GREENFIELD — Minutes before the start of the Colts P.R.I.D.E. program at Harris Elementary School Wednesday morning, Andrew Zellers pointed excitedly to a man helping set up the display.
From his seat in the bleachers, the second-grader was convinced he was staring at quarterback Andrew Luck.
That turned out to be wishful thinking on the junior Colts fan’s part, but what he didn’t realize was the man who looked much like a stagehand was actually the star of the show – he just hadn’t donned his costume yet.
Trey Mock, 31, portrays the Colts’ loveable horse mascot, “Blue.” It’s a full-time gig he’s been doing since the character’s inception in 2006.
The job includes 205 appearances at local schools each year, each time putting on a program aimed at encouraging kids to lead healthier lives.
Mock said it’s a challenge to balance fun with education, but he believes it’s a goal he and emcee Janelle Christie achieve together.
The mascot’s P.R.I.D.E. program stresses excellence in five areas: physical fitness; respect for yourself and others; intelligent decisions; diet; and education. It is one of five programs the Colts organization utilizes.
Christie leads the presentation with playful interjections from Blue, who uses simple sign language to relay his thoughts and invites students and staff to interact.
“We’ll talk about something serious, and then, you back it up with something fun,” said Christie, 23. “He’s really good at keeping their attention.”
Blue’s costume helps keep all eyes on him. The fuzzy blue suit is complete with a flexible belly that wiggles with a sway of Mock’s hips and keeps young audiences in stitches.
Mock said he enjoys being a very physical performer and making the mascot’s costume come to life. It’s not always an easy task to keep up the energy, though. Mock estimated he loses about 13 pounds of water weight at every Colts game.
Wednesday, Harris students stomped and cheered as Mock made his entrance as Blue to promote the Colts organization’s P.R.I.D.E. program, which Mock created.
“Our team’s super supportive and wants to be in the community,” said Mock, a native of Marietta, Ga., who got his start playing Aubie the Tiger for Auburn University.
After Wednesday’s 30-minute presentation, Elizabeth Blagburn, 7, declared Blue a smashing success.
“He’s my favorite mascot because he’s the only one that I love,” she said.