The Mystery of the Missing Mascot

DeForest High School’s mascot has been noticeably absent throughout the years.

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(Current mascot in 2013 yearbook and photo of mascot found in 1983 yearbook)

“Others schools have [a mascot], why don’t we?” asks DeForest Area High School Junior, Sawyer Lawton, in regards to the school’s mascot absence from school events. The school’s mascot, a Norski, is primarily only seen during homecoming.

The mascot in question was actually used frequently in the early 2000s; however, upon interviewing Rick Henert and Teal Butler, athletic director, and athletic secretary, respectively, at DeForest, they conveyed a history of the mascot and reasons as to why the Norski is absent at school. The Norski itself has gone through a minimum of three transformations, with the earliest sightings being in 1983.

In its current form, the Norski is a brown-haired Viking-like person, sporting long hair in pigtails, a mustache, horned helmets, and boots.

The current mascot wasn’t developed until 2003.

As for the mascot’s apparent scarcity, Rick Henert described a variety of reasons, such as the training a student or faculty member would need to go through (maintaining the integrity of costume, privacy needed), the fact that there are not enough students to allow for a good rotation of mascots, and the issues that come with wearing the suit (reports of uncomfortable, hot, hard to see out of).

Whether or not students and faculty would look to see more of the mascot? The answer, yes. In a survey sent to the student and faculty of DeForest, 93% of the respondents in the survey have said they would like to see more of the mascot at sporting events and assortments.

In fact, there is support from the school’s own Principal, Pheng Lee, “[The mascot] would bring more school spirit, emulate the culture of the school”.

Freshman football coach and math teacher at DeForest, Kyle Borland says, “[The mascot] would add a fun element to games, [it] gives people something to look forward to.”

There is in fact overwhelming support from the students as well as the faculty. Of the 32 respondents in a survey, 29 of which were students, 93% of the respondents would like to see the Norski at sporting and school events.

In fact, Junior cheerleader, Olivia Kaminsky would love to incorporate the mascot into cheer routines, saying, “I would love to fly [The Norski].”

Mascots themselves are an important part of a school’s culture and create energy in a sporting event. Whether it be bucky badger partaking in jump around at Camp Randall, or Ralphie the buffalo running across Folsom Field at the University of Colorado, these mascots and their traditions are a staple to their school. The absence of the Norski has left something to be desired from the students and faculty at DeForest. However, if the athletic department is more than willing to use the mascot more at DeForest, they simply need more people.

With that in mind, if you or someone you know is interested in becoming the mascot, contact Rick Henert. Until then it seems the elusive mascot may remain missing from events at DeForest for the time being.