The Woonsocket school district has finally eliminated the last vestige of its “Redmen” team nickname from its books… but don’t think Woonsocket is giving in to political correctness. Heavens no: Woonsocket is just too small to field its own team in cross country:
The Woonsocket School Board unanimously voted to enter a co-operative agreement with Sanborn Central School for its cross country program, the last athletic activity at the school still participating in events under the “Redmen” moniker. The board approved the agreement at Tuesday’s regular school board meeting at the Woonsocket School.
Woonsocket Superintendent and Activities Director Rod Weber said the decision to co-op its final sport was more about growing the program than following a recommendation put forth earlier this year by the South Dakota High School Activities Association.
…”It just happens that’s our last sport with the Redmen (nickname) too,” Weber said. “But that’s the second discussion, the first discussion is how we can make the program more successful” [Evan Hendershot, “Woonsocket Redmen No More: School District Co-ops Final Sport,” Mitchell Daily Republic, 2016.04.13].
Hendershot reports “Redmen” is mostly gone from the Woonsocket school. The district has yet to remove an Indian logo from a scoreboard and “Redmen” from the school gym and from two floor mats at the front door (because stepping on “Redmen” on your way into the building every day is no big deal).
Where decency can’t prevail, can we settle for practicality?
As Woonsocket fans finally lose the opportunity to invoke my favorite prayer ever as they cheer their team on, Woonsocket cross-country runners join their other athletes in flying the Sanborn Central banner, which is still evolving from the old Rebels to the official Blackhawks. Artesian and Letcher consolidated in 1991; they used “Rebel” as their mascot through their name change to Sanborn Central in 2005. Artesian used to be the Rams; Letcher, the Tigers.
I don’t know who that Rebel in buckskin and a feathered French hat is supposed to be, Black Hawk was a Sauk leader whose people were pushed west of the Mississippi in 1804. Black Hawk joined the British to fight expansionist Americans in 1812, then waged his own war (really, it’s named for him: the Black Hawk War) in 1832, leading a counterinvasion from Iowa into Illinois against American militiamen who included Abraham Lincoln.