There was a peaceful school called Rock Ridge

Tonight the Eveleth-Gilbert Golden Bears and Virginia-Mountain Iron-Buhl Blue Devils renewed their storied Iron Range high school hockey rivalry. But this game was less about the final score (Bears won 4-1) than about the announcement made on the ice between periods.

Last year, voters from both school districts authorized the building of a new shared high school. It’s a historic step toward consolidation of nearby Range schools that have experienced declining enrollment. And now we know what the new school and mascot will be called.

Meet the Rock Ridge Wolverines:

Students from Virginia and Eveleth-Gilbert come together to celebrate their new shared school and mascot names. In 2022, the new Rock Ridge High School will open, featuring the green, gray, and black of the Wolverines. (PHOTO: J.T. Haines)

It’s a cool logo. Nice colors. And the same name as the town from Mel Brooks’s iconic 1974 comedy “Blazing Saddles.” Is that a problem? Mongo don’t know. Mongo only pawn in game of life.

Dr. Noel Schmidt from the Virginia schools wrote a strong op-ed explaining the significance of the game and announcement in Thursday’s Mesabi Daily News. It’s a good primer on why the two districts choose to do this.

Thanks to friend of the blog J.T. Haines for sending photos from the game.

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