Chris Frost just couldn’t let the Eagle die.

“My sophomore year at the very end of the basketball season, the Eagle before me quit,” said Frost, now a senior at Windham High. “Parents began calling, wondering why the Eagle was no longer at the games.”

Frost, who took over as the mascot late in the 2008-09 basketball season, doesn’t merely dress up as the Windham Eagle. He is the Eagle.

Frost performs routines with the cheerleaders, dances in rhythm to snippets of music played during stoppages of play and struts around. He is constantly in motion.

“Before every game, I say to myself, ‘I am a dancing Eagle,’ ” Frost said. “When I get into that character, I feel I can pull from the mood of the game and the environment around me.”

When Frost runs out of things to do during the game, he struts, striking a condescending pose.

“It’s not something I inherited,” he said. “Actually, I feel I made it up as I went along. When I get into the character as the Eagle, I feel like that is what the Eagle would be doing. He’s a character that is going to show everybody that we have Eagle Pride.”

For two football seasons and two-plus basketball seasons, Frost has dressed for every home game as the Windham Eagle.

“Throughout the game, he’s always enthusiastic and he wants to be there,” said Marissa Michaud, a junior cheerleader. “He always keeps us entertained.”

While a few of Frost’s routines are scripted, most of his actions are spontaneous.

“It kind of comes naturally, but at the same time you kind to have to think about it, too,” Frost said. “I think a lot about the team that is coming in and what the atmosphere is probably going to be like, and anticipate what the mood is going to be. I think about if the team is down by a lot, how the crowd is going to be like, and how I’m going to make up for that.”

While he’s dressed as the Eagle, Frost has free rein.

“He just does whatever he wants, and it’s funny,” Michaud said. “He’s always joking around.”

“He’s an entertainer, for sure,” said Rich Drummond, Windham’s athletic director. “I’ve seen him in numerous events. I think the way he connects with the kids is good for the community. He does it all tactfully and tastefully.”

Frost, who competed in cross country, has a performing background.

A tenor, he is a member of the school’s award-winning chamber singers.

For two years, he also has led the high school in the Pledge of Allegiance over the public address system at the start of the school day and has read announcements.

“I like to sing,” Frost said. “I like being on stage, and I like making people happy. It gives me a good feeling, whether I’m singing or being the Eagle, or even if I’m doing the announcements at school.”

But the Eagle doesn’t sing. It never talks. It communicates solely by flapping its wings and moving its body.

“It’s a different kind of performance than when you are on stage,” Frost said. “When you’re on stage, I feel like it’s a very serious expression of myself. With the Eagle, it’s more like an act. It’s more big and funny.”

Frost actually scared his youngest sister, 2-year-old Emma Grace, the first time she saw him perform as the Eagle.

“My baby sister was afraid of me,” he said. “At first, she didn’t know it was me, and she got pretty scared. I told her, ‘this is brother,’ and I took off my head and showed her.”

Frost’s other two sisters, Stephanie and Samantha, play basketball at Windham.

“It’s awesome because my parents come to the game, and they get to see me and they get to see my sisters,” he said. “And you can hear my 2-year-old sister calling me from the stands. She calls me ‘Ha Ha.’ “

Windham’s players seldom get to see Frost’s antics during their games.

“We usually are so focused on the game that we don’t know what he’s doing,” said Ben Noble, a senior guard. “We do see him run down the sidelines every once and while getting the fans pumped up.”

But the players appreciate what Frost is doing for them.

“Whenever the crowd gets into it, we get more energy as a team,” Noble said. “When you get cheered on, it just lifts you. He’s the most energetic and has the most school spirit of everyone around him. If he can get the crowd going, it just helps the team for sure.”

 

Staff Writer Paul Betit can be contacted at 791-6424 or at: [email protected]