BOWLING GREEN — A Xenia High School grad was a big part of the action during a recent Bowling Green State University men’s basketball game.
And he isn’t even on the team.
Spencer Lockwood, a 2015 XHS graduate, was revealed to be one of two to portray Freddie Falcon, the popular and extremely secretive mascot of the northwest Ohio university. At halftime of the game — a 70-62 win over Kent State — Lockwood and his “sibling” Frieda Falcon took the court and yanked off their headgear in front of 3,540 at the Stroh Center.
What followed was a celebration worthy of a game-winning shot.
“It was for sure unreal,” Lockwood said. “There was a very big crowd. It was just awesome. I was able to look every direction and I saw a familiar face that was there celebrating with us.”
Until the beheading, a very low number of people knew who was inside the fuzzy costume. That’s part of the history and mystique of the popular anthropomorphized peregrine falcon.
“You’re not supposed to telly anybody at all and keep it to yourself,” Lockwood said. “The secrecy is a big thing. The secrecy allows all of us to be able to be Freddie and Frieda 100 percent. If you knew Spencer Lockwood was being Freddie, I wouldn’t be able to be as entertaining or spontaneous as most people would think. Kind of like Mickey Mouse. You just want to see him as Mickey Mouse. Always been part of that tradition.”
But once the reveal done, it was a different world for Lockwood, who played soccer and football at Xenia.
“It’s been a little wild up here recently,” he said. “The entire day is a little blurry. I kind of don’t really remember half the things I did when my head came off.”
Thank goodness for camera phones and social media though.
“It was a very successful day and nothing could ever make it a bad day,” Lockwood.
He found out he was chosen to be one of the Freddies during the spring 2017 semester. As surprising as the reveal was, that’s how shocking it was to Lockwood when he received the call.
“It was kind of crazy because I was in a meeting,” he said. “I had like a burst of energy and excitement.”
He said he had to use the restroom and excused himself. Then he had to return to the conference and act like everything was fine.
“It was a roller coaster of emotions,” Lockwood said.
Once the 2017-18 school year began, Freddie was everywhere — football, soccer, volleyball, and basketball. He will appear at baseball games as well.
“And everything else in between,” Lockwood said.
Everywhere Freddie is beckoned, he tends to appear.
“We hate to turn down requests because we just love what we do,” Lockwood said. “Being able to put a little bit of sunshine in other people’s day is always a good time for me. It was a little goal of mine to be able to give back to the university, to thank them for everything they’ve given me.”
For Lockwood, it really is for the birds.
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507 or on Twitter @ohiostatescott.