Tornado Mascot Revealed




He can see the crowd and the players, the cheerleaders and the marching band, but all through a small opening in his mask.
The Hoover Tornado Mascot runs across the tracks at every football game, waving at the audience members, and taking pictures with small children.
Under the bright white lights of the field on a Friday night, struggling in the heat of the costume, the mascot encourages more than just team spirit. He has become a representation of the Hoover Ohana. But who is he?
Who is the student behind the tornado?
Vache Sipanian (’21) has been our school’s mascot since his freshman year, but his role as a spirit leader started many years before.
“It has made me feel like I’m playing different characters throughout the years,” said Sipanian, who has been the Burr Bear for the City of Burbank, Clifford The Big Red Dog, Tommy Titan, and more. He has taken on myriad roles throughout the years, becoming a new person with each suit.
However, being a mascot is not all fun and games, but rather an art he has had to practice.
There are rules to the performance, and he has embedded them into his quotidian life. It is crucial to “always be in character.” For the few hours a week, Sipanian must be someone else, never breaking character or speaking while he is in the mask.
Nevertheless, he is able to rile up a crowd without his voice, as the school’s favorite twister. He is ready to blow away everyone he meets.
That is why he does what he does, it is why he stepped up to take on the responsibility. The ability to view everything in “a different perspective,” Sipanian explains, is what intrigues him.
“I like the smiles on people’s faces, and they get happy which makes me happy,” Sipanaian said, knowing that his efforts are going towards the joy in everyone’s hearts as they attend a game or school event. It is a reminder of the school’s roots, the idea that has manifested into a culture of individuals who strive to succeed as a whole.