Where’s the Hawk?


Sarah Johnson

Grover poses with elementary students before the football game begins. Many children loved to play with Grover on the sideline.

It’s brown. It’s furry. And it doesn’t exactly smell like a fresh can of Febreeze.

 It’s the school mascot, the Hawk, and while it’s usually hard to miss the tall, brown bird on the sidelines of the football games, Grover has been MIA this year. 

The previous mascot, sophomore Gracie Carr, was unable to do it this year because of an injury. 

I tore my ACL during basketball season last November, and I wasn’t cleared for mascot tryouts,” Gracie said. “I thought a freshman would do it, but they didn’t.” 

It may look easy being the mascot, but the tryout process is more challenging than students realize. Going to cheer camp is also one of the requirements. 

“The tryout process was kind of stressful,” Gracie said. “Their tryouts were a lot different and I had to make up a minute and a half routine.”

While not all fans have noticed the missing Grover, it has caught the attention of some students and teachers. 

“I’ve been at PG my whole life, and I would go to the games when I was younger and always try to talk to the mascot,” senior Shane Nelson said. “It was always fun to have the mascot on the sidelines throwing t-shirts and water bottles.”

There have been many student mascots in the past, and art teacher Melissa Manning was one of them. Not having one this year has caused mixed feelings.

“It kind of hurts my heart because I remember when my niece was little and all the kids really loved it,” Mrs. Manning said. “Now there is not that for my kids and it kind of stinks.”

Sarah Johnson
Grover, with sophomore Gracie Carr inside the suit, poses on the sidelines of a away game last school year.

Being the hawk gives students a chance to put themselves out there and be a part of the community. 

“I think it got me out of my box,” Mrs. Manning said. “I got to meet a lot more people and I think it made me more confident. Inside the suit you can do whatever you want, even if you’re goofy.”

However, the hawk may not be gone for long. Playoffs are almost here, and cheer coach Shera Hopkins is on the hunt for a new Grover. 

“We need to have some kind of tryouts, “ Mrs. Hopkins said. “It has to be someone who can act silly the whole time and dance. Someone who won’t care that thousands of little kids will be coming up to them.” 

It also won’t hurt if the potential Grover doesn’t mind funky odors. 

“It was like locker room meets band hall, it was bad,” Mrs. Manning said. “I used to douse it in Febreeze, and to this day I don’t like the smell of Febreeze.”