Students vote to switch Cedar High School mascot to Reds

A sign depicting Cedar High's now-retired "Redman" mascot on display during a swim meet, Cedar City, Utah, Jan. 12, 2019 | File photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

CEDAR CITY — Starting this fall, Cedar High School’s nickname will now be simply the Reds instead of the Redmen, the school’s transition team has decided, based on a vote of the student body.

According to a news release sent out to local media by CHS Principal John Dodds Thursday night, the transition team, made up of students, faculty, staff and alumni, met several times over the course of the last six weeks. The team’s actions and decisions have been student-driven, Dodds said.

“The conversations have been respectful and direct, and the overall participation has been very healthy,” the news release stated, adding that members of the committee were driven by two key guidelines, namely, “(1) to honor traditions while securing the future; and 2) to maintain the values of strength, honor, courage, excellence and unity.”

On March 26, an assembly was held during which student leaders presented the high school student body and the current 8th-grade students with nine potential mascots: Reds, Titans, Aggies, Iron Wolves, Iron Miners, Tribe, Ranchers, Rockies and Royals. The options were described in a slideshow depicting possible visual logos and characteristics associated with each choice. Students had until the following day to vote for their three favorites.

The Reds received the most votes, followed by Royals in second and Titans placing third, the transition team announced.

“After reviewing the results and seeking further input, the transition team decided to move forward with Reds as the school’s identity and has recommended to the high school administration and school district officials that a professional branding agency be retained to guide the students through the process of creating a new mascot for the school,” the news release stated.

The nickname “Reds” has already been used by the school’s female sports teams, who have called themselves the Lady Reds for a number of years.

Slide from the Cedar High transition team’s presentation describing the option “Reds,” which was subsequently chosen by students as the new mascot. Image courtesy of Cedar High School, St. George News / Cedar City News

The slideshow noted that the name Reds may need to have some form of “red” animal to accompany the new nickname, such as a hawk, bear, stag or wolf, although such a decision has not yet been made.

“The transition team feels strongly that students should lead the creation of the mascot that will accompany the name Reds,” the release stated, noting that the school’s official colors will remain maroon and gold. “The transition team also asked that school colors and other elements reflecting the school’s traditions and heritage be preserved.”

There is still much work left to be done, according to the transition team. 

“The process of creating a new design will address issues like cost benefit analysis for elements of the school that will need to be adapted,” the statement noted, promising that such details would be forthcoming.

“The transition team feels that it is time for everyone to move forward. Now that a decision has been made, it is time to let the Cedar High School community get about the business of educating students and graduating the senior class of 2019 in a positive and enthusiastic manner,” the statement said, adding that the transition team is grateful for those who, through their efforts, dedication and service, have made Cedar High great for over 70 years.

“They recognize that the true meaning of any symbol or brand is not the design element itself but the values behind that element, and for Cedar High those values will always be strength, courage, honor, excellence and unity.”

The issue has been the subject of much debate over the past several months, with the Iron County School District Board of Education ultimately deciding in early February by a 3-2 vote to “respectfully retire” the school’s longtime Redmen mascot. Shortly after that, the transition team was formed and began holding regular meetings.

Thursday’s news release also indicated that the transition team members want the community to know that this was not an easy process.

“However, there is much good coming from this experience,” the statement said. “The Cedar High community is well on its way to finding its own voice in this process, and the students feel empowered with opportunity to design a new mascot.”

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