 1873, when he met a crew of men in charge of breaking up the log jam. These men were the first to accept the monster for who, or what, he was. Immediately, an unwavering kinship between the crew and the River Monster develop. The crew finished clearing the log jam and never returned. Heartbroken and confused by the loss of his friends, the River Monster wandered back out into the Red River only to return to the Shreveport/Bossier area periodically to play his practical jokes on the townspeople and LSUS, until now.

Tales of this River Monster scaring faculty and staff members on the fourth floor of Bronson Hall surfaced for many years, but he never revealed himself. This led people to believe that Bronson Hall was haunted. These hauntings go back as far as 1973; however, sometime in early 2017 the River Monster was spotted one night by a LSUS staff member. He was invited by members of the LSUS community, as they believed he had something to offer the university. After meeting with him, they agreed wholeheartedly that he did and was offered a place to call home on the LSUS campus and the role of the university's mascot. With the River Monster's magnetic personality and tenacious attitude, he will undoubtedly entertain and engage the student body of LSUS and would help give the athletic teams a competitive edge by cheering them to victory. So a new chapter is beginning for the River Monster as the University's new mascot. Will he still be as mischievous as ever? We will have to wait and see!

View The River Monster's Photo Gallery here!

 
 
 
 
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