PORTSMOUTH — Sporting the colors — what else? — red, white and blue, Portsmouth High School’s first-ever mascot was unveiled to the entire student body with great fanfare Friday afternoon.
The seven-foot-tall Portsmouth Patriot ran out into the gym during a festive pep rally, bumping fists with students and faculty members who cheered him on.
If the mascot’s design looks familiar, that’s because none other than Big Nazo puppets of Providence had a hand in its creation. The international performance group is famous for its colorful and hilarious larger-than-life-sized characters.
The pep rally was held in conjunction with the schools’ annual International Volleyball Tournament.
“It’s an intramural tournament sponsored by our foreign language department,” said Principal Robert Littlefield. “Kids pick their own teams and they pick their own countries.”
The four-day tournament concluded with the finals at Friday’s pep rally, in which Team Mexico defeated Team Ecuador, 25-11. Mexico then played a faculty team and beat the grownups in a hard-fought battle, 25-21.
The school’s Choral Ensemble performed The National Anthem and the Jazz Ensemble played a rocking version of “The House of the Rising Sun” as well as some tunes during the volleyball matches.
Also at the pep rally, the school’s unified basketball team was introduced. The team, first formed in 2011, allows students both with and without intellectual disabilities to play together on the same team.