EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

March 5, 2010

Who is that Green Man? Central students mum on mascot's true identity, with video

(Continued)

"Nobody knew who Superman was. It's just the way it is," he said.

No doubt the Green Man will be at TD Garden tonight as both the Central boys and girls teams compete in the state sectional championship games, leading the fans in dance, cheers, chants and other antics.

Central Catholic High School Principal David DeFillippo frowns at the crowd surfing, when Green Man is hoisted above the crowd and passed along by fans. But he cracked a smile, while calling the spirit behind this year's Raiders basketball teams "unprecedented."

"I've been principal for 11 years and at the school for 39 years overall, and I've never seen anything like this," DeFillippo said. "It's several notches above what I've ever seen. It's like going to a dance and a basketball game simultaneously — so you get two for the price of one."

But DeFillippo noted there are several other characters who are conspiring with the green-colored cheerleader, including one student who plays Moses. But in metaphoric fashion, this student, Moses, stands before a red sea of students wearing their school's color.

"When he gives the command, the sea parts," DeFillippo said of the crowd, which then splits allowing Moses to run up and down the bleachers and through the crowd.

"We've had a penguin and a cowboy, too. You never know who is going to show up," he said.

Rachel Sheehan, co-captain of the Raiders cheerleading squad, said cheerleading has become more challenging because of Green Man.

"He gets the crowd so pumped up we can't hear ourselves — it's definitely become harder," Sheehan said. "But we all love him. Everybody looks forward to seeing the Green Man. Our coach is big on being loud."

Matt Palmisano, 18, a senior, sporting a toy sheriff's badge while wearing a cowboy hat, struts around the Green Man like he's a guard. Followers call him "the Green Man's sidekick."

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Merrimack Valley

Eagle-Tribune News Videos
Photos of the Week