Marc's Distinctive High School Mascot Collection: P-S
Last Updated: January 1, 2014
Welcome to Part 4 of my collection of distinctive and unusual mascots of United States high school teams. This section includes schools starting with the letter P through S. New and updated information is denoted by animated images.
Pahoa Daggers (HI) -- "Pahoa" is the Hawaiian word for dagger.
Palco Roosters (KS) -- Represented by a tough-looking chicken on the school sign. This name is also used for the girls' teams, though roosters are male birds.
Palo Verde Titans (Tucson, AZ) -- The history behind this school's nickname is unusual. Palo Verde's teams are named after nuclear missiles. In the 1960s-1990s, the United States Air Force placed twenty or more Titan and Titan II nuclear missile sites around the Tucson area.
Paoli Pugs (OK) -- Symbolized by that breed of dog. The girls' teams are called "Lady Pugs."
Parkland Matadors (El Paso, TX) -- Honors those who take part in bullfighting. The nearby middle school has the nickname "Novilleros," which are matadors in training.
Parrish Purple Tornadoes (AL) -- Was given this nickname after a tornado that was described as “purple” came through the town.
Pateros Billygoats (WA) -- The girls' teams at Pateros are known as "Nannies," which are female goats.
Paul T. Albert Coasters (Tununak, AK) -- The school's hometown is located on Alaska's west coast.
Pender Pendragons (NE) -- A dragon symbol used by leaders in battle.
Penobscot Valley Howlers (Howland, ME) -- Symbolized by a wolf. I think the name of the town, Howland, probably made this a natural choice.
Pershing Doughboys (Detroit, MI) -- The school's namesake, General John J. "Black Jack" Pershing, was commander of the United States Allied Expeditionary Force during World War I. His troops were dubbed "doughboys."
Phillipsburg Stateliners (NJ) -- The city lies on the Delaware River, which acts as the boundary line between the states of New Jersey and Pennsylvania. This name is often shortened to "Liners."
Philo Electrics (OH) -- Symbolized, of course, by a lightning bolt. The school newspaper is titled "The Electrific."
Pine Bush Bushmen (NY) -- This is probably derived the from town name, I think. The girls are called "Lady Bushmen."
Pine Ridge Thorpes (SD) -- Honors the Native American Jim Thorpe, one of the greatest athletes in American history. He won the pentathlon and decathlon at the 1912 Stockholm Summer Olympics. The school was created in 1879 to serve Sioux students living on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. It now serves to educate Oglala Lakota Nation children and preserve the Lakota language
Pius XI Popes (Milwaukee, WI) -- Honors school namesake Pope Pius XI, who served from 1922 to 1939. By the way, the girls' teams are known as "Lady Popes."
Plano Reapers (IL) -- Symbolized by that piece of farming machinery. The girls' teams are called "Lady Reapers." Plano was the site where the grain reaper was first built in America. For a number of years, the city was the site of farm machine manufacturing companies. The city bills itself as "Birthplace of the Harvester - Home of the Reaper."
Pleasant Hill Billies (OR) -- They used to be known as "Hillbillies," (circa 1910) but now this name is a shortened form of "Billy Goats."
Poca Dots (WV) -- This nickname dates back to 1928. A Charleston Gazette sportswriter suggested the nickname at the time.
Point Hope Harpooners (AK) -- Refers to whale hunting, an essential part of the community's life. The girls' teams are called "Harpoonerettes."
Point Pleasant Big Blacks (WV) -- Officially, the teams are "Black Knights." The "Big Black" name is believed to have originated back in the 1940's, when the school wore all-black uniforms.
Polo Marcos (IL) -- Zenas Aplington, the founding father of the town, admired Marco Polo and named it after the great explorer. A picture of Marco Polo serves as a school symbol. The girls' teams are dubbed "Lady Marcos."
Poly Parrots (Sun Valley, CA) -- A proud parrot carrying books (to signify academic excellence) acts as the school logo.
Poplar Springs Atomics (Graceville, FL) -- The atomic symbol, with electrons circling the nucleus of an atom, serves as a school symbol.
Potsdam Sandstoners (NY) -- Symbolized by a large man wielding an equally large pickaxe. Potsdam is situated on an abundant and wide band of well-renowned, reddish-orange sandstone located north of the Adirondack foothills.
