Leprechaun says she’s excited to represent school

Keller notes challenges of serving in new role during pandemic

Senior+Madi+Keller+fired+up+the+crowd+at+the+women%27s+soccer+game+on+Aug.+26+against+Roncalli.+

Ethan Marasco

Senior Madi Keller fired up the crowd at the women’s soccer game on Aug. 26 against Roncalli.

Liam Eifert, Reporter

In a typical year, the leprechaun is carried into the Welch Activity Center at the end of the Irish 500 in May. 

Last year was not a typical year, and this year is not starting out that way, either. So it was not until the middle of last month that students, during a video shown in class, would learn the identity of this year’s leprechaun and the significance of the announcement to the school. 

That video let everyone know that senior Madi Keller would take on the role of leprechaun, the school’s first female leprechaun. Keller wrote in an email, “I found out that I was going to become the leprechaun two days before our first football game.” 

She’s taken on the role at a time when sporting events, especially for spectators are unusually constricted due to the current pandemic. Student Council co-moderator Mr. Ed Freije ’99 said he helped oversee the substantially revised induction and selection process for the new leprechaun. 

Freije said, that throughout the summer, “(Through the summer science teacher) Mr. (Adam) Barth, myself, in collaboration with (Vice Principal Ms. Kathy) Saum, and (Principal) Mrs. (Julie) Barthel, in a sense, we thought that establishing a little bit more of a process made sense, and so we did that.” 

Describing that process, Freije said, “In the past, at least to our knowledge, it had been a handing on of the leprechaun. The current leprechaun picks and hands on (to) the next leprechaun. This process, we thought, could ultimately be a really good thing for the school and with the student body, with opportunities (to let) those that are interested express that interest and put down their thoughts on why they would be good.” 

Freije said he and the other administrators still wanted the previous leprechaun to have a role in the selection process. He said, “We wanted to make it a priority to be in communication with and collaborate with (last year’s leprechaun) Max (Beatty ‘12).” Through this process, “ultimately it just came down to those that expressed interest and those that we thought would be good and Madi came out being named,” Freije said. 

Freije watched the varsity football season opener – a xx-xx win over Westfield — from near the student section and observed, unsure of what to expect. Freije said, “I thought (Keller’s) outfit was awesome. I thought the way she carried herself was great, the student was strong.” 

Freije said, “Sometimes, I think we’re all kind of trying to feel ourselves through what feels right. It’s hard when you’re in masks and when you’re supposed to be social distancing and what that looks like and can we fit in bleachers with the numbers of tickets.”

Freije said he thought that, regardless of challenging circumstances, Keller brought something special to being the leprechaun. He said, “She’s so positive, even before this role, speaking with her last year, smiling and excited and just take that now and formalize it in a leprechaun role, I think there’s a lot of goodness there.”

Keller is ready to tackle her role as leprechaun.

She said, “(I plan to add enthusiasm) with exciting chants, high spirits and tons of fun.” With everything that’s been going on, she said, “I think it’s good to have a fresh face to get everyone excited after we’ve been apart for so long.” 

thought it would be a fun and unique thing to do as a senior.”

— Senior Madi Keller

The reason she initially expressed interest in being leprechaun, she said, was “just because I thought it would be a fun and unique thing to do as a senior.”

When Keller was told she was going to be the leprechaun, she said she was pulled out of class and felt what she called “overwhelming excitement.” She said that some of the staff have been a big help in making the transition. Through all this excitement, Keller said she’s been trying to find something new and fun to do in her new role. Still, she said, “I have been trying to adjust to what all my job entails.” 

Keller said, “Walking into a game the way I’ve been dressed, I just kind of walk in and no one questions it.” When she’s at a game, she said that regarding current restrictions, “the hardest thing that I’ve faced is getting people at games keep their masks on and spread out because Cathedral’s such a touchy, lovey environment that no one wants to stand a couple feet away from their friends.”

Keller said, “I’ve been getting a lot of backlash because I’m a chick and I’m not as peppy as they want me to be or as loud as they want me to be, but I think that’s going turn around as time goes on.” About being Cathedral’s first female leprechaun, she said, “I think it’s super fun, I don’t really care what anyone is saying, I’m having a great time.” 

She added, “I’m just really excited to be represent Cathedral in this new way.” 

Keller’s overall outlook on being the leprechaun this year seems to fit with Freije’s description of her positive attitude. Excited about being the first female leprechaun, Keller wrote in an email, “I think it’s so much fun to represent my school in this way. 2020 has been so crazy, might as well make it crazier.”