by: Campbell Bates, Staff Writer, October 2021
|St. Marks||Winged Lion||6|
Ranking ISL Mascots
Mascots capture the ethos of an organization. The Red Sox are famous for Wally the Green Monster and his loyal following, but nobody cheers for Cincinnati’s Rosie Red. As a symbol, mascots are intended to bring good luck and foster school spirit, but they do much more. Mascots create a sense of belonging in a community, a togetherness that forever binds students, faculty, and alumni. Mascots also give schools distinct personalities and create a lasting, identifiable brand. Determining which school has the best mascot in the Independent School League (ISL), therefore, is a worthy endeavor. The Nobleman is excited to announce that out of the sixteen ISL teams, the most loved mascot in the league is the Bulldog.
Bulldogs are known for their bravery and their ability to form strong bonds with each other. Furthermore, the bulldog’s loyalty and commitment is the defining characteristic of the school’s sports teams. As Director of Athletics Alex Gallagher (N ‘90) said, “Nobles is the standard.” The bulldog appears in cheers and mottos, on team gear and posters, and can be found taunting the Milton Mustang when not breakdancing in the gym and hyping up the basketball crowd.
St George’s mascot, the Dragon, also received significant support in the voting process and held a strong second place rank. It was viewed as one of the coolest mascots in the league and a perfect fit for St. George’s, whose victories on the athletic fields appear nearly as mythological as its mascot.
Lawrence Academy’s Spartans rushed into the third-place spot with incredible support. Spartans are heralded as fierce warriors with fortitude and undaunted spirit. The Spartans had a legitimate chance to secure the number two ranking, until it was learned that Lawrence doesn’t even have a Spartans costume.
BB&N’s mascot, the Knights, secured an astounding number of votes in the survey, but, once it was confirmed that BB&N does not even have a castle to defend, they were penalized by the Voting Committee for impersonating knights and half their votes were transferred to Nobles.
Thayer Academy’s mascot is the Tiger. The Tiger is a great mascot—Tony the Tiger dominates the cereal market, and Clemson has proven to be a force on the football field. The iconic Tiger earned Thayer a place in the top five, but was refused top three status because the competition looms large with all the coveted Tigers in the world of mascots.
St. Marks has always been loyal to its mascot, the Winged Lion. A lethal combination between land and air, it would be near impossible to defeat a flying lion. Unfortunately, winged lions don’t exist. Sixth place.
Tabor has an interesting mascot,the Seawolf. The Seawolf is a great name for a military submarine or a Netflix series, but is less intuitive as a mascot. Although the committee respected Tabor’s desire to combine “sea” and “land” given its beautiful location on the water, the Seawolf is not as menacing as we had imagined. It is literally a whale. The name Seawolf sounds intimidating and earned points for its potential on paper, but the actual image deterred many voters, landing it in seventh place.
St. Sebastian’s has great sports teams and a good mascot, The Arrow (far better than the TV series by DC Comics). But, it is hard to dress up as an arrow and then run around the sidelines exciting a crowd. Ultimately, if you can’t stand next to spectators at a game without injuring them, you can’t get above eighth place.
Rivers has a mascot? We never knew so we decided to place them exactly in the middle at ninth place.
Roxbury Latin’s mascot is the Fox. Cute, but certainly not intimidating by any means. tenth.
Governor’s Governors. 11th place for both impracticality and lack of creativity.
Both Groton and Middlesex selected the Zebra as their mascot, tying for 12th place. Zebras are courageous and unafraid to confront predators. Their unique striping means that no two zebras are ever the same, so technically their mascots are different.
The Brooks Shields came in at 13th, because it’s hard to have team spirit when the mascot is inanimate. There’s no way to make a cool costume, a cheer that sounds menacing, or a slogan to put on gear. However, the shields were spared from the bottom two as the Shields used to be the Nobles mascot too, until we realized that the Bulldogs are significantly cooler. Obviously, we don’t have an issue with the Shield as a mascot, although it looks better in blue and white (and Brooks doesn’t have a castle).
Coming in at 14th place are the Belmont Hill Sextants. Merriam Webster, the only non-Belmont Hill graduate who knows what a sextant is, defines it as “a doubly reflecting navigation instrument that measures the angular distance between two visible objects.” We thought about disqualifying Belmont Hill altogether, but decided to let it slip through because it sounds smart.
Milton Academy secures last place for technical reasons. Nothing against Mustangs, but unfortunately other factors were taken into consideration.