Poudre Impalas (Fort Collins, CO) -- A type of African antelope.
Powell County Wardens (Deer Lodge, MT) -- The teams are known as the "Wardens" because the Montana State Prison is located near Deer Lodge.
Pratt Greenbacks (KS) -- One of the few schools that has chosen a frog as its mascot.
Prescott Curley Wolves (AR) -- This name dates to the 1920s. After a local reporter interviewed the coach of Little Rock High, Prescott's next opponent, he wrote that Little Rock's coach was expecting "a good workout" during the game with Prescott. The Prescott players took that as an insult (which it was not) and went on to crush Little Rock. That night, a Western Union messenger brought to the Little Rock newspaper editor's desk the following message from Prescott: "What do you think of the workout we gave your Tigers this afternoon? Prescott High School Football Team." The editor responded with an article titled "WE THINK THAT THE BOYS ARE CURLEY WOLVES." On the following Monday, morning assembly exercises at Prescott High School were turned into a celebration of the victory. The article and its headline were read at the assembly, and by unanimous vote "Curley Wolves" was adopted as the football team's official nickname.
Progreso Red Ants (TX) -- This name is also used by the middle school.
Prophetstown Prophets (IL) -- The town and school are named for White Cloud, a Sauk medicine man (also dubbed a "prophet") who betrayed the Black Hawk during the 1832 Black Hawk War. Prophetstown was the site of one of the first Black Hawk villages destroyed in that war.
Providence Provets (San Antonio, TX) -- I've heard this means "female warrior," which fits for this all-girls school.
Punahou Buffanblu (Honolulu, HI) -- For buff and blue, the school colors representing the sand and sea of Hawaii. "Buff and Blue" is another version used by Punahou's teams.
Punxsutawney Chucks (PA) – Short for "Woodchucks," another name for groundhogs. Punxsutawney is known as the "weather capital of the world." The town is home to Punxsutawney Phil, a groundhog (or woodchuck) who emerges every Groundhog Day (February 2) to predict the arrival of spring weather.
Quincy Jacks (WA) -- Quincy is located in an arid part of Washington. When it was first settled, jackrabbits were more abudant than people. The name is officially "Jackrabbits," but "Jacks" is the preferred nickname.
Rainier Columbians (OR) -- The town is built near the banks of the Columbia River. Symbolized by a fierce-looking ship captain.
Randolph Ro-Hawks (Universal City, TX) -- A combination of a rocket and a hawk. This all came about, the story goes, when a vote was taken on the school mascot for Randolph, and the top two choices of "Rockets" and "Hawks" ended up in a tie.
Rapid City Central Cobblers (Rapid City, SD) -- The athletic teams came to be known as the Cobblers in 1934-1935; the name was created in honor of Coach E .N. Cobb. This is also a term for shoemakers.
Rawlins Outlaws (WY) -- The city is the site of the state penitentiary.
Red Bank Catholic Caseys (Red Bank, NJ) -- Monsignor Joseph T. Casey, a retired Rear Admiral in the Navy and the Director of Red Bank Catholic High School, used his own naval pension to buy uniforms and equipment for the sports teams in the early 1940's. To honor him, the teams are known as "Caseys."
Regina Saddlelites (Harper Woods, MI) -- The school represents its mascot with a pair of black and white saddle shoes, which are painted on the wall of their gym. The girls of the school wear saddle shoes everyday with their uniforms.
Rhinelander Hodags (WI) -- A "Hodag" is a mythical, Tazmanian Devil-like creature that is said to inhabit the area around the forests near Rhinelander.
Richey-Lambert Fusion (MT) -- The schools entered into a athletic co-op in 2009. The logo features a lion wearing a crown to symbolize the union of the Richey
"Royals" and Lambert "Lions."
Richland Bombers (WA) -- Named for the role the nearby Hanford Nuclear Reservation played in the creation of the atomic bomb during World War II. A mushroom cloud was added to Richland's athletic logo in the mid 1970's. There is some confusion about whether the name came from "Day's Pay," a B-17 bomber featured in a school mural, but I've been informed by multiple sources that the name came from the bomb, not the bomber.
