School mascot to be unveiled

The Oswego High Buccaneer Boosters, in cooperation with the Oswego City School District, are bringing a new mascot to local events. SUNY Oswego Costume Shop Supervisor Judy McCabe and student Ashley Whelsky work on adjusting a sleeve of the new costume.

After nearly a year of planning a new Oswego High School mascot is expected to take to the sidelines in late September.

Judy Queale-Dunsmoor, president of the Buccaneer Boosters, noted, “We started talking about this about a year ago. We hoped to increase school spirit and bring a professional image to the sidelines of our sports events and school assemblies.”

With the cooperation of numerous individuals and organizations, the new Buccaneer mascot began to take shape. The idea isn’t to change the type of mascot that already exists, but to have a new, exciting look.

The Buc Booster president said, “The cost is shared by the district and the boosters. We organized a committee of boosters, students, as well as Oswego High School Principal Brian Hartwell, Faust-Robinson Theatre Director Steve Braun, along with the athletic director and Judy McCabe of SUNY Oswego along with students in her costume design area.”

It is hoped that the new mascot will make its debut during the September 24-29 “Spirit Week” as the creative team has been hard at work to reach that deadline.

Earlier this week, Queale-Dunsmoor headed to the lower levels of SUNY Oswego Tyler Hall and entered the “Magic Shop.” The room is packed with everything needed to create a costume.

Judy McCabe, SUNY Oswego Costume Shop supervisor, noted, “I have been involved in the committee and helped advise them on what could be done and what couldn’t. I am excited with the progress we made and the work that has been done thus far.”

Ashley Whelsky, a senior at SUNY Oswego who has worked at Cortini’s Shoes for quite some time, was involved in the creative process and designed a fitting piece of the costume from blue leather.  She liked it so much that she said, “I really just wanted to keep it for myself.”

Joe Cortini from Cortini’s Shoes in Fulton produced the boots and other pieces of the costume.

However, the costume is just about complete, but there is one major ingredient that is needed…the head.

Queale-Dunsmoor noted, “We wanted to do as much as we could locally and support people and businesses in our community. However, we had to go outside for the head and Cowan Costumes in Cleburne, Texas is creating the final key for the costume and it is supposed to arrive sometime during the week of September 17.”

The costume is ready, but there is more involved in this “school spirit” effort.

There are going to be try outs for the mascot.

“We would like to have students who feel that it is an honor to wear it,” a spokesperson said. “We want those students to exude energy and provide leadership to get the spirit up and the crowd excited at every event where the mascot is present.”

Eventually, the new mascot will have a name, but that will be determined by the student body.

In the years ahead, the new Buc mascot hopefully will be a major part of sports, school and community events.

Superintendent of Schools Bill Crist said, “We are all Buccaneers” and thus far all of the schools in the district have adopted the Buc as the mascot.

Brian Hartwell, Oswego High School Principal, noted, “The new mascot is indicative of our vision to always be working toward excellence. The time, planning and commitment that went into creating our new mascot exemplifies our overall commitment to excellence.”

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