SCOTTSDALE (3TV/CBS 5) - The Horizon Huskies football team have a lot to be proud of this year. They had a winning season, they made the playoffs and they became a force to be reckoned with.
"The kids have have worked hard each game and they continue to get better," said head coach Ty Wisdom (affectionately called "Wiz" by the players.)
So what's the driving force behind the team?
Part of the motivation could come from the team's unique mascot: Nala the Husky, who leads the charge onto the football field at home games.
"It's a great tradition," said senior Ryan Hoey. "We have an awesome mascot."
Since 2011, this fun-loving Husky with the piercing blue eyes, has provided instant energy for the team as each home game gets underway.
"It started when my son started playing football his freshman year." said Nala's owner Rachel Dole. "She absolutely loves it. She watches them all night long. She absolutely loves doing it."
"It's a really cool deal and we take pride in it," said Coach Wisdom.
Nala's owner says it's part of her fall routine that she can't wait to do.
"We live just up the street," said Dole. "She hears the crowd and the music and she gets excited, because she knows that's part of what she does."
Horizon has certainly become Nala's "Dawg Pound" and she knows her routine... even though one time, she broke loose from her collar!
"She ran right down the field and she got to the 50-yard line and she knew where she needed to go and went off to the sideline and did her thing," said Dole.
On game day, she's one of the most popular faces running around on campus. She is the queen bee of Horizon High.
"It's fun and it's very special because she loves the interaction with the fans. And the kids want to pet her and take pictures with her. She's a little bit of celebrity, I guess," said Dole.
This 8-year-old four-legged beauty is the team's unique lucky charm, and she has become an institution on campus.
"It's definitely a cool tradition that will continue as long as I'm here," said Wisdom.
"It's special; it's special to be part of that. Not having a child on the team that's special for us," said Dole.