The season of strange mascot creatures is upon us as prep football across Butler County readies tonight for its annual kick-off.
Mascots and nicknames are a staple of American school communities, and their popularity can unite everyone.
Especially during football season, schools sell thousands of dollars worth of spirit wear clothing and fan paraphernalia adorned with the mascot colors, symbols and names. Faces and bodies are painted, and more than a few local prep football fans ponder carefully when choosing the color of a new car to further flash their allegiance to their local team.
“They are very important because people get attached to a mascot and collectively they root for the local school team,” said Stu Eversole, who was among the officials in 1997 who oversaw the splitting of the former Lakota High School mascot — the Thunderbirds — into Lakota West’s Firebirds and Lakota East’s Thunderhawks.
Phil Cagwin — the most veteran of Butler County school superintendents — has seen the passion toward school mascots in both Talawanda and his current position in Monroe, home of the Hornets.
“When I came to Monroe five years ago, I was impressed with the Hornet Pride,” said Cagwin. “In our small community, you see young people and adults wearing Hornet clothing wherever you go.”
Here are the mascot creatures you’ll see this season in Butler County:
- Firebirds and Thunderhawks take flight thrilling thousands of Lakota Schools’ sports fans and alumni
- The mythical Middies will renew their gridiron magic in Middletown Schools
- Hamilton’s Big Blue will color the football fields with their nickname borne more than a century ago
- Fairfield Schools’ Indians will warpath as will Talawanda Schools’ Braves and Madison Schools’ Mohawks in their homage to the area’s Native American history
- Monroe’s Hornets hope to swarm their opponents
- Don’t forget about those rampaging Rams from Ross Schools and always be wary of the turmoil let loose by New Miami’s Vikings
- And Cougars will roam about in Edgewood Schools
MORE BUTLER COUNTY PREP FOOTBALL NEWS: