From Warriors to… What?

Frederick High is getting a new mascot. How? It’s complicated.

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Owen Willis

The Frederick High School sign on the wall in the entryway of the building. This sign is one of many things in the school that will be rebranded once the mascot changes at the end of the 2021-2022 school year.

Owen Willis, Staff Writer

Due to the passing of Senate Bill 21-116, which prohibits schools from having Native American mascots, the mascot at Frederick High will change at the end of the 2021-2022 school year. But who gest to decide the new mascot? Through an extensive process that involves parents, students, teachers, administrators, and the community,  choosing a new mascot is already underway.

The process of changing the mascot started this summer when Dr. Russell Fox, principal of Frederick High School, met with an advisory board that consisted of FHS students, teachers, and community members (including parents) as well as elected officials to ensure that each set of stakeholders approves a mascot that can best represent Frederick.

On August 20, the advisory board sent out a form to the entire Frederick community to collect suggestions for what the next mascot should be. The form asks for suggestions for a new mascot as well as an explanation for that choice of mascot. (If you would like to make a suggestion, the suggestion form is linked here.

“The form will remain open until we get a board-approved mascot, but the form responses have really slowed down right now,” Dr. Fox told us. “Most people have already submitted their suggestions and we are already working with those suggestions, so the next step is to take out things that we know we can’t be–things like [other District High School mascots] and anything that is not an appropriate mascot.”

Once the committee narrows down the mascot suggestions, the committee’s top three choices will be presented to the St. Vrain Valley  Board of Education at a regular meeting in the near future. 

“After the Board approves [the mascot], we will announce it to the community. The District Communications department will then design a new logo and the graphic components of [the new mascot],” according to Dr. Fox.

Changing the mascot also requires the school itself to change, as the word “Warrior” and Native American imagery can be found everywhere in the school, including the floor in the main gym, the track, the walls in the commons, and the main entryway. This change is also the reason you may have seen a lack of FHS swag available.

“Once we know our mascot (which hopefully we [will] know within the next two months or so), we will start to order all of our Fall uniforms for athletics,” said Mr. Ty Gordon, the athletic director at Frederick High. “At the end of every season, our coaches order their next round of uniforms, so right now our fall coaches will order theirs [around] October, in winter, our coaches will order those around March, and our spring coaches will order theirs toward the end of May.”

The announcement that the Warrior name would change was met with shock and frustration from many members of the community. Even now, there are groups of parents and students trying to find a way to keep the Warrior name. However, those who are still fans of the Fredrick Warriors have one more year to enjoy the current mascot.

“We will be the Warriors through the end of this [school] year,” Dr. Fox told us, “and then next year, we will transition to the new mascot.”

Mr. Gordon went further to explain why the mascot change will wait until this summer: “We are still the Warriors and we want to make sure that we capture that for the entire year, especially for our Senior class. Come [the day after graduation], you will see the transition happening here at Frederick High School. Our goal is to, from day 1 when our school doors open [for the] 2022-2023 [school year], everything is completely rolled out and everyone is on board with our new mascot.”

So while the Warriors are going to go, for the rest of this year, we will still say “Go, Warriors!”