Ridgefield Spudders (WA) -- Ridgefield once was a major potato-producing area of the state. Their logo features a large smiling potato wearing a crown. This name was chosen over "Pruners," as Ridgefield decided to honor its potato farming over its other major crop, prunes. The local elementary calls its students "Tater Tots," and at one time, the girls at Ridgefield were unofficially called "Sweet Potatoes."
Ridgway Elkers (PA) -- Possibly refers to Elk County, where Ridgway is located.
Rio Hondo Prep Kares (Arcadia, CA) -- The school was created in 1964 by the Kare Youth League, an after-school organization dedicated to working with youth of the San Gabriel Valley.
Rising Sun Shiners (IN) -- I think this plays off of the town's name.
River Forest Ingots (Hobart, IN) -- An "ingot" is a mass of refined metal cast into some convenient shape for transportation. As the school states, "Steel depicts strength, zeal, and courage." The local steel industry likely influenced this choice.
R.J. Hendley Christian Disciples (Riviera Beach, FL) -- A rather fitting nickname for a Christian school...
Robert E. Lee Fighting Leemen (Staunton, VA) -- This name is also used for the girls' teams.
Robstown Cottonpickers (TX) -- At one time, many of the people in this area were employed in the production of cotton.
Rochelle Township Hubs (Rochelle, IL) -- The town is located at the center, or hub, of a network of highways and railroads. A wooden wheel hub is in the school's logo.
Rockford East E-Rabs (Rockford, IL) -- This is short for "East Red and Blacks," which refers to the school name and colors.
Rockhurst Hawklets (Kansas City, MO) -- The teams of Rockhurst University, which is located in Kansas City, go by "Hawks."
Rock Island Rocks (IL) -- This seems to be an example of playing off the town's name.
Rocky Ford Meloneers (CO) -- Represented by a surly-looking melon. The city bills itself as "The Sweet Melon Capital of The World."
Rodney Riders (Camden/Wyoming, DE) -- School namesake Caesar Rodney is famous for his long ride to Philadelphia to deliver Delaware's vote for American independence in July 1776.
Roman Catholic Cahillites (Philadelphia, PA) -- Honors school benefactor Thomas E. Cahill.
Roscoe Plowboys (TX) -- The area is known as "Plowboy Country." The girls at Roscoe are called "Plowgirls."
Rotan Yellowhammers (TX) -- A type of woodpecker.
Rowe-Clark Masai Lions (Chicago, IL) -- This mascot was likely adopted in 2007, when the school opened.
Rowland Hall-St. Mark's Winged Lions (Salt Lake City, UT) -- Such a mystical creature appears on the school logo.
Roxana Shells (IL) -- The school is located adjacent to a Royal Dutch Shell Oil Company refinery. Their school colors are the company's colors: red, royal blue, and yellow. The town is sometimes referred to as "The Town that Shell Built," for the oil refinery was built in 1918, with the town following in 1921.
Rush-Henrietta Royal Comets (Henrietta, NY) -- This is a result of a 1987 school consolidation of the Roth Royals and the Sperry Comets.
Sacred Heart Valkyries (Louisville, KY) -- Named for the maidens who serve the Viking god Odin and conduct the souls of heroes who die in battle to the warriors' paradise of Valhalla.
St. Augustine Hermits (Richland, NJ) -- The story on this name goes back to the late 1950s and early 1960s. St. Augustine Prep was founded as a seminary in a wooded area. A joke was started that since the school was so far back in the woods, the students would all become hermits. There have been three or four efforts to change the name, but the students have retained the Hermit moniker.
St. Benedict Gray Bees (Newark, NJ) -- The school has been dubbed "The Hive."
St. Bernard's Central Catholic Bernardians (Fitchburg, MA) -- I imagine this is derived from the school name.
St. Bonaventure Seraphs (Ventura, CA) -- Named after the highest order of angels. Seraphs are said to have three pairs of wings.
St. Cecilia Scarabs (Nashville, TN) -- An Egyptian symbol for life, the scarab beetle represented the creator of the universe and, by extension, the energy and vitality of all creative forces in the world. Also uses the initials of Saint Cecilia Academy, which spells the word as "SCArabs."
