CUYAHOGA HEIGHTS, Ohio — After months of searching, Cuyahoga Heights officially has a new mascot.
From henceforth, all of the school district's sports teams will be known at the "RedWolves." The selection is the culmination of a community survey that began back in October of 2021, when the school board unanimously voted to drop the controversial "Redskins" moniker that had been used since the 1940s.
Superintendent Tom Evans, who unveiled the winner himself at a Tuesday ceremony, released the following statement:
"We're pleased with the outcome especially as we involved as many interested parties as possible and took into account the proud traditions and spirit of our school district. I want to thank parents, students, alumni, and community residents for their input in this process and I especially want to thank the committee for its extraordinary work and commitment. They really put their heart and soul into this effort and we couldn’t be more appreciative of their work."
The decision to drop "Redskins" in the middle of last year's high school football season came in the wake of teams such as the former Cleveland Indians (now Guardians) and Washington Redskins (Commanders) doing away with their own Native American-themed names. School officials immediately set out to find a permanent replacement, but in the meantime, the district's athletic programs had been temporarily known as just "Heights."
A TURNING POINT: The push to retire Native American mascots in schools
Evans compiled a list of more than 60 suggestions. As the options were narrowed down, a poll among all students found 66% supported keeping "Red" in the name, and eventually "RedWolves" beat out the runner-up "RedHawks."
While Evans and others all wore t-shirts emblazoned with the new logo, there's still the matter of the official "RedWolf" mascot. Art teacher Halle McPherson will team up with a group of students to come up with the final product.
"We're going to do some research on some trademarks and we’ll develop that so we can start putting our logo on our uniforms and our shirts as we move forward," Evans added. "I'm super-excited about the new step forward we will take as the Cuyahoga Heights RedWolves."
The board is expected to formally approve the RedWolves name at Wednesday's meeting.