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Milford Beacon
  • Milford's mascot: What's in a buccaneer?

  • A city that prides itself on being a river town also works to instill Buccanner pride in its students by offering a mascot that is not one to be reckoned with.

    But as the Board of Education deliberated the design of a new sign for the high school's agriscience facility during its last meeting on Sept. 30, the conversation shifted to the school's need for consistency in the depiction of its mascot.
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  • A city that prides itself on being a river town also works to instill Buccanner pride in its students by offering a mascot that is not one to be reckoned with.
    But as the Board of Education deliberated the design of a new sign for the high school's agriscience facility during its last meeting on Sept. 30, the conversation shifted to the school's need for consistency in the depiction of its mascot.
    While one board member commented that the sign's depiction of a buccaneer looked a little scary, debate arose about whether the previous image, which had the burly character holding a knife in his mouth, should be reinstated.
    To Milford High School Principal David Carter, the buccaneer represents the school's pride and sense of belonging.
    "If you look at the nature of mascots, it's something the kids want to be able to be proud of," he said. "I want my kids to be proud of who they are as buccaneers. The mascot and the pride it carries, this is something that would go on shirts, jackets, banners, sports facilities, and you want other teams to come in and realize they're in buccaneer territory."
    While Carter said it should instill pride, he also acknowledged a need to find a middle ground for how the toughness of the buccaneer is portrayed.
    "We don't want teams to think it's cute. Of course we don't want it to be something that gives people nightmares. We want it to be respectful in the manner that we don't look like pushovers," he said.
    Milford School District Superintendent Phyllis Kohel, who has been with the district in varying capacities for about 30 years, said she has seen at least three or four versions of the school's mascot and hopes to return to one uniform image and logo for the district.
    "If we're going to do it, it should be just the traditional mascot that's been used since the high school was in existence," she said. "I have no problems going back with that and we're not looking to make any changes. But people have taken it upon themselves to just pull a picture of a buccaneer or a pirate off the internet or wherever, so there really hasn't been a consistent one for some time. We'd like to get back to one buccaneer and one logo for the district."
    Board of Education President Marvin Schelhouse agrees that the mascot should be uniform, as students begin identifying as buccaneers in middle school, but that revamping the district's logo is not a top priority.
    "It would be nice … if we could get together and select one [buccaneer] suitable to everybody. Right now, there may be at least three different types of faces utilized," Schelhouse said. "But another thing you have to take into consideration is all the signage that's already done. Funds are tight in all school districts."
    Page 2 of 2 - Kohel plans to bring five or six images of buccaneers to the next Board of Education meeting scheduled for Oct. 28, and the board members will choose which the district will adopt as a uniform image.
    One board member's suggestion of opening the design of a buccaneer to a student art contest was ruled out as too expensive and time-consuming.
    "I don't know if the timing is right for something like that," Schelhouse said. "We could just as easily sit down and pick one. We could select something everybody on the board is in agreement with, that's where I am right now."
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