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Marcola School Officials: "Mohawks" Mascot Makes Way For "Mustangs"

Teddy Llovet

After months of input and deliberation, the Marcola School District is closer to having a new, official mascot.  As KLCC’s Brian Bull reports, it’ll replace the “Mohawk Indians” which had been the mascot for 90 years.  

Among the runner-ups were the “Loggers” and “Mavericks”, but it was the “Mustangs” that won unanimous approval at a special school board meeting Wednesday night.

Marcola School Superintendent Bill Watkins says the decision is tentative until the official board meeting May 8th.  He says the name “Mustangs” has positive attributes for the district’s teams and students. 

Credit Brian Bull / KLCC
Past yearbooks show the history the Mohawk Indians mascot has had with the Marcola School District.

“Perseverance. They’re somewhat wild in a positive way. They’re brave, they’re strong. They can be independent, but they still have to work together as well," summarizes Watkins.  

"We will support it, positively. With our students and our community members.” 

Watkins says there are still Marcola residents who are upset at the mascot change, but adds many accept the reasoning…that Native American themed mascots can foster stereotypes, and no actual Mohawk Indians played a part in local history. 

Credit From Marcola High School Community Facebook page
Girls basketball team players pose with the Mohawk Indians logo this past January. By mid-July, a new mascot representing the Mustangs will replace it.

The gym floor will feature the new Mustangs design once approved.  Watkins says it’ll cost $20,000 to install a new floor, which they plan to do by mid-July.

Copyright 2017, KLCC. 

Brian Bull is an assistant professor of journalism at the University of Oregon, and remains a contributor to the KLCC news department. He began working with KLCC in June 2016.   In his 27+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (22 regional),  the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from  the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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