JAMESTOWN – A new Jamestown High School mascot was approved by the Board of Education on Tuesday night, which will replace the current icon. The “Red Raider” name will stay in place.
The committee tasked with changing the Red Raider imagery from the current “J with a feather” unveiled the proposed design in December: a big cat.
In 2020, the school’s Superintendent, Dr. Kevin Whitaker, requested that the Mascot Committee reconvene to address concerns regarding the feathers on the “J” as it was considered Native American imagery.
Since then, the high school has worked to eliminate Native American imagery in the schools, including the “J with feathers” logo. Subsequently, the district asked the committee to research and recommend a new logo for JHS.
“The Board would like to thank the JHS Mascot Committee for all their time and effort in creating a new mascot for JHS. The district appreciates their dedication and hard work,” said Jamestown Board of Education President Paul Abbott in a statement. “We know the committee had JHS’ best interests at heart – finding a new mascot that honored and respected the long history and tradition of our athletics. We think they have chosen a perfect representation in the new mascot.”
The JHS Mascot Committee, officials tell us, extensively discussed many different options for a new mascot. After lengthy discussions, the committee was ultimately in favor of the idea of going back to their roots with the “big cat” mascot from the 1940’s and 1950’s.
The committee believes provided a great story behind the rebrand and the group also felt that the story of the Red Raiders, and how it has changed over the years, could be an educational opportunity for students and community.
“Our JHS student-athletes liked the idea of an ‘old school, plain big cat’ to ‘new school, modern big cat’ and felt that educating our student body on the history of the mascot was important as most students aren’t aware of it,” said JPS Athletic Director and Mascot Committee Chair, Ben Drake. “We also wanted to ensure that the new mascot highlights the long and proud athletic tradition of JHS that dates back to the early 1900s. By using the “big cat,” we are helping to pay tribute to all the athletic teams that came before us.”
360 Graphics designed the new JHS mascot with input from the committee. After the committee endorsed the new mascot, the district had a trademark attorney do a search to make sure that the new logo and mascot was not an infringement on any other existing logos or mascots. The imagery passed this process.