Green River Star -

By David Martin

WWCC mascot change was a good idea


Mascots are a silly concept and it’s even sillier how much people can associate with them.

An often cartoonish character, and just as often presented in a very masculine depiction, they’re often the representation of a group or region, though in some cases, they just don’t make a lot of sense.

Take the Rock Springs tigers for example. A city founded on coal and mining, the high school’s mascot is a tiger, an animal common to much of Asia.

While attending RSHS, I never put much thought into the hows and whys regarding why an animal not native to North America came to represent a school and city built on mining in the least-populated state in the United States. Looking back on it now, it just doesn’t make sense. Think that’s strange? Consider the mascot from Reliance High School.

They were known as the Pirates and represented a town built on coal mining and more than 900 miles away from the nearest ocean.

While attending Western Wyoming Community College, the mascot wasn’t the Mustang, but the Spartan.

The student newspaper I worked at was known as The Oracle and, again, I never really considered why a community college in southwest Wyoming selected a mascot representing a culture found more than 6,000 miles to the west.

One afternoon during my second year at the college, I notice a friend of mine talking to other students for a survey she was conducting, determining if students wanted a different mascot representing the school.

“That’s stupid,” I thought as a knee-jerk reaction to the question. “Why would anyone want to change the mascot? We’ve been the Spartans for years.”

I ended up writing an article about the mascot survey for The Oracle, and all the while thinking it would die and that would be that. I graduated, moved to Laramie and finished a bachelor’s degree and moved back to the area. Starting at The Green River Star in 2006, I remember one of my earliest articles involved WWCC and while speaking with the sports reporter, the bomb was dropped.

“What, they’re the Mustangs now,” I remember asking. “I liked being a Spartan more.”

It’s amazing to think that was a little more than 10 years ago and during the past decade, I’ve come to realize the mustang is a better choice of mascot.

Anyone driving on the dusty trails in Sweetwater County can attest, the horses are apart of the vibrant landscape. People driving along Interstate 80 can sometimes see small groups of houses standing around the old Lincoln Highway watching the traffic go by.

They are just as much a part of Sweetwater County as the sagebrush and the wind. WWCC’s mustang reflects the spirit of independence and freedom we enjoy in Sweetwater County.

With the mustang, WWCC is saying it is a part of the community, much more than a Greek soldier ever could.


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