Tank the Trojan: The All-American Mascot

Published: Sep. 10, 2020 at 8:39 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 10, 2020 at 10:26 PM CDT
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WEST, Texas (KWTX) - Hailey Routson has been on the sidelines as Tank the Trojan for four years now and earned All-American awards from the Universal Cheerleaders Association four times.

“It’s just been a blast," said Routson, a West High School senior. “I take a lot of pride in it.”

Speaking of pride, on Friday nights, Hailey is also front and center in the Pride of West Marching Band.

“On Friday nights, I sprint off with another cheerleader," Routson said. “I sprint back out and make it the last second. It’s really hectic but I love being part of both communities.”

Hailey’s school spirit is about as strong as it gets, but the school actually kept her spirits high her freshman year, when her stepdad Don Snook, the former principal of West High School, was fighting a tough battle with bladder cancer.

“I had a great community that helped me. They helped drive me places because I didn’t have a license at the time,” explained Routson.

Hailey’s stepdad made an incredible recovery, but throughout the struggle, she continued to be a source of positivity for her community through Tank. Now, during the pandemic, once again it’s Tank that’s bringing smiles to West High School.

“It’s all about helping the audience forget their worries for a second, so just having a giant lovable creature coming up and just loving on you,” said Routson.

Hailey is currently ranked second in the senior class, so she’ll have plenty of options for her next identity. She wants to study engineering, at either Texas A&M or the United States Air Force Academy.

Copyright 2020 KWTX. All rights reserved.

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