Leprechaun makes his plans for the year

McNulty tradition goes way, way back


Caroline Steiger

Senior Michael McNulty, in his leprechaun finest, fires up the crowd at Lucas Oil Stadium during the football team’s 31-7 win over Noblesville.

By Jackson Hern, Reporter

Entering into his final year at the high school he had been looking forward to ever since he was young, senior Michael McNulty is eager to embrace the most recent addition to his resumé: school mascot.

“Even in grade school people always told me I would be pretty good at it, and I always got pretty loud and excited at football games. But when I finally got to high school, I didn’t really think about it that much; it just never really crossed my mind,” he said. “So when (Daniel) Jamell (’18) told me last year, I honestly was shocked. I really was not expecting it at all.”

After getting over his initial excitement, McNulty quickly rose to the task. It has become a familiar sight already to stumble across this year’s leprechaun, dressed up from head to toe, cheering on the Irish at all sorts of sporting events. He has quickly proved himself to be more than capable.

“I would compare Mike to the mayor of a city,” said senior Bobby Welch about his good friend. “There’s really not a lot that he doesn’t do well.”

Leading the student section in cheer after cheer, McNulty looks right at home sporting the famous green and gold garb.

The leprechaun is nearly as old as the Cathedral itself; it was first selected to serve as the school mascot in the early 1920s. It is a timeless tradition that has survived the school’s changes in both locations and traditions and even student enrollment throughout the years.

However, the school mascot isn’t the only part of Cathedral that’s been around for a while; the McNultys aren’t exactly new, either. “I am a fourth generation Cathedral student. My great grandpa was actually a part of the first graduating class to be at Cathedral all four years, which is pretty cool. My dad went here, many of my aunts and uncles went here, my mom’s dad went here,” he said. With a family history that stretches back for almost a century at Cathedral, McNulty treats the ability to represent his school every day as an honor.

Living life as the leprechaun isn’t all fun and games by any stretch of the imagination. “There are a lot more responsibilities than you would think. I have to handle things like T-shirt sales, send out emails, work the Twitter, so it keeps me from slacking off during my senior year, which is nice,” he said.

Being a senior in high school is busy enough as it is; managing his new identity on top of that is certainly challenging. “It’s a lot more work than it seems like from the outside, and so you rely a lot on your friends to help you out. It’s not just all you all the time,” McNulty said. “There is a decent amount of pressure that comes with it. I have to represent the entire school, but also try to include everyone and make sure that no one is left out.”

It certainly seems that he is comfortable leading the student body during assemblies and other events, while still managing to enjoy it for himself. “It’s simple. Mike is a man of the people. Being friends with him provides limitless connections,” said senior Stu Gomez, another one of McNulty’s close friends. Despite adding countless tasks and responsibilities to his life, Micheal asserts that it is absolutely worth it, especially when he gets to see that work pay off later on down the road.

McNulty has his hopes set high for the rest of the year. “Honestly, I’d like to see a lot of sports make it past City this year. This is Indianapolis, our city, and so we need to win some more City championships. I would love to win a couple State titles this year as well; that’d be really hype. It would make being leprechaun a lot of fun because those State games get really energetic and intense.”

When asked if he had anything he would like to share with the school, he said, “You can let everyone know that I really want to win the Zone 8 banner this year. I definitely think we can do it, and it would be massive for our school.” As lofty as those goals might seem, McNulty doesn’t seem too worried. He knows that he has put the work in for a reason, as have his classmates and fellow students. Whether you find him screaming himself hoarse at a football game, or passionately delivering a speech at the Homecoming assembly, it won’t take you long to realize how serious he is.

Senior Pete Haigerty agrees. “We feel like we can run the city with Mike.”

It’s clear that Michael McNulty was chosen as the leprechaun for a reason, and he has no plans to disappoint.