Wednesday, February 4, 2015

High School Mascot Musings

The ongoing flap about the North Ridgeville High School Ranger sports logo (which you can read about here on the Chronicle-Telegram website) is very interesting to me as a graphic designer.

Tired of the current simple gold star symbol (on the above left), some North Ridgeville High School students came up with their own proposed Ranger character design (on the right). This hombre is a tough character, with gritted teeth and skull-like face. He reminds me of the DC Comics Western antihero Jonah Hex.

It's just another reminder that today's students don't want a wimpy or boring sports mascot.

But it wasn't always like that. Remember my post about the Midview Middie mascot? Here's the hairy behemoth that has the mascot job today (below).
But this is what the same guy looked like (below) in 1964 – just a lovable little scamp.
Closer to home, the City of Lorain has had its share of offbeat high school mascots.
For instance, here's the beloved Southview High School saint mascot (below).  It's rather unique that he represents a... well, a dead character.

Southview Saints mascot circa 1977
Just like the Navy, Admiral King High School (my alma mater) had a goat for a mascot that appeared at football games – but he did not serve as a symbol of the school, whose sports teams were called the Admirals.

Admiral King's arch-rival Lorain High School was the home of the Steelmen, as a tribute to Lorain's steelmaking heritage. Their steelman mascot was depicted in a couple of different of ways through the years.

One version resembled a cute, clanky, robot (below).

This particular version appeared in a 1965 Journal sports cartoon drawn by our old pal Gene Patrick (below).  I like the nuts and bolts flying off the Steelman, as well as the five o'clock shadow on the Elyria High School Pioneer.
Lorain High School was still using this design in 1978. The front of the Scimitar yearbook that year included an illustration of a whole gang of the lovable Steelmen (below).

Eventually this design was replaced by a more manly version that resembled an actual steelworker.
Remember when the 2009 demolition of Lorain High School revealed the wall containing his scowling countenance?
Speaking of mascots, did you know that your friendly blogger designed the mascot for the current Lorain High School? Stop back here next time and I'll tell you the story!

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