Funniest school mascot names in northern MN?

gobSomething about fall brings out memories of football games and school days. This column by Duluth News Tribune reporter Louie St. George III about funniest school mascot names got me thinking, what is the most unusual or distinct mascot in northern Minnesota?

Like a lot of places we’ve got various birds and animals. I was a Cherry Tiger. Kids down the road from me were Eveleth-Gilbert Golden Bears. Unsurprisingly, the Iron Range mining towns of Mt. Iron-Buhl and Crosby-Ironton both have the nickname “Rangers.” Over in Grand Rapids they adopted the name Thunderhawks almost 20 years ago after their old “Indians” name was retired out of respect to Native Americans. And, believe it or not, they’re still arguing about that.

“Blue” is a common inspiration. Virginia has the Blue Devils and Chisholm has the Bluestreaks. Hibbing, of course, has the Bluejackets, complete with a nautical theme. How did this inland, land-locked Iron Range town end up with a seafaring name? You can credit a retired naval officer who served as Hibbing’s superintendent during the city’s early years. He acquired surplus Navy pea coats for students to use as letter jackets and the name soon followed.

So, that’s interesting, but not in an endlessly hilarious sort of way. For that I would turn to my friends to the south, the Aitkin Gobblers. Yes, turkeys. But they aren’t the Turkeys, they’re the Gobblers. It’s a funny word on its own, but the city’s name “Aitkin” is half vowel and has a hard “K” sound — ensuring that it will amplify the funny of any naturally funny word.

What are your nominations for funniest school mascot names? Or the ones with the most interesting story?

(For instance, I went to college with a girl from Illinois whose school mascot was the “Pretzels.” The name came from an old Bavarian woman who would make fresh pretzels for the football games in the early days. Problem was, my friend was on the swim team and she said the swim suits contained a not-so-subtle pretzel directly over the bottom).



  1. Dan Kitzberger says

    Hawley Nuggets
    Moorhead Spuds

  2. Jennifer Poenix says

    Sauk Centre Main Streeters

  3. well, if you’ll agree to include southern minnesota, i have a doozie…

    the Blooming Prairie Blossoms

    and that’s the TRUTH.

  4. Hey! I’m from Gilbert, where, for many buccan-years, we were the Buccaneers!

  5. Northern Minnesota can’t compare with the mascot from my hometown of Rhinelander, Wisconsin. Our mascot is the Hodag — a fierce creature that feasts only on all-white bulldogs.

  6. Michigan has got Minnesota beat. There’s a district in Watersmeet MI and it’s home of the Nimrods.

    • Actually, Minnesota has Michigan beat as I live in the town of Nimrod, Minnesota…lol (Nimrod was a mighty hunter in the bible)

  7. So, although the Bigfork Huskies aren’t humorous, the fact that the proper way to refer to a single athlete in Bigfork is the term “Huskie”, as opposed to “Husky”, which bothers some grammar police.

  8. I read somewhere that Hibbing got it’s mascot name because it was mixed up with The submission given by Dulth East. They submitted the mascot name of Duluth Blue Jackets because of the harbor/marine/fishing industry and the use of the navy pea coats by the fishermen. Hibbing submitted the name of the Hibbing Greyhounds because of the bus industry originating in that town. The division that approved the school mascot names got the two submissions mixed up because both schools had opened up at about the same time, and approved the names of “Duluth Greyhounds” and “Hibbing Blue Jackets”. It never made sense to me that that was our name along with the anchor as our logo. Truth or not, I don’t know.

  9. The Greyhounds/Bluejackets mixup is a popular folk story. I can’t speak to why Duluth East is the Greyhounds. It bears mentioning that while Greyhound started in Hibbing it wasn’t called Greyhound Bus until much later. I do know that the Hibbing Historical Society has the original story that a retired Navy man became superintendent of Hibbing schools at the turn of the century and imposed his idea for a naval themed nickname on the school.

  10. Originally from Ely we were the Timberwolves. BUT as I’m looking at other towns why / did cherry get the Tigers Aaron? Seriously, little old did they decide on tigers?

  11. Eric Tuominen says

    Duluth East began as a middle school 1927 and the student body chose the greyhound as mascot according to Duluth East history. They changed to a high school in 1950, again according to Duluth East history. Greyhound Bus began using that name in 1930, although the bus they had been using was nicknamed “the greyhound” due to it’s sleek lines and grey color, (according to Greyhound Bus history) So basically the given reasons were not in place for the mixup to happen. It is a fabrication and is of recent origin and is the reason we never heard that story while in attendance in the 1970s. The Navy peacoat explanation is much more likely and believable.

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