Mohawks Out, Mustangs In...Marcola District Continues Transition To New Mascot

Jul 19, 2017

The Marcola School District is removing all traces of its old “Mohawk Indians” mascot.  Nowhere is that more evident than inside the high school gymnasium.  KLCC’s Brian Bull reports.

The previous gym floor (right) and how it looks today (left) as district officials prepare to transition the school mascot to The Mustangs within the year.
Credit Brian Bull / KLCC

A worker drives a large sander across the floor.  It’s bare and dusty where a large portrait of an Indian once stood.

“It was such a beautiful Indian, and I know the community…they were just so proud of their mascot, so I couldn’t bear to watch it being sanded down," says Superintendent Bill Watkins, with a pained laugh.  

A Facebook photo from January shows the girls' basketball team with the Mohawk Indians logo on the gym floor.
Credit Mohawk High School Community Facebook page

"It was tough.” 

The Marcola community narrowly voted to scrap its 90-year-old “Mohawks” mascot this spring.  State rules mandated that districts either drop Indian mascots or work with a tribe to keep them by July 1st…or lose state funding.  Watkins says they looked into that option, but the contract was going to be reanalyzed every year. 

A schematic of the new gym floor being built. Officials say the big "M" in the center is a placeholder. When the new "Mustangs" logo is finalized, it'll be installed there within a year's time.
Credit Brian Bull / KLCC

"I think the committee saw the hardships in that as well, and agreed that it’s just time to change it altogether.” 

Watkins says the Marcola district’s new “Mustangs” mascot will feature Native American motifs, such as feathers and a painted horse.  The new floor is part of a $340,000 loan that’ll renovate much of the gym facilities. 

Copyright 2017, KLCC.