St. Francis Troubadors (Honolulu, HI) -- Saint Francis was known as the "Troubador of Assisi."
St. Francis Wyverns (Louisville, KY) -- The "wyvern" is a winged dragon with two legs and a barbed tail.
St. George Seal Pups (AK) -- There are several fur seal rookeries located on the beaches of the island, where more than a million seals congregate every summer.
St. George's Dragons (Spokane, WA) -- Legend has it that St. George slew a fearsome dragon.
St. Hubert Bambies (Philadelphia, PA) -- Represented by a deer who resembles the famous Disney character, Bambi.
St. John Woodchucks (ND) -- Represented by a mean-looking woodchuck carrying an axe.
St. John Military Muleskinners (Salina, KS) -- A slang term for one who drives mules. A school logo includes a soldier on a wagon driving his team. The students are also dubbed "Cadets" because of the type of school they attend.
St. Joseph's Redstickers (Baton Rouge, LA) -- "Baton Rouge" is French for "red stick."
St. Lawrence Central Larries (Brasher Falls, NY) -- Apparently, this name came from a type of elusive bird; at least that is the story told to students. My source told me that school yearbooks featured a picture of the bird.
St. Louis University Junior Billikens (St. Louis, MO) -- The high school was the forerunner to Saint Louis University, whose teams are called "Billikens."
St. Mary's Episcopal Turkeys (Memphis, TN) -- This nickname was born in 1975. A pair of girls who had brothers at an all-boys school were inspired by that school's
student body jokingly changing their school symbol from an owl to a buzzard. The girls decided to emulate the idea and humorously suggested a turkey as the
unofficial mascot at St. Mary's. The idea took off, and the school adopted the bird as its school mascot.
St. Mary's Prep Eaglets (Orchard Lake, MI) -- The school was housed on a campus with a college and seminary, who used the team name of "Eagles."
St. Mary's Springs Ledgers (Fond-du-Lac, WI) -- St. Mary's Springs High School is situated on the Niagara Escarpment, known locally as "the ledge."
St. Michael's Horsemen (Santa Fe, NM) -- The name "Lady Horsemen" is used for the girls' teams. The parents' club newsletter is known as "Hoof Beats."
St. Paul Sea Parrots (St. Paul Island, AK) -- The name refers to the tufted and horned puffins that breed on the island. The elementary school's students are called "Little Sea Parrots."
St. Peter-Marian Central Catholic Guardians (Worcester, MA) -- Also used by their junior high.
St. Pius X Sartans (Albuquerque, NM) -- St. Pius X was born Giuseppe Melchiorre Sarto, so it seems the school chose to remember their namesake by naming their teams for him.
St. Stanislaus Rock-a-Chaws (Bay St. Louis, MS) -- Derived from the Indian name for a burr which grows in the sandy soils of the Gulf Coast. Football coach Forster Commagere once told his players to "go out there and stick to them like rock-a-chaws."
Salem Witches (MA) -- Salem was the site of the Salem Witch Trials in 1692, when a number of people were tried for practicing witchcraft and executed (mostly by hanging). A school symbol shows a witch flying on a broom.
Salesianum Sallies (Wilmington, DE) -- Many times, they go by "Sals" and apply the "Sallies" name to the all-boys school itself.
Sallisaw Black Diamonds (OK) -- This mascot was first used in 1924. A "black diamond" is a nickname for a chunk of coal. Sallisaw was noted for its strip mining of coal during the 1920s and '30s.
San Benito Haybalers (Hollister, CA) -- Also known as the "Balers." JV teams are dubbed "Hayseeds" and the freshmen teams are called "Hay Babes." The region was a major hay producer.
San Diego Cavers (CA) -- Represented by a caveman wielding a club.
Sand Springs Sandites (OK) -- I think the home city of the school played a part in the choice of nickname.
Sandy Springs Friends Wildebeests (Sandy Springs, MD) -- Sometimes shortened to "Beests."
San Luis Sidewinders (AZ) -- A "sidewinder" is also called the "Horned Rattlesnake." It is unique because of its sideways form of locomotion with its body moving in an S-shaped curve.
San Saba Armadillos (TX) -- Sometimes shortened to "Dillos" or "Lady Dillos."
