New mascot creates tension among students

A visual of the logo that is causing so much controversy. This is only one of six logos that the school is currently using.


At the start of a year unusually challenging for all schools, with a move from in-person to distance learning, the Loudoun County community has had to adjust yet another change: the change of mascot from the Raiders to the Captains. The school board voted to change the mascot over the summer, and the school was given less than two months to find a new one.

To start the mascot selection process, the SCA created a Google Form for ideas. Students could submit their ideas for a new mascot through the form and then the staff and SCA members voted on the top ten and narrowed it down from there.

SCA President Samantha Welstead admits it was a strenuous process to finally come to a decision for the good of the school. “There were definitely disagreements between the members of the Student Council,” she said. “Narrowing it down was extremely challenging, especially with trying to get everyone to agree.”

They narrowed it down by eliminating mascots similar to other schools in the area as well as those that could be potentially controversial. This process eventually helped them reach the top three choices and then the students voted.

Although the mascot change came as a shock to many, they are slowly adapting. Over time I got used to the fact that the mascot had to change,” said senior Adrianna Kopp. “I voted for the Captains thinking that it was the best fit and closest to Raiders.”

The change of mascot has created a variety of opinions amongst students at our school, and one of the new logos is a main topic of interest. The school released six logos, with five of them being words or letters. The sixth, a visual representation of a captain, has drawn more attention than the others.

“I don’t like the look of the male mascot,” Junior Adia Davis said. “When I voted, I assumed the mascot would look more like a pirate and I feel like he looks more like a construction worker.”

Kopp also has a mixed opinion about the look of the Captain. She believes the school could have invested more time in the logo of the Captain. “I don’t know why they went on the Internet and used a picture off of Shutterstock and called it the new logo,” Kopp said. “I just don’t think it really represents the school.”

Although Davis is unhappy with the new look, she had also voted for the Captains. “I thought it had a nice ring to it and would be the easiest transition for the school looks-wise. I think people would identify with the Captain the most since a Raider is quite similar,” Davis said.

Kopp envisioned the new mascot looking more like the Christopher Newport Captains and was confused when she saw what it actually was. “I just assumed it would look more like the pirate one at CNU and I think it would look more professional if they had done it that way,” said Kopp.

Another source of contention is that students were unable to vote on the new logos. Many assumed they would have an option pick from a variety of options, but they were just presented with them later.

“They could easily create a Captain logo that appeals to everyone and isn’t just a militaristic looking man,” said Kopp. “In order to make it more appealing I would make it more original and maybe get art students to design something.”

Welstead said the opinions were quite mixed when the new logos were shown to students during the mascot reveal. She knew that some people would be upset with the mascot either way and would find a way to hate it, especially if they hadn’t wanted the mascot to change in the first place.

“Most people were fine with the name Captains, but the physical appearance of the Captain caused people to be upset because they assumed it would look more like a naval Captain,” said Welstead.

At first, Assistant Principal Katie Post was also unsure about the male mascot logo. “I warmed up to that particular logo once a friend told me it could be interpreted many ways. For instance, it could embody the Captain of a sports team, or the Captain of the ROTC, or even a Captain of the community,” said Post.

Although there have been many issues surrounding the mascot, it is important to look on the bright side and realize there can always be improvements made. “It’s all about the student’s attitude and what they make of it,” said Welstead.