Someone You Should Know: ‘Peep’ the Sioux Falls Kid Mascot
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — From furry birds to fierce bulls a Sioux Falls nine year old is grabbing the attention of local and national sports teams as he pursues his dream of being a mascot.
That’s why he’s this week’s Someone You Should Know.
Nick Ellerbroek has grown up going to Canaries and Stampede games which is a tradition that spurred a passion.
“Nick fell in love with mascotting when he was just three, and we put a suit together because he wanted to be Benny for Halloween,” says Angela Ellerbroek.
Angela Ellerbroek is Nick’s mom. She sent the Halloween photo to the Chicago Bulls and the rest was history.
At only 3 years old, Nick was making his mascot debut as mini Benny.
“It was fun because I never knew I’d be a mini mascot, and it blew my mind when they said get this kid out here,” says Nick.
“We were surprised. We had no idea that this would be something he would love,” says Angela.
Now the nine year old’s been reporting to the birdcage before almost every home game for the last six seasons, but he’s not a player. He’s Peep Cagey’s sidekick.
“You can tell he really enjoys what he does, and it just brings a lot of energy to the fans, and you can tell Cagey gets a boost from him. Everyone loves him. The kids are always asking where’s peep where’s Peep,” says Donovan Knott of the Canaries.
Donovan says Nick has skills that are unmatched.
“One thing I’ve really noticed is that there are kids that don’t love Cagey, but they love Peep, because he’s more their size,” says Knott.
Nick makes it his mission to keep smiles on faces.
“It’s really rewarding because he’s very comfortable with the fans. He goes up and gives everybody hugs everybody high fives,” say Angela.
Nick makes about 60 appearances a year, which makes for a rigorous schedule.
That means no games on school nights; he’s limited to 30 minutes in a costume and has to take several water breaks.
“People are surprised and they always want to hear the story. How did you get started, and is it hot, does he drink a lot of water, can he see, do people go crazy, and yes yes and yes,” says Angela.
Nick says his favorite mascot is Benny the Bull, but his list of sidekicks is nothing short of extraordinary.
Tip toe of the Stampede, Charlie Coyote of USD, Crunch for the Timberwolves, Mini Toro for the Houston Texans and Mini Sluggar for the Kansas City Royals just to name a few.
While the 4th grader has his whole life ahead, he knows what he wants to be when he grows up.
“I want to be a mascot forever,” says Nick.
Nick says he’s aspiring to be a future Aubie the Tiger of Auburn University, when he goes to college.