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The Rise of Heartman

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Is that a giant Heart standing courtside? Yes, it is! From swim meets to basketball games, Super Fans crowd at the door, filling every seat on the bleachers. Constant cheering from families and friends sporting maroon and gold spirit wear is enough to motivate the players. But wait, something is missing. A game is not complete without the anticipated appearance of the enthusiastic Heart with its determined glare across its face. Heartman has long been an accurate representation of Sacred Heart’s athletic foundation, but one has to ask: “How did the SHHS mascot join the family?”

According to a number of sources, former vice principal, Fran Thompson, sparked the idea for having the mascot while contemplating future improvements to the school. Thompson, along with director of admissions, Chris Murphy, discussed mascot options and settled on a giant heart. Next, Amy Traver, our SHHS art teacher, hosted a design contest to determine the starting visual of the future mascot. Students eagerly participated in the competition; and, in the end, Daniela Bascetta from the class of 2001 presented a heart with the muscular, aggressive figure. Daniela won the competition, and the mascot sketch became the Heartman mascot that we all know and cherish. Heartman made his debut on t-shirts that fans wore to athletic events. However, Mr. Thompson would not rest until the Heartman was a living and breathing mascot. One hurdle was the cost of the costume for the Heartman, and the $3,000-$4,000 price tag for the outfit seemed almost impossible to achieve. At long last, the Heartman costume became a reality, and the two dimensional mascot became a living, breathing man in a Heart costume.

Over the years, the men and the women who have donned the costume to become the Heartman, have taken great pride in their part of school spirit. Last year, Matt Longo finished his three year reign as Heartman. Matt was the most endearing Heartman in a long time. His antics at all athletic events made fans cheer and laugh. In addition, Matt caught the attention of the media at the events; and, before long, Heartman Matt was pictured in the local newspaper as a representative of Sacred Heart High School. Although Matt was known for his skill on the swim team, he was better known for his performances courtside, promoting events such as the 5K Dash and appearing in school videos.

We caught up with Matt to ask him about his Heartman memories. He remembered the demands of the job and explained that, to be Heartman, a person “needs energy and lots of it!” When asked about the role of the Heartman, Matt said, “you have to want fans on both sides to have fun and to be involved with the game.” Without a doubt, Matt Longo will be remembered as one of the most entertaining Heartman mascots that ever represented our school.

Currently, Dan Walsh gives life to the Heartman and continues a long legacy of uniting fans at the Heart. As we begin post-season play, follow our mascot and yell, “Let’s go, Hearts!”

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The Rise of Heartman