Nathan Conner wins Crawdads art contest

Team mascot visits Sawmills school to deliver news
Mar. 25, 2014 @ 04:23 PM

A bright red crawdad, towering over 6 feet tall, ambled through the hallways of Sawmills Elementary School. Dressed in a Hickory Crawdads baseball T-shirt and Hawaiian-print shorts, the crustacean mascot was on his way to deliver news to fourth-grader Nathan Connor.

Connor’s art class gasped when Conrad Crawdad ducked under the doorway and walked into the classroom. He waved to the kids as Megan Meade, the Hickory Crawdads’ director of community relations and events, announced that Connor had won the team’s art competition. Beating out 1,719 other entries from elementary and middle schools in the region, Connor’s artwork will be used as the souvenir program cover for the 2014 season.

“We liked it because it had both mascots and the all-star logo,” Meade said. “It also incorporated a lot of what we want to portray on our cover.”

Connor’s drawing boasted Conrad and Candy Crawdad smiling and waving the Hickory Crawdads baseball flag. Along with two of the team’s logos, the picture was fully colored with vibrant reds and cool blues.

Brad Wright, Connor’s art teacher, expressed how proud he was of Connor and had a suspicion that Connor would win.

“He’s probably my top artist that I have,” Wright said.

Connor said he wants to be an artist when he grows up and has been drawing since he was 6 or 7.

“I like to draw lots of stuff that lots of other people draw, then make it my own,” Connor said.

He also paints, but he prefers colored pencils.

In addition to having his artwork printed on every program, Connor and three family members will be treated as VIPs during the ballgame on April 15. He will receive four box seats along with a meal and will throw the opening pitch. His original drawing will be framed and presented to him at the game.