Passing of the mascot


The Declaration Staff

Because of the Homecoming game, Piccinnini (left) decided it was a good time to visit Colonia High School to see how Benson (right) was doing as the mascot.

By Kelly Branco and Jada Davis

Anthony Picinnini, graduate of Colonia’s class of 2018, brought back Colonia High School’s Mascot, Pete the Patriot. This year, sophomore Tyler Benson has taken over the responsibilities of the mascot.

Finding a Mascot

In 2015, now graduate of Colonia High School, Anthony Piccinnini brought back the beloved Pete the Patriot.  He graduated and that meant that it was time to pick a new mascot. Although, it’s hard to find a mascot because many students are not willing to try. Mrs. Andrea Simkovich , the cheerleading advisor talks about how she chooses the mascot, “we don’t get many people who want to try out, so instead it’s whoever asks first. Tyler told Mrs.Murphy last year he was interested so that’s how he became the mascot.” Piccinni says that he had no say in who was going to follow him.

Benson talks about why he wanted to become mascot: “ One part of it was my really good friend Anthony Piccinini was the mascot and he seemed to have so much fun. It seemed like a cool thing to do and it’s fun to show school spirit.”

Photo Credit: Kerri Lishak
Under the Friday night lights, the Colonia Patriot poses with fans.

What’s it like being a mascot?

Being a mascot isn’t easy. A lot of commitment and dedication has to go into being mascot. Benson said that he doesn’t think just anyone can be the mascot. “It was hard for me at first. It’s in front of most of the school, so there’s some nerves. You have to make sure you’re keeping the crowd entertained and not boring anybody. You wanna make sure that you’re having a good time and you’re making everyone else around you happy.”

Benson received the title of mascot with little to no notice at all. Simkovich gave Benson the mascot uniform the day of the first home game this season. As time went on, he learned the cheers. “All the cheerleaders are really nice and they all very welcoming and helpful. It was easy to learn the cheers because of how nice they were.”

Benson has a routine before he goes to the games. He usually takes naps after school so that he can keep up his energy during the game. Then, he eats something (his meal of choice being frozen pizza)  and reviews the cheers before the game.

Benson is also apart of the theater department and the choirs. He thinks that being involved in the performing arts has helped him in easing into the role of the mascot. “I picked up a lot of the cheers and dances way easier, it happens naturally and practice.”

Benson’s hard work as a mascot hasn’t gone unnoticed. Piccinnini, former mascot, thinks Benson is “having a good time. He will be connected to it more and have more fun, but right now he’s doing a great job and seems to be getting the crowd involved.” Despite Simkovich not truly picking the mascot, she thinks that Benson is doing a fantastic job. “I think he’s doing a great job. He has a great personality. He’s doing a great job especially with the short notice he received at the beginning of the season. He’s really come into his own place and made the mascot his own individual. He has his own take on it.”


This story was originally published on The Declaration on November 19, 2018.