Saugerties Sawyers (NY) -- The name of Saugerties apparently comes from a character known as "de zaagaartje" or the "Sawmill man" in Dutch. "Sawyer" is a term for one who makes a living by sawing wood. The school's logo is a large rotary sawblade.
Sauk Centre Main Streeters (MN) -- Sometimes shortened to "Streeters." Noted author Sinclair Lewis was born in the area, and he was the first American to win the Nobel Prize for Literature. One of his greatest novels was "Main Street," modeled after Sauk Centre and published in 1920.
Sevier County Smoky Bears (Sevierville, TN) -- Great Smoky Mountains National Park, located south of Sevierville, is home to about 1800 bears. This nickname is usually shortened to "Bears."
Sharpstown Apollos (Houston, TX) -- Named for the Roman god of medicine, music, poetry, and prophecy. (I wonder if Houston's role as a major NASA site and its Apollo missions had a role in this name being selected...) The girls' teams are known as "Lady Apollos."
Sheldon Orabs (IA) -- "Orabs" is derived simply from the school colors: "Or" for orange, "A" for the word "and," and "B" for black. The "S" was added to make the plural form of the name.
Students and alums are often asked what an "Orab" is, and the most popular answer is, "Orabs are WINNERS!" This answer can still be seen on local bumper stickers.
Shelley Russets (ID) -- In honor of Idaho's famous cash crop, the potato.
Shelton Highclimbers (WA) -- A "Highclimber" is a logging term for a logger who limbs and tops a tree.
Shenandoah Zeps (Sarahsville, OH) -- The school is named after the Zeppelin airship U. S. S. Shenandoah, which crashed in the area in 1925.
Sheridan Japanese Samurai (Sheridan, OR) -- This symbolizes the school's Japanese focus.
Sherwood Bowmen (OR) -- This name is also used for the girls' teams. I imagine the name derives from the stories of England's Sherwood Forest and of legendary bowman and outlaw Robin Hood.
Shishmaref Northern Lights (AK) -- Refers to the aurora borealis, a.k.a. the "Northern Lights."
Shoals Jug Rox (IN) -- Named after the Jug Rock, a jug-shaped stone formation that stands seventy-six feet high and is located west of the town. A picture of the standing rock serves as a district logo.
Silver Grove Big Trains (KY) -- The city was built by the C&O Railroad, which laid out the town in 1912 to house its employees.
Simon Benson Tech Techmen (Portland, OR) -- The school was established as the Portland School of Trades, later renamed for its namesake, who donated money to house a technical school. One of the school symbols is a mechanical gear stamped with a "B." Even the girls' teams use the "Techmen" nickname.
Sioux Valley Cossacks (Volga, SD) -- The Cossacks were noted horsemen and cavalrymen in southwestern Russia and the Ukraine.
Sleepy Hollow Headless Horsemen (NY) -- The town was the setting for Washington Irving's classic tale, "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow," which featured a headless ghost horseman.
Slocomb Red Tops -- One of the early football coaches at Slocomb painted his team’s helmets red to distinguish them
from other teams’ leather helmets. He called his team "Red Tops," and the name stuck.
Smethport Hubbers (Smethport, PA) -- The city is known as "The Hub of
McKean County," because of its status as the county seat and for the many roads that go through Smethport.
Smithville Smithies (OH) -- Symbolized by a blacksmith at work creating a horseshoe. I would guess the mascot is based on the name of the town.
Sol C. Johnson Atom Smashers (Savannah, GA) -- Represented by a hammer-holding hand and arm smashing an atom. This name dates to the 1960, in the days of the "Atomic Age."
Somers Tuskers (Lincolndale, NY) -- This mascot is represented by an elephant.
Somerset Briar Jumpers (KY) -- The "Jumpers" in question are rabbits. The Somerset gym is nicknamed "The Briar Patch."
Somerville Yeguas (TX) -- Somerville's location near Yegua Creek led to this name being adopted.
South Beloit Sobos (IL) -- Apparently a combination of "South" and "Beloit." Sometimes written as "SoBos," this name is also used by the junior high school.
South Central Satellites (Union Mills, IN) -- This name was adopted when the school was opened in the 1962-1963 school year, as satellites were being launched into space.
