The new nickname receives overwhelming support after initially faltering
BY QUINTON R. ARTHUR
LANSING, Ill. (April 28, 2022) — Thornton Fractional South High School’s new mascot was approved during District 215’s April 26 school board meeting. Lansing’s public high school will now be known as the “Red Wolves.”
In August of 2020, the board voted to dissolve the nickname “Rebels” after concerns from TF South students and the community about the racially-charged history of the name. A process was then initiated for a new school mascot.
The first and second round
The renaming process began in the 2020-21 school year. The task force was composed of four TF South staff and three elected student representatives from each grade level. They worked through a list of over 100 submitted names from the community, staff, and students. The list was narrowed down to 20, and then to five.
Due to low engagement during the pandemic, the school board voted against renaming to “Red Wolves” in June 2021 to ensure more participation in the process. The response rate at the time was 366 individuals.
Moving forward with a second round of the process during the 2021-22 school year, the list of names was narrowed down to two, “Flyers” and “Red Wolves.” More students and staff participated in the voting process, increasing the response rate to 999 individuals. “Red Wolves” was selected, receiving 715 of the votes. Roughly 1,800 students are enrolled at TF South.
Part of the pack
TF South Junior Caleb Newman and Social Studies teacher Rob Shell — both of whom were on the task force to help choose the new name — attended Tuesday’s meeting.
Shell shared that during the first round of voting, “Red Wolves” was selected.
“It reinforces the idea that it was popular with the students, and it was their number one choice,” said Shell.
Newman, who was excited to share sample visuals and branding opportunities, feels school spirit will be revitalized after almost two years without a mascot.
“The big thing for me is that this will give our school some type of culture. The Red Wolves is versatile, and we can throw it in a few different scenarios,” said Newman.
The mascot’s nickname will be Victor E. Wolf, and at games, will be supported by howls by the student section, “The Pack.” Students and Athletes of the Month will be recognized as “Leader of the Pack”, and various places around the school will be referred to as “The Den.” Younger students who visit the school will be referred to as the “Pup Pack.”
“I know for me as an athlete, I was able to come in while I was in middle school and come watch a practice,” said Newman. “The Red Wolves will have an actual mascot now, like a mascot suit, and I think the kids will love that.”
The final step in the renaming process was a vote from the school board, which was unanimous.
Next, students and staff will be involved in creating core values relating to the new name, “Laws of the Pack.” Finalizing a logo with a graphic designer is also in-progress.