The return of Mr. Wildcat.


Zander Barkemeyer gets crowed as Mr. Wildcat

Lindsay Dodd, Feature Writer

After two years of little normalcy, De Soto High School is experiencing a rebirth of old traditions; one of those being Mr. Wildcat. 

“Mr. Wildcat is a spoof of Miss. America, it’s like a funny male pageant,” 

Mr. Wildcat organizer Katie Fitzpatrick said. 

This year there were five contestants and each performed in an opening dance number, sportswear, talent act, formal wear and a Q&A section.  

“For formal wear, we dressed up really nice and for sportswear, we dressed up in a silly costume that we created,” senior contestant Zander Barkemeyer said. 

While Mr. Wildcat is known for being a hilarious show put on at DHS, there is a deeper meaning behind why Mr. Wildcat exists. 

“It’s a big fundraiser for charity, so it’s a funny show, but the main heart of the purpose is that this year [the proceeds are going to] Children’s Miracle Network,” Fitzpartick said. 

Children’s Miracle Network’s mission is to increase funds and awareness for local children’s hospitals and other Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. This is a non-profit organization that relies on donations and community support. 

For the past two years, Mr. Wildcat was put on the back burner due to the COVID-19 pandemic placing restrictions such as masks and spacing. 

“We had a lot of restrictions we were going to have in 2020, but then fourth quarter shut down, so we physically couldn’t even be here,” Fitzpatrick said. “Last year there were so many restrictions with having to wear masks, be spaced out and things like that, so there was just no room or way to put on the show during that time.” 

Since there were no shows during the past two years, Mr. Wildcat is a new event to underclassmen and the junior class. Therefore, many students were unaware of what Mr. Wildcat is. 

“I think the hardest part was getting people to know what it was again, because I think the only people who have actually seen the show are seniors who were freshmen the first time,” Fitzpatrick said. “The hardest part is getting that buy-in again and having people realize what it is and then starting from scratch to have more people join and people come to see it.” 

Since Mr. Wildcat is fairly new to almost all of the student body, there were only five contestants that participated in the show this year. 

“I didn’t prepare at all, personally. I knew my bit already because I did it a few years ago, so I already knew it. I’m just went with the wind,” Barkemeyer said. 

This year, Mr. Wildcat was held on March 9 at 7 pm in the DHS theater. While it might just be known as a funny show, to the contestants it is something special. 

“I think Mr. Wildcat means to me just having a good time, just showing up and decompressing for the day,” Barkemeyer said. 

After an hour’s show, the votes had been cast and the results were in. The 2022 Mr. Wildcat winner was Zander Barkemeyer.