What’s in a name? Just ask these high schools…

Nicknames in the realm of high school sports can often be entertaining.
Since living in Minnesota for only a little more than two weeks, I haven’t noticed too many monikers that have been outrageous, with the only exceptions being the Southwest Star Concepts’ Quasars and the Sheldon, Iowa, Orabs.
According to Dictionary.com, a quasar is one of more than one thousand known extragalactic objects, starlike in appearance and having spectra with characteristically large redshifts that are thought to be the most distant and most luminous objects in the universe.
The Orabs are formed from Sheldon’s school colors, which are orange and black.
In my native Illinois, Canton has its Little Giants; Cobden is the home of the Appleknockers; Freeport has its Pretzels and Lincoln, a town in which our 16th president once lived, is the home of the Railsplitters, a pastime of “Honest Abe.”
Other Illinois nicknames include the Commandoes of Abingdon, the Dukes of Dixon, no, not Hazzard; the Maple Leafs of Geneseo; the Marcos of Polo; the E-Rabs of Rockford East and the Whip-Purs of Hampshire.
Of course, the girls teams in Dixon are called the Duchesses. Just like in Princeville, where they have the Princes and Princesses; in Prophetstown, where they cheer for the Prophets; and in Farmington, where they root for the Farmers.
Like the Orabs of Sheldon, E-Rabs is an acronym referring to the Rockford school district’s East High School red and black. The Whip-Purs is formed from a combination of Hampshire’s school colors, white and purple.
Another Illinois nickname that is derived from an acronym is the Cogs of Genoa-Kingston, referring to City of Genoa Schools.
However, one Illinois nickname that should not strike fear into the heart of any football player would be that of Fisher. The high school teams there are known as the Bunnies.
Certainly, a cute, cuddly bunny is a non-threatening mascot. It’s similar to the Hot Dogs of Frankfort, Ind., where the mascot there is a wiener dog.
Who would want to beat a bunny or a wiener dog?
So the next time you’re favorite high school team, take a moment to think about where some of these entertaining nicknames originated.
NOTE: For more information about Daily Globe Sports Editor Jeff Arenz, see his blog post above.

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