Southeastern Jungaleers (Detroit, MI) -- When built, the school was so far out in the swampy fields and clumps of trees in the former village of Fairview that the students soon became known as the "Jungaleers".
South Stanly Rebel Bulls (Norwood, NC) -- The teams are also sometimes called "Rowdy Rebel Bulls."
South Wasco County Redsides (OR) -- A "Redside" is a trout in the local Deschutes River.
South Webster Jeeps (OH) -- In the 1930's, basketball coaches were not permitted to speak with their players during games or time-outs to prevent them from giving new plays to the team. SW's coach started sending water and towels out to the players in a little box during time-outs to get around the rule. Rumor had it that the box also contained written instructions for the team. The box was soon known as the "Jeep Box," after the mysterious Jeep character of the Popeye comic strip. Reporters started referring to the team as the "Jeeps."
Southwest Star Concept Quasars (Okabena, MN) -- Named for the distant starlike celestial objects that emit immense quantities of radio and light waves.
Southwestern Piasa Birds (Piasa, IL) -- According to the school website, "The Piasa bird is said to have flown over the 'Great Father of Waters' thousands of moons before the white man came, when magolonyn and mastodon were still living." The Piasa, or Piusa, means "the bird that devours men" or "bird of the evil spirit." Early drawings depict it as part bird, reptile, mammal, and fish.
Sparks Railroaders (NV) -- Symbolized by a speeding locomotive.
Speedway Sparkplugs (IN) -- The nickname honors the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, located in the town of Speedway.
Springdale Dynamos (PA) -- The mascot name was given because there are electric power plants at each end of town. The official name of the mascot is Reddy Killowatt. The insignia is a block S with a lighting bolt going through it.
Springtown Fighting Porcupines (TX) -- Symbolized by a fierce member of the porcupine species.
Stagg Delta Kings (Stockton, CA) -- The city sits near a river delta. The girls' teams are called "Delta Queens."
Staples Wreckers (Westport, CT) -- The nickname was adopted after a famous Staples win over Norwalk High School in the 1920s. One year, Norwalk High was having a great undefeated season in football. They specifically chose Staples to play for their Homecoming game, figuring that Staples was an 'easy' win. Unfortunately for Norwalk, the Staples football team came in and crushed the 'undefeated' team. Headlines the following day read, "Staples High Wrecks Norwalk's Homecoming!"
Starkweather-Munich Magic Storm (ND) -- This is a combination of the Starkweather Stormkings and Munich Magicians.
State College Area Little Lions (PA) -- Penn State University is located in the town of State College, and their teams are known as "Nittany Lions."
Steelton-Highspire Steamrollers (Steelton, PA) -- Steelton High was a small school that was known for defeating much larger high school and college teams. In the 1920's Steelton High crushed most of its opponents by huge margins. In 1929, a newspaper reporter once wrote: "The Steelton Steamroller crushes Williamsport, Pa. 91-3." This name is often shortened to "Rollers."
Sturgis Brown Scoopers (Sturgis, SD) -- The Sturgis Brown High logo features "Scooper Sam," a burly shoveler. The town was known as "Scooptown" from its earliest inception as a town in 1878. The nickname of "Scooptown" was given by passing travelers who had the contents of their pockets and belongings literally scooped away from them by characters of dubious morality (e.g. gamblers). Soldiers of Fort Meade were also targets of "scoopers."
Stuttgart Ricebirds (AR) -- The town bills itself as the "Duck and Rice Capital of the World."
Stuyvesant Peglegs (New York, NY) -- School namesake Peter Stuyvesant was the Dutch colonial governor of New York. He had a wooden leg, hence the name "Peglegs."
Sultan Turks (WA) -- This mascot seems to play off of the name of the town. The school's logo includes a Turkish sword.
Sultana Sultans (Hesperia, CA) -- Represented by an Arabian ruler. "Sultana" is the feminine form of "sultan."
Sutton Sammies (MA) -- This may come from a nickname applied by Europeans to U.S. troops who fought in World War I. The girls' teams are called "Suzies."
Sweet Grass County Sheepherders (Big Timber, MT) -- This name is often shortened to "Herders." Symbolized by a grizzled old shepherd smoking a pipe.