Where is SMC's mascot Pico the Pirate?

For the past two years, Santa Monica College athletics has had a mascot consistently present at most sporting events. This year, the SMC mascot Pico the Pirate has yet to be seen.

He was last spotted at an Associated Students’ party, which was governed by fellow SMC students.

If you haven’t heard of or seen SMC’s mascot, or if you’re surprised there even is one, you are not alone.

Pico the Pirate’s name originates from the adjacent Pico Boulevard.

His vessel, Lady Sixteen, and his pet, Pearl the Parrot are his counterparts.

Pico the Pirate even has his own Facebook and Myspace profiles.

“Regarding school spirits with sports; it’s lacking,” AS President Harrison Wills said. “It’s good that we are working on improving it, and working on bringing the mascot back.”

Since Cat Horzen’s arrival as head coach of the cheerleading squad two years ago, she has reinstated the SMC mascot to try to bring some school spirit to SMC sports.

“Our mascot last year was very dedicated, and traveled with the teams, but decided to hang up the costume to focus more on his studies,” Coach Horzen said.

The reason SMC does not have a mascot this year is simple – no one has auditioned.

“We have held numerous try-outs for mascots, we have posted mascot try-outs on the walls,” Coach Horzen said. “No one has ever come out, and wanted, or even expressed interest in being the mascot.”

Given that SMC has well over enough students to try out, the lack of interest is dispiriting.

The SMC athletic program has 16 sports, cheerleaders who travel with teams, and high-quality athletic facilities, but no mascot.

Coach Horzen is still searching for someone to wear the costume for homecoming and she hopes for the entire season.

Horzen would love to have a mascot with her cheer squad at football games this year.

Athletic Director Joe Cascio also feels that having a mascot would improve school spirit, and help SMC’s sports teams overall.

“I hope we can find someone who can take on the responsibility of wearing the costume,” Cascio said. “I hope they would take real pride in not just representing Pico the Pirate, but the school.”