Looking Back on the Indian Family

JONESBORO (KAIT)-Since 1931 the chant of the ASU Indians echoed through the stands as the Indian family stood tall at both football and basketball games.

"I remember my dad taking me to see games at kays field and one of the memories that i have strong memories i have from that experience is watching the chief and the Indian family."

As an adult Kevin Davis would take to the field as Chief Big Track, a role that he felt in no way was disrespectful to native tribes.

"I was honored i thought it was almost noble the way we did it," said Davis.

In fact, the Indians got their name from the Osage tribe which was based in Northern Arkansas and known for its fighting spirit.

"We weren't out there in a cartoon type of character with the heads on and this that and the other we were a live mascot."

Wally Jackson was also proud to be an Indian.

He played along side Chief Big Track as the Brave, noting that being part of the Indian family came with great respect and responsibility.

"We were keeping vigil over our team," said Jackson.

And both players and fans were proud of the tribe.

But the jingling bells are soon to ring no more, as tradition says goodbye, and ASU gets a new mascot.

"The sun is setting on a tradition that was beloved by fans i think.. And asu sadly is a school that doesn't have a lot of tradition," said Davis.

Now that tradition will be retired, but the years of fun won't be forgotten.

"There's a lot of memories.....a lot of memories.. ..but it was fun," said Davis.

Both Davis and Jackson are still living and working in the Jonesboro area.

They say to lose the Indian is to lose the true spirit of Northeast Arkansas.

Story ideas or comments?  Email Will at wcarter@kait8.com.