Courageous sophomore resurrects patriotic tradition

Anthony Piccininni volunteers to be Colonia’s mascot.


Mascot, Anthony Piccininni, smiles for the camera

Friday September 11th wasn’t just the first football game of the 2015 season, but it was also the day sophomore, Anthony Piccininni, restarted a Colonia tradition. Taking the school by surprise, Piccininni revived an old memory by becoming the mascot this year.

“We have not had a committed mascot in about 4-5 years.  It always sounds fun to students to become the mascot but it is a lot more detailed than they expect it to be.  Some students will try it and then quit after 1 game. It takes an outgoing person with a positive, fun attitude to do what a mascot does.  Even though you are in a costume with a mask, it is very difficult to get in front of people and lead a crowd,” explained Mrs. Andrea Simkovich, guidance counselor and head-cheerleading coach at CHS.

According to the unique jobs page on Job Monkey, a mascot’s responsibilities extend throughout the year not just one sports season. They also may have to attend parades, fairs, pep rallies, and community functions. Mascots must be dedicated, energetic, spontaneous, athletic, and personable.

“I wanted to become mascot because its a great opportunity for not only me but the fans. After last season and how far we went I really think that we needed something, so I decided to step up as mascot and make this year as memorable as the last one,”  said Piccininni.

So this eager Sophomore, went down to Mrs. Simkovich’s office and proposed his idea. “Anthony emailed me over the summer but I wanted to wait until school started so I can meet him.  The first few weeks of school were so crazy.  I am happy that Anthony came down to see me and introduce himself.  I wanted to make sure he was a good “fit” for the job.  Also, many students and teachers had wonderful things to say about him,” Simkovich noted.

“The days following up to the football game, I was ecstatic. I couldn’t wait to see those Friday night lights, and all of the fans. I was practicing every day, ready to get the crowd roweled up.”

The game began, and as the crowd cheered on the 2015 varsity football team, this bold sophomore was ready to get everyone involved in the big, first game of the season.  As the game progressed, Piccininni tried his best to make the student section loud and supportive.

Patriot mascot gets ready for a spirit-filled game
Patriot mascot gets ready for a spirit-filled game

“I think Anthony did an exceptional job at his first game.  Parents and students walked by and expressed such positive things about CHS having a mascot again.  It’s always great to get such positive feedback from fans.  He did a great job leading the crowd and cheerleaders.  Anthony even won a certificate for a job well done last week in showing his school spirit.  Also, it was extremely hot last Friday night.  It’s never easy putting on that costume in the heat and staying active for an entire game,” Simkovich stated.

The football team started the season with a big win against rival Bishop Ahr, with a score of 32-18 and continued their season with 2 more wins again JFK and Perth Amboy. Piccininni is ready to be a perky, upbeat mascot that keeps the school involved and the spirit high.

“I genuinely loved every moment of being “The Patriot.” I couldn’t believe the amount of energy I had, and I wanted that feeling to last forever,” Piccininni expressed.