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Letter to the Editor: Riverhawk clear favorite

— Clear favorite

To the editor:

Anyone who has been to a football or basketball game at the high school in the last 10 years will notice the words “Eagle Indians” are conspicuously absent from every cheer the student section uses. You will also notice the handmade signs say “Go T-dub” instead of “Go Eagle Indians” and that the mascot doesn’t usually show up anywhere in the annual hall decorating contest for homecoming. In short, the people who picked our last mascot utterly failed in their one job: To pick a symbol of pride for students to rally around, a shorthand for their allegiance to the school.

Just as they did 10 years ago, the students have once again shown a preference for the Riverhawks as their mascot. Maybe it doesn’t make logical sense. But little about sports fandom makes sense. Seahawks is also a mere nickname for osprey, but that won’t stop millions of fans from screaming themselves hoarse for the team during the Superbowl.

Anyone who went through the Sanctuary training knows now how past trauma informs a community’s actions. The last mascot became a symbol, not of school pride, but of teenagers feeling like the adults in the community had no respect for them. If that happens again the committee might as well not even pick a mascot because students will once again ignore it.

My brother (who, full disclosure, is on the mascot committee) said most students are already much more sad to see the “Dub” in “T-Dub” go than the Eagle Indian moniker.

Meanwhile, here in Hermiston where I recently moved, the people I have talked to about the mascot issue are already eagerly thinking up jokes about dim Megawatts and slow Rapids.

Jade McDowell

Hermiston

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