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Texas Tech Welcomes New Mascots at Transfer of Reins and Passing of Guns Ceremony

April 19, 2024

Texas Tech Welcomes New Mascots at Transfer of Reins and Passing of Guns Ceremony

The next mascots are here for the prestigious Spirit Program as it looks to continue a storied history.

The Masked Rider and Raider Reds scarlet and black don new faces for the 2024-25 season. 

The energetic gameday mascot Raider Red will see some new additions as graduating senior Holden Jackola continues the ceremonial tradition of passing the guns to a new group.

Holden Jackola congratulates his Raider Red successor.
Holden Jackola congratulates his Raider Red successor.

“I really can't think of a more energetic person to assume the role of Raider Red. He was a perfect fit for the job and made every attempt to squeeze everything out of every opportunity he was given and did an exemplary job,” said Spirit Program Director Stephanie Rhode

“The position of Raider Red requires such a big commitment of time and energy, and we feel the program will continue to be an even bigger part of connecting others to Texas Tech University,” Rhode said.

The Spirit Program's iconic Masked Rider welcomed its 63rd rider with the selection of Ellie Brown. 

Centennial Champion with Ellie Brown
Centennial Champion with the new Masked Rider, Ellie Brown

Brown received the reins for Centennial Champion from Lauren Bloss on Friday (April 19). 

Bloss did an exceptional job as the Masked Rider during a season filled with uncertainty and many firsts for the Spirit Program.

“I don't think I've worked with a more patient person than Lauren,” Rhode said. “She faced so many challenges over the course of the year and she did so gracefully.”

Lauren Bloss
Lauren Bloss, former Masked Rider

Brown, a native of Canyon, Texas, is a senior animal science major with a concentration in pre-veterinary medicine. She has an extensive background with horses; she began riding at age 11, then cutting and training horses in the years to come.

Brown served in the Spirit Program this past year as a handler of Centennial Champion for Bloss. 

“We are so excited to have Ellie as the 63rd Masked Rider. Her background and demeanor are what make her the perfect fit as the new Masked Rider,” said Rhode. 

Brown's connection with Centennial Champion will certainly make her transition to Masked Rider smoother. 

“He's kind of like a friend that you're working with … he has a big personality,” Brown said. “He loves to be right up close and personal with you – you'll walk out there, and he'll snicker at you and want to talk to you; he's a special horse.”

Brown comes from a long line of Red Raiders beginning with her late grandfather followed by aunts, uncles and both parents. 

Being the Masked Rider is the culmination of the work ethic, experience and character Brown has displayed. Brown said she has plenty to look forward to as she begins her journey. 

“The football games and all the big crowds and all that's so exciting, but the biggest role I want to play is with those little girls and boys like me who were looking up and wanting to take a picture and be with the Rider,” said Brown.

“That's what I want to be, someone who is kind and can take those little kids aside and say, ‘Yes, you can do this, too. You can get here. Just work hard and grow that passion.'”

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