When someone has too much time on their hands, the mind can wander. When it does, it can surprise us with its final destination.

Several years back, my mind took me to the alliterative school mascots that seem to populate McLennan County and surrounding areas. We have the Lorena Leopards, the Robinson Rockets, the Connally Cadets, the Clifton Cubs, to name a few.

I began to ponder other schools in our area, and wondered if we could possibly produce new mascots so there can be a uniformity to Central Texas high schools.

At this point in time, I believe it’s necessary to say that I am a proud graduate of Whitehouse High School in East Texas. We were and are the Wildcats. Alliterative. I wasn’t particularly enamored of the mascot (too common), but no one had asked my opinion on the matter, so I learned to live with it.

The reason I mention my high school is that Whitehouse lends itself to new mascots all the time, depending on who resides at the other White House on Pennsylvania Avenue. For instance, when I was attending classes there, Richard Nixon was president, and it wasn’t uncommon for people to suggest that our school should change the mascot to the “Tapes,” as in the Whitehouse Tapes.

In the ’90s, I heard a Dallas sports talk guy suggest that Whitehouse should change the mascot to the Interns, in honor of Bill Clinton and his attraction to a particular young lady. More recently, it’s suggested we become the Swamprats, either in honor of President Trump draining the swamp, or because the president has created such a morass in his administration, depending on one’s opinion of the current resident.

Having this experience in my background, I believe it provides me the credentials to consider a new mascot for a local school.

My son-in-law is a proud graduate of Riesel High School. I have known him for a long time, and so it was as I considered the possible changes for a mascot, my attention focused on the Riesel Indians.

The use of Native Americans as a school mascot has been controversial for the past couple of decades, spearheaded by the Washington Redskins. Others have made complaints against the Florida State Seminoles and other mascots with Native American connections. Stanford University changed from the Stanford Indians to the Stanford Cardinal, but you know how those California schools are.

Wanting to avoid any further controversy, I thought it might be a good idea for Riesel to change their mascot. I searched my brain for a possible alliterative name, but the only thing that would come to mind had no “R” in the name at all. I couldn’t come up with an alliterative mascot, but I did come up with a rhyming one.

The Riesel Weasels.

The name fairly trips off the tongue, a gentle yet amusing little phrase. Oddly enough, my son-in-law was not impressed.

Perhaps it’s because he isn’t aware of the attributes of the wily weasel. According to the Living Science website, weasels are some of the smallest carnivores in the world. They are related to ermine, ferrets and minks, and are in the same family as badgers, wolverines and otters. The badgers and wolverines are known as fierce hunters, and a weasel is also an intrepid hunter.

They are nocturnal, and they eat mice, voles, frogs and rabbits. They don’t store body fat, so they have to keep eating to maintain their energy level. Some weasels are known to eat 40 to 60 percent of their body weight each day.

So we can say that the weasel is a lean, mean eating machine. A perfect mascot for any school looking for a new one.

Oh, sure, there’s also the term “weasel,” which means a deceitful or treacherous person or achieving something by use of cunning or deceit (from the internet dictionary). But even that lends itself to a worthy mascot. The use of cunning and deceit implies an intelligence level that is used to outwit the opponent.

So, good people of Riesel, I offer you the new mascot of the Riesel Weasels.

Despite my urging, my son-in-law still hasn’t come around to agreeing to the new mascot name. Perhaps the Rieselites will agree with him. In that case, I offer an alternative mascot, one that is alliterative and that has gained my son-in-law’s approval.

The Riesel Ragin’ Rhinos. Named for the wild herds of rhinoceros that once grazed the fields of Central Texas in numbers so vast that it was said one could look in every direction and see nothing but rhinos as far as the eye could see.

Well, maybe that last sentence isn’t completely accurate, but still. If you don’t like weasels, but are looking to become alliterative, you can’t go wrong with the Riesel Ragin’ Rhinos.

No need to thank me. It’s all in a day’s work. Glad to help.

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