Mississippi State may have lost to the Florida Gators on Sept. 29, but the “magical” moment on the field that night involved Bay High graduate Metri Lyons.
Lyons’ dance performance in the end zone with the MSU Spirit Group went viral and became the “Hail State” moment of the night.
The moment, captured in a Facebook post, shows Lyons donning the Bulldogs mascot costume, best known to MSU fans and beyond as Bully, become a social media sensation with almost 3,000 “likes” and more than a quarter-million shares.
Not bad for a 2018 graduate from Bay High School in Bay St. Louis.
‘They chose me for the dance routine and we went out there and I went blank — and then I blinked and social media was in an uproar of happiness, so that was really cool — it was magical,” Lyons said.
He said it was one of his favorite moments as Bully the mascot.
“That was great,” Lyons said. “But the whole experience has been amazing — everyone loves Bully — black, white, men, women, young and old — he just spreads joy to everyone.”
Lyons grew up in Hancock County, where he was the mascot for Bay High before making the move into the competitive world of collegiate mascots. The French and theater major is now one of several who have the honor of wearing the Bully costume.
“There are several of us who play Bully,” he said. “Bully has so many duties like going to weddings and schools and hospitals, plus he has to be at all of the sporting events — there are a few of us who play Bully during the football games. I’m so glad I was chosen to lead the dance.”
Although he has experience as a mascot, Lyons said he has had no formal training in dance.
“We learned that routine during our first rehearsal,” he said. “I worked on it for about three weeks to get the energy higher, for muscle memory and to animate the moves.”