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posted: 3/10/2014 4:01 PM

What's a 'maroon?' Elgin HS looks to adopt mascot

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  • For most of Elgin High School's existence, the school was simply known as the "Maroons" as shown in this 1971 yearbook picture. A committee is looking for a mascot that might tie in with these longtime school colors.

      For most of Elgin High School's existence, the school was simply known as the "Maroons" as shown in this 1971 yearbook picture. A committee is looking for a mascot that might tie in with these longtime school colors.
    Courtesy of Jerry Turnquist

  • Chief Mighty Maroon served as the Elgin High School mascot for more than 20 years beginning in the early 1980s.

      Chief Mighty Maroon served as the Elgin High School mascot for more than 20 years beginning in the early 1980s.
    Courtesy of Jerry Turnquist

 

So, just what's a "Maroon? Well, it's someone from Elgin High School -- one of the oldest high schools in the state, of course.

But, being known just by their school colors -- "maroon and cream," to be exact -- has always left the students and alumni in different company.

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After all, other high schools in the district include the Streamwood Sabres, the Larkin Royals, the Bartlett Hawks, and the South Elgin Storm -- all institutions with some kind of visible mascot.

A move to give the school an identity beyond its colors occurred in the early 1980s when Elgin High School adopted the "Chief Mighty Maroon." But, that mascot of a Native American man with a headdress was phased out over a decade ago.

In recent times, the idea of adopting a mascot is again gaining consideration. One of those at the forefront of the effort is Paul Pennington, the school's athletic director and a 1991 graduate of Elgin High School.

A committee has been formed which includes coaches, teachers, and administrators is exploring the idea of a mascot. The group also includes community leaders, past and recent alumni and current students.

"The name 'Maroons' will stay as is," notes Pennington. "The committee is simply looking to find an image to rally around. This will come into play primarily for athletic and club activities."

The committee says the image will represent Elgin High School in several ways. It will convey the school's rich history and tradition. It will display strength and pride. The new face of the Maroons will be something that truly shows Elgin High's values and will stand the test of time.

"Most of us are very proud to have been Maroons and a lot of us will always consider ourselves to be Maroons," said Chandler Swan, class of 1960 and a member of the committee. "I, initially, was not enthused about having a 'mascot,' as we never had one while I was in school and didn't see the need for one after over 100 years.

However, times have changed and I now see the reasons for putting a face to the name Elgin Maroons -- which will never change. It will invoke school spirit, help students connect to the school and outsiders may stop asking, 'What the heck is a Maroon?"

The committee is looking for suggestions from others. These may be sent through Facebook at "Mascot Suggestion Start Date," or on Twitter @mascotehs.

Suggestions may also be sent by email to ehsmascot@gmail.com or elginboosters@yahoo.com.

The Elgin High School Mascot Selection Committee will consider all suggestions received by Friday, March 14.

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