WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) — Packed stadiums with cheering fans.

That’s where the WVU Mountaineer can most often be found, but you can also see him bringing his contagious energy to school kids before exams.

Woodsdale Elementary welcomed Mikel Hager Friday as they prepare for state testing.

After joining students in a game of Horse, he took questions and showed off his iconic deer hide and buckskin.

Hager has only officially been in the role for less than a week, and says he’s most looking forward to one-on-one interactions like these.

“I think of the Mountaineer as less of a mascot and more of an ambassador really. An ambassador for the state, for WVU. Some days you’re talking to grade schools with 10 kids, some days you’re trying to get 65,000 people excited. So you have to be really versatile and be able to fill many different roles as the Mountaineer. “

Mikel Hager, WVU Mountaineer

During the pep rally, he talked to the kids about the importance of effort, even when they don’t get the result they want.

He plans to make trips to all 55 counties before he passes on the rifle.