The magazine for Western Washington University

True Blue Viking

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Sophomore Kevin W. Ernest comes to so many WWU games, he bought a season pass. “It never gets old for me,” he says. “When 6 o’clock rolls around, I put on my face paint and head down to the gym and have a good time.” | Photo by Jordan Stead

Most days, Kevin W. Ernest is a serious student, quietly immersed in marine

science courses and working at the Wilson Library circulation desk.

But at WWU sporting events, Ernest, 20, is anything but quiet.

“I just like to have a lot of school spirit,” says Ernest of Bonney Lake. “Why not just go crazy all the time, paint my face blue and go shirtless?”

Athletes can count on Ernest to liven the crowd at basketball and volleyball games as well as cross-country meets. With a blue face, Viking horns and “WWU” painted on his chest, he would be hard to miss even if he weren’t whooping it up in the stands.

“He’s like the rally guy,” says photographer Jordan Stead, a senior majoring in Visual Journalism and an intern with WWU Athletics. “He’s always getting everyone riled up, running up and down the side of the court.”

A former intern for Zuma Press in Southern California, Stead’s work has also appeared in Seattle Magazine, the Seattle Times and the Bellingham Herald. He’s now applying for his next internship to launch his career in photography after he graduates in spring 2011.

As for Ernest, he hopes to take marine biology classes soon at WWU’s Shannon Point Marine Center in Anacortes. But the sophomore has no plans to hang up his Viking horns any time soon.