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Spartan mascot dealt blow to the head

By Jeremiah Behnken & Jeremy Bigelow
On November 15, 2006

  • The Spartan costume just isn't the same without the head. Jeremiah Behnken

The people of Castleton State College are calling for the head of the Spartan - literally.According to Dean of Students Gregory Stone, the head of the Spartan mascot costume has been missing since the last week of September.

The ice hockey team had asked to use it for an event and it was discovered that it wasn't where it was supposed to be, with the rest of the costume.

"As would be expected, I am not happy that it is missing," Stone said. "We spent the month of October thinking someone had it and just forgot to return it or it got misplaced. I think that someone has taken it now."

Although some people, like freshman Vince McNulty, may think that this is just another harmless prank, that point of view irritates Stone. McNulty, when told about the missing head, said that it was "an awesome prank to pull."

But with a value of more than $2,000 it's nothing to laugh at, Stone said.

The Spartan is the symbol of Castleton State College's pride, the very essence of the Castleton community. The suit is made up of two large black boots, a black belt, like what Trojans wear, black gloves, a long green cape and, of course, the head.

While some see it as funny, the loss of the mascot head has caused unrest among students and faculty.

Victoria Angis, the assistant dean for campus life, shared Stone's first reaction to the Spartan's missing head.

"I thought that somebody had borrowed it and not returned it on time," Angis

said. "I couldn't believe that anybody could stoop so low as to steal it."

Zachary Briggs, a member of the basketball team, said he hadn't heard about the theft, but he said he hopes it gets returned.

"That is going to suck - not having it at our games - if it's not found or brought back," he said.

Craig Paiement, a professor in the sports administration program, said he initially saw humor in the theft - but only initially.

"Honestly, I thought it was kind of funny," he said with a chuckle. "My second thought was that we need a little respect for our mascot. It seems like someone was trying to grab a trophy for their dorm room."

Mascots sometimes aren't that popular with the crowd. Often they are seen as annoying, distracting or just plain stupid.

But according to Ted Shipley, coach of the men's basketball team, mascots are valuable as long as they don't take anything away from the game and cause trouble.

"There are good mascots that do an appropriate job of adding some enthusiasm and energy," Shipley explained, "and then there are poor mascots that take away from the game by inappropriate behavior."

But count Angis among those who sincerely hope it is returned.

"It's important for morale," she said with a thoughtful look upon her face. "It's a symbol that has a lot of meaning to students."

Stone said he hopes that the knowledge of the missing head will "prompt students to help identify where it is" and get it returned.


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