POPLARVILLE – Wildcat mascot Emily Patton of Hattiesburg is the first recipient of the Poncho James Wildcat Scholarship at Pearl River Community College.James, PRCC first mascot, started the scholarship for the 2011-12 academic year.Patton, a freshman, was a cheerleader at North Forrest High School but a lack of tumbling experience kept her off the PRCC cheerleading squad.I have to take a year of tumbling, she said. I wanted to stay involved, so I tried out to be the mascot.Patton has enjoyed the first two football games except for the heat inside the costume.It gives me a chance to express my spirit without worrying about what people think, she said. And it keeps me more involved in the school.James was the Wildcat mascot from in 1981 and 1982.I enjoyed it, and it opened a lot of doors for me, he said. I went on to be the mascot at the University of Southern Mississippi.He founded Sumrall Recycling and is now vice president of recycling for Advanced Disposal, which bought his company.The scholarship is a way of sharing his success, he said.Ive had great memories of Pearl River and wanted to give something back, he said.
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