Above (top left, clockwise): The Harrison High (Arkansas) Goblins logo, the Sleepy Hollow High (New York) Headless Horseman mascot, and cheerleaders yelling for the Salem High (Massachusetts) Witches.
With Halloween just two weeks away, Witches have been spotted in Salem, Massachusetts; Goblins in Harrison, Arkansas; and Headless Horsemen in Sleepy Hollow, New York.
These and other monsters often appear on Friday nights under the spooky (just ask a sports photographer) lights at high school football fields.
If you’re undecided on a Halloween costume, consider some of the bizarre creatures that represent high school sports teams:
1. Poca High (West Virginia) Dots. A polka dot sounds harmless, but a Poca Dot is a whole different brute. Look how vicious he is! Some (like me) consider this the finest of all high school mascots.
2. Rhinelander High (Wisconsin) Hodags. A Hodag is a freakish made-up monster known for its viciousness and moodiness. Kinda like your boss.
3. Bishop McGuinness Catholic (Kernersville, North Carolina) Villains. This menacing blue guy appears on the school’s Facebook page. Would love to see the Villains play the Heritage Academy (Mesa, Arizona) Heroes.
4. The Benson (Omaha, Nebraska) Bunnies. Rabbits aren’t always cuddly, as anyone who has seen Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975) can tell you. “That’s no ordinary rabbit,” Tim the Enchanter (John Cleese) warns. “That’s the most foul, cruel, and bad tempered rodent you ever set eyes on … it’s a killer!”
5. The Tillamook (Oregon) Cheesemakers. Monty Python again: A spectator in The Life of Brian (1979) misinterprets Jesus as saying, “Blessed are the cheesemakers.” A wife says, “What’s so special about the cheesemakers?” Her husband answers, “Well, obviously, it’s not meant to be taken literally — it refers to any manufacturer of dairy products.”
6. Yuma High (Arizona) Prisoners. The high school opened in 1909 and held classes in the former Arizona Territorial Prison from 1910 to 1914. Thus the school’s nickname: Prisoners. Love the stripes.
7. Camas High (Washington) Papermakers. What can be so scary about a paper — OMG, IT’S HIDEOUS!
8. Orofino Maniacs (Idaho). Love this nickname, but the logo looks like a crazy little kid throwing a tantrum. Do cheerleaders do routines to Michael Sembello’s “Maniac” from Flashdance? That would be awesome.
9. Hesston Swathers (Kansas). “A swather is a farm implement that cuts hay or small grain crops and forms them into a windrow” — Wikipedia. Watch out — it has fangs!
10. The Rocky Ford Meloneers (Colorado). This mascot was inspired by the local community’s Watermelon Day. The mascot’s name, or maybe its slogan, is “Fear the Meloneer.”
11. Ridgefield Spudders (Ridgefield, Washington). That is one angry tater.
12. Mitchell Kernels (South Dakota). One of two high schools nicknamed Kernels — the other is in Mansfield, Washington. Not to be confused with the Hoopeston Area High (Illinois) Cornjerkers.
Most of this information comes from the excellent website, http://highschoolnicknames.homestead.com