Jan. 2011 Column

During the 2007 high school football season, Hobbs High School hosted the Frenship High School team from Wolforth, Texas. Based on many comments I later heard, the Hobbs community was impressed with the support shown for the Frenship Tiger football team as well as its marching band.  An article even appeared in the newspaper questioning how Hobbs could increase its support of local schools.  A short time later, a group of HMS staff traveled to Wolforth to observe construction of their district’s new middle school as well as other projects. I was in that group.

During this visit, we noticed all Wolforth schools (including the six elementaries) featured the Tiger blue and gold color scheme as well as the Tiger mascot. Wolforth students are Frenship Tigers –regardless of which elementary or middle school they attend – from the moment they enter kindergarten until they graduate from high school. The Frenship staff explained that by unifying the colors and mascot at each school, the entire community is focused on supporting  the Frenship Tigers.

This planted an idea about whether standardization would work in Hobbs. To some degree, it’s already occurring. Our recent purchases are aimed at having uniform paint colors, desks and furnishings for all buildings. We also are considering whether to adopt  one mascot and color scheme – the Eagle and Black and Gold  - for all secondary schools. I emphasize that this change is only under consideration, particularly given the traditions long associated with our junior high schools. 

But the fact is, we’ve already made the change at one school. When Heizer Junior High became the Freshmen School in 1999, we wanted those students to understand they were truly Eagles and a part of Hobbs High School. HMS painted and replaced most hardscapes of the Heizer Blue Hornets. Because the Freshmen School converts back to Heizer in August, does it make sense to bring back the Hornets and blue color scheme?  And should we continue with the Red Demons at Houston – a mascot in our community to which many object –  while maintaining the Green Highland Bears? Or is now the perfect time to have all three middle schools adopt the Eagle as a mascot and Black and Gold as their colors?

Whichever decision is made will involve some expense. However, all three buildings are routinely painted as part of annual upkeep. Uniforms for each sport and activity are likewise replaced on a regular basis. Money for the conversion would come from existing mill money – not from teacher salaries and is available thanks to the local strong economy. Parents, in fact, might actually save money by buying Eagle shirts beginning in sixth-grade that can be used as a school identifier all the way through 12th grade.

The issue of whether to convert all secondary schools to the Eagle mascot is one on which I’d like community input.

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