Dan Radicia likes the flow and alliteration of the “Elkhorn North Nighthawks.”
But then again, the “Elkhorn North Eagles” sounds pretty darn majestic.
And the “Elkhorn North Wolves?” The student section could be called the “wolf pack.” He can already imagine pumped-up students howling on a third-down play on a Friday night.
So what will the Elkhorn Public Schools choose as the new mascot and colors for Elkhorn North, the district’s third high school currently under construction at 180th Street and West Maple Road?
Radicia, principal of Elkhorn High (the Antlers), and Mark Kalvoda, the principal of Elkhorn South High (the Storm), presented the three options for mascots and accompanying color schemes at the Elkhorn school board meeting last week.
The school color options are black, silver and royal blue; black, silver and sky blue; and black, silver and maroon.
Graphics were presented using the mascot options and color schemes, but spokeswoman Kara Perchal said those graphics were just placeholders — the final mascot design will likely look different.
The school board is expected to choose next month.
Radicia said a committee made up of the high school principals, board member Renee Vokt, two teachers, two coaches and two ninth-grade students received more than 130 suggestions and submissions from community members.
“For some of our families, it was the talk around the dinner table,” he said. “The kids offered a lot. They were not quiet.”
A Facebook post soliciting ideas drew plenty of chatter and ideas: The Lightning. No, the Elkhorn North Narwhals. The Bisons, the Potholes, the Rivercats, the Pioneers or the Goblins.
Radicia said the group liked ideas that tried to tie into Elkhorn’s railroad history or proximity to the Elkhorn River, but the animal options proved most popular. Plenty of hawks can be spotted in the area, wolves aren’t indigenous — but, whatever, they’re cool — and some liked the combination of “Elkhorn” and “eagles.”
There were a few ground rules. The committee didn’t want to repeat any of the mascots in its Eastern Midlands conference, but decided that it could go with a mascot that’s already represented in Class A or Class B high schools.
Benson alumni can breathe a sigh of relief — their distinctive mascot, the Bunnies, isn’t in danger of being copied. But the Central High Eagles might have something to say about Elkhorn North edging in on their mascot.
“We were not going to go Eagles purple,” Radicia said.
Now it’s up to the school board to decide.
The district broke ground on Elkhorn North earlier this summer. The $78.5 million, 1,200-capacity school is expected to open in August 2020.