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Every other week, MaxPreps.com’s experts square off to tackle high school sports’ toughest questions. Today, we celebrate the nation’s most unique high school nicknames/mascots and attempt to make a case for the best.
Which high school has the nation’s most unique nickname/mascot?
Kevin Askeland, National Baseball Editor
The small town of <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags” />Los Olivos, Calif., tucked away in the wine country of the Santa Ynez Valley in Santa Barbara County, is the home of the prestigious Dunn School. The town has been the setting for films such as “Sideways” and the ever-popular made-for-TV movie “Return to Mayberry.” Former Davy Crockett star Fess Parker owns a hotel there and Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch is just a few miles away. None of this, however, explains why Dunn School’s mascot is the Earwig. The earwig is an insect most notable for the forcep-like structure at the end of its abdomen. Also known as a pincher bug, the earwig was named based on an old wives tale that this insect burrowed into people’s brains to lay their eggs by crawling through the ear. A member of the Dunn soccer team reportedly took on the Earwig name in the late 1970s, perhaps as a joke. The school later officially adopted the nickname in 1979. The Earwig is officially listed on the Southern Section website as that section’s No. 1 most unique nickname.
Jason Hickman, Executive Editor
In 1987 I saw Pleasant Hill (Ore.) High School play in the Class 3A state basketball tournament at the venerable McArthur Court in Eugene, home of the Oregon Ducks. The school’s nickname has stuck with me ever since – the Billies. The Pleasant Hill Billies. Although “Billies” refers to billy goats, I’ve always admired the smooth merge of school name and mascot.
Dave Krider, Senior Writer
As a resident of LaPorte, Ind., I’m prejudiced, but I have to go with the hometown LaPorte Slicers. The Slicer basketball team received its first set of uniforms many years ago from the U.S. Slicing Machine Company. High honorable mention goes to the Frankfort (Ind.) Hot Dogs.
Steve Montoya, Senior Video Producer
My vote is in, and it goes to the Harrison Golden Goblins, or Harrison Goblins for short. The Goblins make their home in Harrison, Ark. You know it’s a great mascot when most people relate to it as a grotesque spirit or a mischievous elf. The Harrison Goblins are represented by a fierce-looking creature with wild blue hair. Now that’s a mascot! And the only one of its kind, as Harrison represents the lone Goblin around the country. Watch out for those Goblins, they may eat your feet on and off the field.
Stephen Spiewak, National Football Editor
My vote is for the Bray-Doyle Donkeys of Bray, Okla. Sure, I know the image that comes to mind when one hears about the Donkeys – docile, droopy eyed creatures whose tails are pinned on, and who spend an inordinate amount of time hanging out in the forest with piglets, bears that love honey, and tiger-like creatures that bounce on their tails. But the Bray-Doyle Donkeys are a deceptively strong breed. Once they have you thinking they’re harmless, these Donkeys rear back and launch some serious assaults!
Mitch Stephens, Senior Writer
Nothing – I repeat nothing – spills fear or sugar into opponent’s bloodstreams like when the Syrupmakers come to town. That’s right, the Cairo (Ga.) Syrupmakers, with a syrup pitcher as their mascot, no doubt sabotage the Gatorade barrels of foes with thick, rich gobs of liquid caramelized fructose to ensure second-half melt- and goo-downs. It’s a particularly messy and sticky affair when league rival, the Monroe Tornadoes come to town.
Chris Stonebraker, Host
When I think of unique, I think of something unusual and without a like. Beyonce coining the term “Bootylicious” qualifies as unique. Snoop Dogg developed an entire language by ending every word with “izzle.” Key High School of Annapolis, Md., fits the bill, as well, due to the fact that it simply made up a mascot. The Obezags. How cool is it to have a made-up word as your school mascot? They actually took the word “gazebo” and spelled it backward. No other school can say they have done that. It really would have made things interesting if Key would have just used the Gazebo as its nickname – who knows what the costumed mascot would have looked like running around at football and basketball games. The Key Obezags are GENIUS, or as they would probably write it, SUINEG!
Do you know of another unique nickname or mascot? Use the MaxPreps feedback feature below.