Archive for Wednesday, July 18, 2001

Chinstraps & Mouthpieces

It would be a shame to change THS mascot

July 18, 2001

Tonganoxie High School might not be known as the home of the Chieftains in the future.

A Topeka television station reported that Kansas high schools bearing Native American mascots will have to change their names. Unfortunately, I didn't catch all of the report and my search for more information on the subject was unsuccessful, so I'm unsure of how definite the idea is.

Many Native American and some citizens with other ethnic backgrounds have criticized teams such as the Kansas City Chiefs, Washington Redskins and Cleveland Indians, and some colleges have changed their mascot names, but nothing has happened on the high school level.

In Tonganoxie's case, it would be unfortunate to change the high school's mascot. The town was named after a Native American it would be less respectful to order a name change than to stick with the original.

Marquette University in Milwaukee was formerly the Warriors, but is now the Eagles. The logo of a Native American should have been changed, not the nickname because warriors are of every background. St. John's in New York, though, was more valid because they were the Redmen. They are now the Red Storm.

Sometimes name changes are warranted, as some Native American mascots should be.

But should Notre Dame change its mascot because not everyone who attends South Bend, Ind., is named O'Reilly, or Inman High School near Wichita is known as the Teutons, or German warriors. It's possible that some people there don't enjoy sauerkraut.

Hawaii, which is known as the Warriors, was formerly known as the Rainbow Warriors, but dropped "Rainbow" because it reflected a symbol of homosexuals.

Ignorance seems to clog minds in some cases.

If anything, mascots are met with pride by those who root for their preferred teams.

But in regard to the Native-American issue, it's obvious that I'm not of Native-American decent, so I don't know how some names would affect me I were.

In Tonganoxie's case, state officials should put more consideration into this high school's mascot.


Baseball and softball tournaments have wrapped up or are wrapping up. Nothing beats the anxiety and excitement conveyed by parents. Unfortunately some of them think major league scouts are watching their 7-year-olds play.

Others are just reminding their youngsters when to run, which way to run and where to throw. Whether parents take it too seriously or are just there to encourage, watching some pretty talented children play ball games in slightly chilly weather last weekend was some good entertainment.


One championship game involving two Tonganoxie baseball teams was refreshing.

The coaches got a little excited at times and it was obvious tempers were warming, but the teams shook hands, stood on their respective baselines, and the second-place coach urged his team to show respect for the victors.

The team wasn't out of hand, and nobody enjoys losing, but a little bit of sportsmanship at a young age does wonders later.


Tickets for the NBA exhibition game between Philadelphia and Utah went on sale Monday at Allen Fieldhouse. The game will be played Oct. 18 in Lawrence.

The game marks the return of Larry Brown to Allen Fieldhouse, unless Brown retires as he has contemplated. He's been known to waiver on decisions in the past, but he's built a solid program in Philadelphia.

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