Look! Up in the sky! It's The Garnet Gull!
Look! On the ground! It's the old Garnet Gull being taken away in an ambulance!
In February 2013 The Patch reported The Garnet Gull had become one of five high school mascots in N.J., and one of 255 schools across the U.S., competing for the title of "Best High School Mascot" in a national contest.
Point Beach High School students, alumni, neighbors and fans were alive with pride everywhere!
Ever wonder when and how this white-headed gull mascot with its heavy bill began nesting in front of the large, densely packed and noisy football crowds at Antrim Field?
In the mid-1970s, a student moved from Pt. Borough High School to Point Beach during sophomore year. As a result, Pt. Beach got its first mascot and the student new to Pt. Beach figured out a way to carve out a niche to celebrate school spirit, honor the accomplishments of fellow students and inspire the hometown crowd to do the same!
Holy Seagull Scandal! Who knew the very first Garnet Gull Mascot was actually a Borough Panther for ten years?! Who let her in?! How did this happen?!
Yes - Inside this 'secret' local history was a student from Miss Boyle's Kindergarten Class at Ocean Road School who graduated from Pt. Beach High School. The great news was - where she had come from never mattered.
It is a great reminder that any new school or community - even one affectionately dubbed "that rival" across town - will welcome any of us with open arms if we use our skills and/or our vim, vigor and vitality to embrace and participate in our new environment.
A proud 37-year history was launched at Point Beach High School when the first Garnet Gull Mascot flew into Donald T. Fioretti Stadium soaring with Red & White pride during the first home game of the 1976 football season!
With energy and enthusiasm, The Garnet Gull arrived-by-surprise prepared to take on Big Bird and any Radio City Rockette on a good day!
The mysterious identity of this webbed-footed wonder was purposely not revealed until the third home game just to add a little mystery to the joy of the season. (But shhhh… No one knew that the beloved Maestro Harry Madole was actually in on the secret!)
During half-time shows this fun-loving Garnet Gull gave you a long-winged wave and strutted her stuff to a glorious beat as Mr. Madole's amazing marching band played on! Let's just say "this old bird" had the time of her life!
Pt. Beach Booster Ceil Hart - mother of the 1st Garnet Gull Mascot - and the creative and wonderful Ellie Spader laughed hardily as they joined forces to assemble with great care and amazing speed the first Garnet Gull Mascot costume ever!
They hatched their plan; then gathered a motorcycle helmet, paper machete, assorted paints, a choir robe, thread, sewing machine, red Doctor Dentons, sneakers and black socks from the men's counter at Winograds.
They treated the entire artistic effort as if it was an important time-bound assignment for the ages. Thirty-seven years later, they'd be so happy to know that their mission was exactly that!
Having said all this, the legacy of the Garnet Gull Mascot - like so many other rich traditions that define Point Beach - has never been about any individual person behind the feathers.
It is the lessons and unyielding spirit behind the costume and the school that makes the mascot.
When you celebrate School Spirit at Point Beach, you graduate from an education system that teaches the following:
"When you make it your business to become a fan of someone or something, you are uniquely positioned to make a difference in the lives of others and in the world. Positive motivation in your own life will have no bounds because you can find inspiration anywhere you are standing."
Later in life, you discover that a Garnet Gull flying against the backdrop of a beautiful blue sky doesn't have to be alone or isolated when a challenge or storm interrupts its flight... webbed footprints in the sand are always there to follow until all is well.
Think about that amazing 2012 Point Beach Champion Football Team who inspired all with their actions not only on the field but with their hard work and heartfelt efforts in the aftermath of SuperStorm Sandy.
As they helped victims of the storm - neighbors, strangers and fans alike - the community enjoyed one of its finest moments.
If you listened carefully, you could actually hear wailing in the distance… reports and the Tighe Football Family can confirm that the odd squawking noise did not stop for weeks!
That loud and wonderful sound was actually "a grateful and supportive call" from the aging Garnet Gull Mascot - Class of '77 - screaming, "We ARE Point Beach! You boys honored all of us by simply being yourselves!"