SCS asks voters to decide mascot


By Patsy Nicosia

Schoharie Central School has narrowed down its next mascot to a field of five.
Voting kicked off Thursday and runs through 3pm Wednesday with plans to name the winner before the spring break begins on April 7.
Will it be the:
Schoharie Coyotes, a symbol of cleverness and resilience known for its sharp senses and the ability to see things others can’t?
Schoharie Hawks, strong, powerful birds known for their intelligence and fierceness?
Schoharie Storm, a reference to the community’s story of overcoming great adversity and of triumph over tragedy?
Schoharie Titans, beings of strength, intellect, and importance capable of great things—and the second generation of Greek gods?
Schoharie Vale, with a vale a poetic term for valley, dale, glen or hollow—and unique to Schoharie Central School?
No other school in the country has Vale as a mascot--though the merged Helderberg-Knox football team calls itself the Vale.
SCS went live with voting on its website Thursday; paper copies are available for pick-up at both the Elementary and Junior-Senior High Schools.
Residents can also request a paper ballot in the mail by calling (518) 295-6679.
Paper ballots should be postmarked by March 31; online voting will end at 3pm Wednesday, April 5.
Voters are being asked to provide their name and affiliation for verification purposes only to make sure no one gets carried away; one person, one vote, SCS Superintendent Dave Blanchard said Friday.
All five choices must be ranked for any vote to count.
SCS kicked off its search for a mascot to replace the Indians in February after the state got serious about a 2001 memo urging the end of Native American mascots and the Board of Regents gave schools until June to take action.
More than 300 suggestions for a mascot to replace the Schoharie Indian were reviewed by a Mascot Committee of 12 students, staff, and community members; they narrowed the field down to 20 candidates, and from there, the final five.
“I think everyone did a really good job and I appreciate their work,” Mr. Blanchard said.
“This is a chance to energize the community’s fighting spirit while recognizing its history and resiliency”, something the list of finalists recognizes—even if his own didn’t make the cut.
“I liked the Volunteers,” Mr. Blanchard said. When that was eliminated, he moved onto the Dragons, as in: the Dragons beat the Knights.
“But they got eliminated too,” he said, with a laugh. “None of my choices mattered.”
Mr. Blanchard said the Mascot Committee tried to stay away from something already in the WAC; the ballot lists how many candidates are used elsewhere as well as their characteristics.
Of the five, 69 schools are Coyotes, none in New York State; 64 are Storms, with the closest in Unadilla Valley in Chenango County; and 200 are Titans, with the closest Taconic Hills in the Patroon Conference.
Hawks are the 20th most common school mascot in the country and used in Jefferson, Coxsackie, and Hudson.
Vale is unique; with the exception of the merged Helderberg Valley football team, no other school uses it.
Once SCS has a winner, the district will hire a graphic designer to come up with a logo.
Nearly derailing mascot re-naming work across the state was Fonda-Fultonville’s plan to rebrand its Braves as the Brave.
However, the state’s Indigenous Mascot Advisory Panel rejected that proposal.