(December 20, 2015) Aquilla senior Hunter Ince wants to be the best.
And, usually, he is.
All-district in basketball, a one act play all-star, English, science, math and social studies awards, class president and number one in his class. Hunter has been, well, virtually perfect.
But he's really just hiding behind a big disguise.
"I love being a cougar. I love who I am," he said.
Hunter's been the fan-friendly feline all four years of high school.
"I wouldn't rather be any other animal in the world," he said.
He's been perfect at that, too.
He was named an all-American mascot. Yes, they really do give awards for that.
"I dare say if I take him out of a game he might run in to the locker room, put that costume on and sit on the bench at the end," Aquill basketball coach Maurea Crain said.
"Every time I step out with the kids, every time I'm on a field, a court, it's all worth it," Hunter said.
Because it's just not about being ferociously crazy.
"Everything in the world is great about being a cougar," he added.
One look at his volunteer activities, like helping with kindergarten graduation or the Veterans Day parade, it's easy to see he just loves making people smile.
"Getting to be with the kids every Friday night, getting to see people smile, do dances, routines, seeing people laugh. Just giving back has always been important, helping others," Hunter said.
Hunter has always strived to be the best. But making a fool of yourself to make a difference? Nothing better than that.