MAGNOLIA, AR. – This Saturday will be the first Mulerider home football game in more than 20 years at Southern Arkansas University that the beloved mule, Molly B, will not be carrying the mascot. It is going to take two mules to fill her shoes.
Molly B passed away on March 5, 2013, at the SAU farm.
Molly Ann who was donated to SAU by alumnus Ron Harrell last fall will eventually replace her. Molly Ann started to ease the workload on the aging Molly B last year, with the two taking turns carrying the current mascot representative, Megan Maye.
Maye, who is a senior and in her final year of representing Mulerider athletics, is breaking in a third Molly, Molly C, before Saturday’s game. Molly C was recently purchased by the SAU farm from two SAU alumni – Duane and Dotty Webb of Mena,
Molly Ann and Molly C will share the sideline duties at this season’s highly anticipated football games.
After every SAU touchdown, the Mulerider runs behind the endzone with the Muleriders flag waving in the wind in a tradition that dates back to the early years of the University.
“One of the reasons we got Molly C was because we knew we were going to have a pretty potent offense this football season,” said Rusty Hayes, SAU rodeo coach and director of farm operations. “After the Muleriders scored 50 points in their season opener, we expect our mules are going to get tired this year at the home games.”
Molly C also fits the bill for another tradition relating to the history of the Mulerider mascot – she has been put to work on the farm.
Not long after the University was established in Magnolia in 1909, athletic teams started to form and compete against other schools. Being primarily an agriculture college at the time, members of the football team borrowed farm mules to catch a nearby train for away games. One of the early coaches touted his team as “my Muleriders,” and the name stuck.
Kickoff is as 6 p.m. against