The University of South Carolina Beaufort has partnered with Street Characters Inc. to develop the school’s first official mascot character, the athletics department announced recently. Four potential names have been chosen for the new mascot – Chomp, Finnegan (Fin), Sandy, and Thrasher.
The winning name will be announced Friday ahead of the mascot’s first public appearance at the Bluffton Christmas Parade on Saturday.
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In late 2015, researchers from USCB’s Coastal Ecology and Conservation program discovered a rare amphibious sand shark on a Lowcountry beach. Although their ability to communicate with the creature was limited, the researchers were able to ascertain that he was a young pup when USCB launched its athletics department in 2007 and had grown up cheering for the Sand Sharks. Using his ability to walk on land, he would go ashore occasionally and bring back reports of the many successes of USCB’s sports teams and student-athletes, spreading Sand Shark Pride throughout the Atlantic Ocean.
It was on one of these trips ashore that he encountered the USCB researchers, immediately recognizing the logo on their shirts as that of his favorite teams. After agreeing to go with the researchers for further evaluation, the sand shark fell in love with the USCB campus and decided to make it his new home. He looks forward to cheering on the Sand Sharks in person, interacting with students at campus events, and helping inspire Sand Shark Pride by attending community events such as parades and festivals and accompanying USCB student-athletes when they volunteer in the community.
“We are thrilled to take this next step in developing the Sand Shark brand, and what better place to introduce our new mascot to the community than the Bluffton Christmas Parade – one of the most festive events of the year in the Lowcountry,” USCB Director of Athletics Quin Monahan said. “We are confident the new mascot will be instrumental in helping fulfill our mission to inspire Sand Shark Pride on our campus, in our communities, and among our alumni.”