NPHS band gains unique mascot



David rocks on out on the drums with, from left, Jacob Hoaglund, Tyler Axford and Michael Randolph.

The NPHS Bulldog Marching Band is full of sacred traditions. These include a rubber plastic chicken, broken pvc pipes, and most recently a life size modeling mannequin who spends a majority of his time in the band room. 

The beloved mannequin’s name is David Mark Bradley; named for current band teacher Mark Messner and old band teacher Brett Bradley. 

Bradley was purchased on October 2, 2021 during the Harvest of Harmony marching competition. The band had stopped at the Hilltop Mall for some downtime so juniors Michael Randolph and Lucas Erickson decided to go shopping. 

David gets zen in a yoga pose in the band room. (Sawyer Davis-Magnuson)

“David was bought by fate,” Erickson said. 

There was quite a surprise for Randolph and Erickson when the box was opened however. 

“When we first had David, we thought he was six foot. He’s like five foot two and he has two right hands,” Randolph said. 

Despite his imperfections, Bradley was fully accepted by the band as an official member. 

“When I went to sit down and eat my pizza in the parking lot at the mall in Grand Island, I looked over to see a life size mannequin sitting with the other band kids. I didn’t question it,” Junior Justina Viter said. 

Just hours later, Bradley was found on the back of the bus in a uniform and pirate hat.

Since then, David has gone on many adventures and developed a love of travel. 

He is moved to a new location in the band room everyday. 

“David adds a very unique presence to the band room.” Messner said.

Some of Bradley’s hangout spots are under Mr. Messner’s desk, in Mr. Messner’s Chair, in band lockers, cabinets, chairs, and most dangerously, overlooking the band room from the ceiling. 

Bradley has taken many adventures as well. He travels on the bus to every competition and has made various trips around town. 

Unfortunately, he was unable to accompany the band to San Antonio last spring. He still had thrilling experiences in spite of this.

On the night of the homecoming parade, Bradley was in a car accident. Luckily, his only injury was some minor scuffing to the head. 

As Bradley’s popularity climbs, so does his risk of danger. Everyday, his life is threatened by countless freshmen.

“I had to come down here. I had to make a few phone calls and send a few emails, because some freshman posted on their story that they were giving David a piggyback ride,” Viter said.

Since the event, Bradley has been put in safer locations. 

Messner will allow Bradley to be more active in the future with the band and the guardians of Bradley plan on keeping him in the band for a long time. 

The future looks bright for this plastic beacon of hope.