Bearcat Girl is ready to roar in Rupp Arena

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By John Herndon

Bearcat Girl is ready. And very confident.

A fixture at Anderson County basketball games since her freshman year, now Bearcat Girl gets to retire her cape in Rupp Arena.

But, contrary to what most of the state is saying, she does not believe that she’ll have to hang it up Thursday night when Anderson County takes on Elliott County in the first round of the Sweet 16. Bearcat Girl is as confident that her favorite team is going to shock the state and end the storied careers of Elliott County’s seniors.

“We are going to win,” Bearcat Girl said before the school pep rally Monday. “Wednesday is my birthday and all I want is for us to win. That would be a late birthday present. We are gonna beat them.”

Bearcat Girl, otherwise known as Whitney Beasley, is a senior at Anderson County High School. She’s at all home games, most away and is always dressed as Anderson County’s Caped Crusader.

Some have referred to Bearcat Girl’s classmate, C.J. Penny, as Batman while Jacob Russell is his Robin. It’s really kind of old – some used those same terms to describe Jonathan Beasley and John Coulter in 1997 – but Bearcat Girl is new.

And her enthusiasm is what makes March Madness, well, MADNESS.

As far as Bearcat Girl is concerned, Anderson County is never hopelessly behind.She knew that Penny was going to come through with his now legendary 3-pointer to beat Shelby County in the regional final last week.

“I believe in C.J.,” Bearcat Girl said with the same exuberance that she shows every game. “That was awesome.”

Bearcat Girl says the school is a totally different place this week. “It is so exciting,” she says. “I have never been to a game in Rupp Arena.”

Bearcat Girl knows the present very well. She knows what her friends have accomplished is a really big deal, but she doesn’t have a keen sense of Anderson history.

“I didn’t know we had ever been,” she said. Seeing that she was not quite 6 the last time Anderson got out of the region, we will cut her some slack.

“I am going to be there Thursday night,” Bearcat Girl said.

Like we had to ask.

Since the KHSAA puts the school band on the front rows, Bearcat Girl might have to find a creative way to get close to the Rupp Arena floor. She only grins, “I am going to be as close as I can get.”

We can never dampen Bearcat Girl’s passion.

Not that we’d even try.

She knows Elliott County is good. And she now knows the Lions average better than 87 points a game.

Bearcat Girl isn’t worried.

“If they do that, we are just going to score 89.”

Bearcat Girl hath spoken.

E-mail John Herndon at jpherndon@theandersonnews.com.