Falcon mascot mystery revealed



Reporter and Reporter

The truth is finally out on the identity of this year’s Freddie and Frieda Falcon as all four of the students’ identities were revealed at Saturday’s home hockey game.

The two Freddies were juniors Jon Zachrich and Shawn Gilbert, and the Friedas turned out to be seniors Kate Finlayson and Maddison Brown.

The ‘beheadings’ took place during both of the game’s intermissions, with Zachrich and Finlayson at the first, and Gilbert and Brown at the second. The ice arena roared with a record crowd of more than 5,000 people as each mascot head came off. According to the athletics website, www.bgsufalcons.com, this marks the largest crowd in the history of the University Ice Arena.

“The atmosphere in here is unbelievable,” Brown said. “All the people, the crowd and the students, are always loud every time. Being on the ice was one of my favorite moments. It’s something I’ll remember forever.”

After being the school’s mascot for a year, the four students are all proud of what they have done for the school, Zachrich said.

“It was probably the greatest decision of my life,” he said. “It brought me so much closer to the University and the people in it. It was an awesome experience.”

When the day of the beheading arrived, the students under the masks felt a mixture of excitement, nervousness and sadness, Zachrich said.

“I was nervous. It was the greatest and most awful feeling put together right in my gut,” he said.

Perhaps the most exciting thing was the fact that the mascot’s friends would know the truth about who they are, Finlayson said.

“It was a big deal upholding this tradition of secrecy,” she said. “[Being beheaded] was a huge weight off my shoulders. I kept this from so many people and being able to be out in the open with this felt good.”

For the students in the crowd who found out their friends were Freddie or Frieda, it came as a huge surprise, said sophomore Caitlyn Menicucci, a friend of Zachrich.

“When I found out Jon Zachrich was Freddie, all I could do was shout and jump around,” she said. “I was half upset because he totally fooled me, but so excited because he is one of my friends. Like, I know that guy. I had no idea.”

With the end of their reign here, the students can look back at the high points of the year. For Zachrich, it was attending the home football games.

“Football season was an awesome, unbelievable experience,” he said. “With the students and school spirit there, it was nuts.”

But it’s the impact that they had on both the students and the children at events that means the most, Finlayson said.

“The kids are the best,” she said. “They always love the bird. Sometimes they get scared, but most really like Freddie and Frieda. They make it all worthwhile, along with students and the community.”