COLUMN: Poole's Side

AUBREE POOLE

Editor's note: We at the Echo Pilot are pleased to introduce intern Aubree Poole to our readers with her new column "Poole's Side". Aubree is a senior at Greencastle-Antrim High School who plans a career in journalism. She is currently considering which college she will attend. Look in future issues for Aubree's work, including her column. She begins by giving us a closer look at "Blue", her school's athletic mascot.

The Blue Devil mascot represents a lot of things to a lot of different people. He is an icon, a symbol of G-A pride. To kids, he's superman, and to adults, he's entertainment. To the students, he's a friend, and to the opposing team, he's a menace. And to me? To me, he's my brother.

It's fitting, really. (Only joking... maybe.) Don't get me wrong, Garrett's a good kid. Just not what I'd call an angel, at least not to his big sis, but I guess my opinion is a little biased. Nevertheless, I get a kick out of watching him hyping up the crowd at football games, waving around his hands in oversized gloves and balancing Blue's grinning head on top of his own. I have to admit, he has a flair for it, and I am proud of him for representing our school so well.

Garrett is the third mascot that Greencastle-Antrim has had, the first being Matt Barnhart, and the previous one, Brandon Garlitz. As each of them can surely attest, there are many responsibilities given to mascots, and their character on and off the field is extremely important.

This being his first year as Blue, my sophomore brother knows he has a big job. "Blue represents not only the school, but the community," he says. "People associate Greencastle with the Blue Devils. I have to maintain a certain level of maturity at the school's sporting events." That's a tall order for anyone, especially when he endures taunts and jeers from opposing teams. I couldn't do it, that's for sure.

And Blue's job isn't over when the game ends. "I try to make younger kids and new students feel welcome," says Garrett. "I have to set a good example for others in school and out, because I'm representing the town of Greencastle."

When asked why he decided to audition for the role of school mascot, Garrett says, "I knew that Brandon Garlitz was graduating. He and some other friends talked me into it. I thought it'd be a good opportunity and a fun time."

Garrett says he acquires a new personality during games. "No one can see my face, and some people don't even know who I am, so I can be more expressive. At school, I'm more reserved, but when I'm Blue, I can make it what I want and have some fun with it." If you ask me, it does look pretty fun. So it's no wonder that he enjoys it.

But it's not like there haven't been any perks for me. Who else can say that they have a picture of them kissing Blue's cheek? I may not ever get used to little kids hanging over the fence, stretching out their hands for high-fives, screaming, "Blue! Hey, Blue!" And I know I won't get used to the idea of my brother signing autographs. I mean, hey, no one's ever wanted MY autograph... But it's OK. I know when I get home on Friday nights, he'll be sitting on the couch, exhausted. It uses up a lot of energy running around all night, getting the fans excited, and shaking hands with the townspeople. But who knows? Maybe one night, I'll surprise him, and see if he has enough energy for one more autograph. But not for a shy little girl who thinks he's a superhero, or a 4-year-old little boy who wants to be like Blue someday... just an autograph for a very proud big sister.