Hays High School to become the “Hawks”

Sarah Brager, editor, photographer

The district released an official statement Monday morning announcing that “Hawks” will be the new HHS mascot at the start of the 2021-2022 school year. Though the change will not be complete until the fall, the district stresses that current students who do not wish to wear the “Rebel” name are not required to do so. Now that students have voted and the mascot is selected, HHS will undergo a transition period to prepare for official retirement of the Rebel.

Out of the total 1,453 student votes, “Hawks” received the most with 461. The other choices on the ballot included raptors, honey badgers, dragons and hornets.

“I’ve grown up only knowing the Rebel. While it’s hard to watch its retirement, a lot of us (athletes) do believe in the change because of what the Rebel originally meant. I just wish it would have come a little sooner for us seniors,” varsity football player Alex Sedillo, 12, said.

According to the district’s timeline, the next step in this process is to consult with a graphic design team to develop a new logo. The school colors will remain red and blue and the logo will be designed with those in mind. If there is more than one fitting logo option, students may be able to vote on the final design. The district predicts this graphic design process to last until the end of February.

The mascot change is estimated to cost around $800,000, but the district hopes to cover the cost of transition for less than the budgeted amount. The most expensive aspects of this change are replacing athletic and band uniforms, gym floor logos and the front entrance marquee. Implementation of the HHS Hawks will begin March 1 and likely continue throughout the summer.

“Any necessary costs that go toward replacing Rebel insignia will bring students back together, which is a worthy cause for the district’s money,” student committee member Zoe Reyna, 12, said.

When this issue was brought to the district’s attention last June, they emphasized the important role students will play in this matter. They have been utilizing survey and voting opportunities in order to ensure the student body is actively involved in the change.

We reached out to Principal David Pierce for a statement regarding the new mascot but he was unavailable for comment.