THE WINONA WINHAWKS beat out four other Minnesota high schools this week to advance in the next round of selecting the nation’s most unique high school mascot.
In an online contest sponsored by the High School Sports Staff of USA TODAY, the Winhawks defeated the Blooming Prairie Awesome Blossoms, the Roosevelt Teddies, the Jordan Hubmen and the Sauk Centre Mainstreeters to represent Minnesota in Region 4.
Results show the Minnesota voting was close—between two of the schools—with the Winona Winhawks grabbing 52 percent of the online votes and the Blooming Prairie Awesome Blossoms nearly 46 percent.
That’s an impressive showing for the Awesome Blossoms given the considerable population difference between the two southern Minnesota communities. Blooming Prairie is home to about 2,000 people while Winona has some 27,500 residents.
Tom Ressler created Blooming Prairie’s logo, a black-and-white Awesome Blossom , in 1979.
Blooming Prairie High School substitute teacher Tammy Wolf noted that difference in a comment posted on the USA TODAY Minnesota voting page:
Great Job Blossom Fans! For a community of 2,000—we did ourselves real proud with 143,376 votes! Proud to be an “Awesome Blossom!” Thanks to all of you who voted for BP!
Voting began today for six regional winners who will then advance to the finals. The Winhawks are now competing against eight other mascots:
- Hodags (a fictional monster) from Rhinelander, Wisconsin
- Kernels (yes, after the Corn Palace) from Mitchell, South Dakota
- Honkers from Kenmare, North Dakota
- Norsemen from Roland-Story High School in Story City, Iowa
- Orphans from Centralia, Illinois
- Nimrods from Watersmeet, Michigan
- Fighting Jeeps from Northeast Dubois in Dubois, Indiana
- Zeps from Shenandoah, Ohio
So, Minnesotans, here’s your opportunity to put Minnesota, specifically Winona, into the national spotlight by voting for the Winhawks between now and March 14. Just click here to vote.
And what exactly is a Winhawk, you ask?
According to the online ballot, Winhawks is a nice play on words that transforms the stereotypical “Hawks” mascot into a winning proposition. Blackhawks. Seahawks. Plain-old Hawks. They have nothing on the Winhawks. Winona’s mascot, Herky, is a cartoon bird with bulky arms.
Prizes ranging from $100 – $2,000 will be awarded to the winning high school athletic departments. And in these days of cash-strapped schools (speaking generally here and not necessarily referencing Winona), that money, I’m certain, would be welcome by any district.
TO READ A PREVIOUS post I wrote about this mascot contest, click here. I really wanted the Awesome Blossoms to win. Sorry, Winhawks. But good luck now. Go Winhawks!
© Copyright 2013 Audrey Kletscher Helbling