High School Mascot's Memory Honored - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

9/3/04-Arp

High School Mascot's Memory Honored

A year without a mascot: The small town of Arp is going to celebrate football this year without the cheer of the tiger leading the way.  In April, 14-year-old Sarah Harvey was killed in a car crash. She was to be a freshman this year, the mascot, supporting the team in class 2-A ball. Friday, Arp High School had it's first game of the season.

The pounding of drums and the shouts of excited tiger fans at a pep rally Friday afternoon signaled the beginning of football in Arp. The celebration of the team and the game paused as friends and classmates reflected on the life of Sarah Harvey.

"This is Sarah's year," said Arp Co-Cheerleading Sponsor Leann Locklear. "She is our Tootsie so there was never a question if she would be replaced or not."

"It's been a long time since her death and we're still mourning over it," said friend and cheerleader Zevin Spears. "It's the entire town that's still mourning over her death and it's such a great loss."
Football players also honored Sarah.

"It's just different," said Senior team member Armando Garza. "This is going to be a year without a mascot. She was spirited, that's all there is to say about it. She's just a joyful person and fun to be around."

"We're going to dedicate the whole season to Sarah," said Senior Doug Pierce, "because she had a lot of spirit for our school."

Friday night, just before the game, a tribute to that spirit. Maroon and white balloons floated toward the sky, a symbol of Sarah's life.

"It's showing respect for a friend," said Arp football fan Casey Atchley. "You know she can never be replaced, she was a special girl."

It was after the first play, the tears and sadness turned into the same enthusiasm friends say Sarah showed at all the games.

"She's still with us, she's going to be out there," said cheerleader Patricia Vaughan.

When you go to a game this year, you won't see the Tiger mascot, but you will know the players are working to score one for Sarah.

"We still got a mascot," said fan Terry Quinalty. "She's in heaven."

Maya Golden reporting, mgolden@kltv.com

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