Choosing a Mascot: Why We’re Not the Royal Falcons
As plans for the new Rush-Henrietta Central School were being designed, students were tasked with choosing a mascot to represent the school and district. A vote to do that happened in 1950. Those taking part in making the decision likely did not consider the long-lasting impact of their choice. In addition to being fun, mascots can help a school community develop an identity.
As ideas were solicited, options for a school mascot were narrowed to four choices. When the ballots were counted, there was a clear winner. Students attending the school would be called Rush-Henrietta Comets! The second-highest vote-getter was Falcons. The district doesn’t have a record of the other two options. If you know, please tell us in the comments. In addition, we are curious if the community soccer team, the Rush-Henrietta Falcons, was named by someone who recalled the runner-up in voting.
Why Comets, though, in the first place? Some speculate the name was proposed by adults who were old enough to remember an awe-inspiring meteor that was seen throughout the region and that allegedly crashed in Henrietta.
The October 3, 1907, edition of the Democrat and Chronicle, shares perspective from S.C. Williams, a Brighton man who was visiting Henrietta when the brightening sky caught his eye. “The meteor seemed to be high toward the zenith when I first caught sight of it,” he recalled. “It continued to descend toward the southeast horizon, going very slowly. I expected that it would fall, but it apparently did not before it got beyond the horizon. I saw it for at least 30 seconds. It was in the shape of an oblong bulb, bluish green, with a tail, and very brilliant.” The meteor must have been a sight to behold; people reported seeing it as far away as Marion, Wayne County,
Perhaps that wasn’t the reason at all. Maybe the attention given to the first commercial jetliner, the de Havilland Comet, which took flight in July 1949, was part of the decision-making process. If you are aware of yet another possibility, please let us know!
In the mid-1970s, Rush-Henrietta’s growing student population required the creation of two high schools. That led to a decade-long transformation to the nickname we know and love today! We will share more about that in a future post.
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