If you are from the Lone Star state you know that sports are a way of life. Small towns revolve around their schools, and Friday night entertainment means heading out to watch young high school athletes give it their all on the field, court, or even track. The one thing that brings all athletes together in a school (no matter the sport), would be the school mascot.
Students and athletes pride themselves on their school colors and mascots. Across Texas you can find lions, tigers, and bears, oh my … sorry, I had to! Across the Forts Trail Region many Texas high schools boast unusual mascots.
Let’s start off with one of the most unusual mascots I can personally think of: The Hamlin Pied Piper. You’re probably wondering what in the world is a “pied piper”? This character comes from a legend dating back to the Middle Ages from the town of Hamelin,Germany. Early references describe a piper dressed in multi-colored (“pied”) clothing. An early-day pest control professional, this man was a rat-catcher. He was hired by the citizens of Hamelin to lure rats away with his magic pipe. When the people refused to pay for his services, he retaliated by using his instrument’s magical power on their children, leading the boys and girls away just as he had done with the rats. Hamelin (Germany) is pronounced the same as Hamlin, Texas. Thus, the Texans chose the Pied Piper for their mascot! Now it may not be the most ferocious of mascots, but a man leading your children away by playing a pipe is pretty terrifying. Well played Hamlin, well played!
Moving on! Many small towns across our country are centered around farming and agriculture. In Texas, the small town of Roscoe decided to make their school mascot the “plowboy“. Plowboys are young men who work the fields in the morning and then play football on the fields in the evenings. A plowboy is tough and hardworking, both of which are attributes a good athlete should have.
In 1880 a small town popped up in West Texas named for John N. Winters, a rancher and land agent. Winters donated the land for a school in 1891. The school leaders picked a unique mascot that matched their “seasonally-named” town. They chose the Blizzards which is actually very fitting. Now a Blizzard may not seem super threatening, but wait till you get lost in one. Then you’ll be like “Yeah, Winters has the right idea! This came out of nowhere and is pretty scary!”.
Another town that has an unusual name and mascot would have to be Munday with the Mogul. The community dates from 1893, and was
originally known as Maud. The town was renamed for postmaster R.P. Munday when the first post office was established in 1894. I have yet to find out why these folks chose a mogul as their mascot, but according to their school website: “A Mogul is a fierce and powerful warrior, a conqueror of India that used ingenious fighting tactics. Moguls were considered great horsemen and fought with a rudimentary artillery, and were considered to use inventive fighting tactics.” Not a bad choice, and Munday Moguls does have a nice ring to it!
Gorillas are a scary animal. Yes, they are smart and seem kind of docile when you watch them from afar, but they are also freakishly strong and have super giant sharp teeth. Thus, we have the Trent Gorillas. When you really think about it, you realize how under-rated gorillas are as a mascot. I mean look at the damage King Kong did!
In this region we have some mascots that don’t seem so bizarre, but do seem unusual for the area. Such as my home
town high school in Eula. We were the mighty Eula Pirates. A pirate for a mascot is not unheard of, but in the middle of West Texas we are about eight hours from the coast. Land pirates perhaps?
The last two schools I am going to include from around the Forts Trail Region are the DeLeon and Hawley Bearcats. There are bearcats in other parts of the state, but what in the world is a bearcat? I found the following definitions: “A bearlike climbing mammal, especially the red panda” and “a person or thing that fights or acts with force or fierceness.” Neither mascot for the school resembles what an actual bearcat looks like. I’m not sure of the exact reason for selecting a bearcat for the school mascot, but I commend them for doing so and stretching my education!
Mascots are a staple all across Texas. No matter where you’re from, or where you end up in life, you’ll probably always think your high school mascot was the best ever. Texans are known for their state pride but high schools and their mascots take it to another level!