What’s in a name?
The girls basketball team of Schlagle High in Kansas City took third place today at the Kansas State High School Activites Association’s state tournament in Emporia.
Schlagle’s nickname is the Stallions. An alliterative nickname, not uncommon for schools in the KCK school district. You also have the Harmon Hawks, Sumne rSabres and Washington Wildcats.
However, why is the GIRLS team from Schlagle nicknamed the Stallions?
A stallion can never, ever be female.
How hard would it be for Schlagle to nickname its female teams the Mares or Fillies?
Iola uses Fillies as the nickname for its girls teams, while using Mustangs for the boys. Not hard.
I understand Schlagle would like to keep the alliteration, but the school is doing its students a huge disservice by using an anatomically incorrect nickname. It’s a school. They are supposed to be educating. And educating people that stallions can be female isn’t right.
Schlagle isn’t the only school in Kansas that leaves me scratching my head over its choice of (a) mascot, (b) colors and/or (c) name.
Exhibit #2: the Catholic high school in the city where I have spent three of the past four days.
Hutchinson Trinity is nicknamed the Celtics. Good nickname for a Catholic school.
Yet Trinity has a terrible color scheme, red and white.
What? Red and white when you’re nicknamed the Celtics? Come on. Green. GREEN. So what if you’re copying the Boston NBA franchise? Green and white scream Celtics. Red and white do not.
The public high school in Hutchinson got it right with Salthawks. Whenever you say Salthawks in Kansas, you know it’s Hutch High. Same with Ringnecks and Hill City. Any school can be Tigers, Eagles, Bears, Lions, Wildcats, Broncos or Trojans. It takes creativity to figure out a unique nickname.
Now, on to the actual name of some schools.
Wednesday evening, I was listening to Thunder Ridge’s girls basketball game against South Central.
I don’t know how the folks in Agra and Kensington came up with Thunder Ridge when they consolidated school districts in 2008, but it is a unique name and a name you would recognize right away if you follow high schools in Kansas enough.
However, South Central? Where the heck is that? It could be anywhere.
For the record, South Central is in Coldwater, the county seat and largest town in Comanche County along the Kansas-Oklahoma state line.
There was a time when there were two high schools in Comanche County, one in Coldwater and the other in Protection. However, the high school in Protection, despite being placed on the National Register of Historical Sites, closed more than a decade ago and is now serving as the middle school for the school district in Comanche County.
Why does USD 300 not call the high school “Comanche County High School”? People could easily look on a map and find Comanche County and where Coldwater is located. However, South Central is very nebulous. Nobody who attends school in Comanche County right now went while Protection High was still open. It’s time to make the change.
If Russell High School were not located in the city of Russell, I would hope it would be called Russell County, because it is the only remaining high school in Russell County.
Another thing I don’t get is why almost all school districts in Kansas are loath to name high schools after people. Kansas City is an exception.
Wichita has eight public high schools, nearly all of which take in a direction on the compass. The original Wichita High is now Wichita East. There’s also North, South, West, Northwest, Southeast and Northeast. The other is Wichita Heights, named for the neighborhood in the northern part of the city.
Olathe has five directional high schools. So does Shawnee Mission. The original Salina High changed its name to Salina Central when Salina South opened in 1971.
Strangely, the original Topeka High did not add a direction when Topeka West opened. Highland Park is named after the neighborhood.
I’m sorry I’m boring you with semantics. Just had to get it off my chest.