Springville mascot ignites controversy

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    By Ryan Heaton

    The cougar has been the mascot of many generations of BYU graduates and has become a symbol of university pride.

    In Springville, the local High School mascot isn”t always remembered with such fondness.

    For years a movement has been regularly resurfacing in Springville to change the mascot, but has always yielded to the fervor of its counter movement to keep Springville”s mascot: the Mighty Red Devil.

    “I think it”s just silly,” said Springville High School alumnus Tamra Cobbley. “If the mascot bothers you so much, don”t move to Springville.”

    Cobbley was born in Springville and lived there for 28 years before she moved to Provo. She said that the image of the red devil as the Springville mascot was never considered to be an inappropriate image to those who grew up with in the area.

    Cobbley thinks that those who have grown up in Springville are used to the mascot and generally don”t have much objection to the mascot as it now stands. She thinks those who have recently moved to Springville are usually the ones who oppose it.

    But others who grew up in Springville ardently oppose the mascot.

    Tad Weight is also a Springville High School graduate with a long family history in Springville. Weight, however, feels differently about the mascot.

    Weight poses a zealous question to Springville residents: “Do we want to continue to be associated with the major personified spirit of evil, when there are so many other excellent mascot possibilities that would espouse integrity, honor, valor and good character?”

    Weight has recently moved his family back to the Springville area. He said he wishes he had a mascot he could be proud of.

    Weight also asserts he isn”t alone in his desire to change the Springville mascot. By e-mail, Weight said he has received input from about 80 people supporting the change to a different mascot.

    By testing the waters of Springville public opinion, Weight hopes to gain an idea of how many people support the change.

    “There isn”t much you can do if there aren”t enough people who want to do it,” Weight said.

    Those opposed to the change also cite potentially high costs to make the change to a new mascot, but Weight argues that not only does the school district have enough money to make the change, but he has also received monetary pledges from supporters.

    “Money is not an issue for changing it,” Weight said.

    Those who would like to see the change also suggest changing to something that would make the process relatively simple.

    For example, the Springville patriot. Red, white and blue would correspond conveniently to Springville”s current colors, so the amount of overhaul would be minimized.

    As it now stands, however, the mascot is a long way away from being changed.

    Mike Hicks, principle of Springville High School, said the proposal is not currently even being considered.

    “I”ll change it only when the school board tells me to,” Hicks said.

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