The Longhorn Story
BY: JENNA AHART AND OLIVIA KENYON
After six months of planning, surveying, and deliberating, the Mascot Selection Committee--comprised of 38 students, staff, community members, and alumni--has revealed the Longhorn as the new mascot for the high school. Though the committee invested many hours into the selection process, a vote by students in grades eight through 12 ultimately made the decision.
An integral aspect of selecting the Longhorn was acknowledging and honoring the community’s history. In the 1940s, the owners of King Ranch of Texas purchased the Buck and Doe Run Valley Farms between Unionville and Coatesville to transform the land into a working cattle ranch. Each April from 1946 until 1974, cattle arrived in Chester County by train and were corralled and sorted by cowhands. The annual five-day spring roundup was characterized by three hours of cattle wrangling each morning--a spectacle that attracted locals who would sit along the ranch fences, eager to watch the exciting and heroic TV westerns come to life.
When the King Ranch was sold to the Brandywine Conservancy in 1984, a new era began: a conservation movement in Chester County. To prevent commercial development of the land and protect the watershed of the Buck and Doe streams, the conservancy led a two-decade-long effort to preserve the Brandywine Valley. According to Bill Sellers, former head of the Brandywine Conservancy's Environmental Management Center, the community support and involvement that progressed these conservation efforts amazed people across the country and inspired those who faced similar land-preservation issues. Now, the Brandywine Conservancy and other easements and associations preserve over 30,000 acres of land, serving as a reminder to protect the environment and honor the past.
Aside from its historical background, the Longhorn still strongly portrays the values of the community through its characteristics as a species. Because each Longhorn differs greatly in its size, color, horn length, and personality, the Longhorn embodies the community’s diversity. This innate versatility coupled with the Longhorn’s gender-neutral nature serves to create a universal mascot each and every community member can embrace and endorse. And in terms of its personality, the Longhorn historically serves as a “weyes,” or steer leader. Just as both the district and its students maintain roles of leadership, the Longhorn stands out among groups of cattle to lead its herd. The Longhorn is also adaptable and persevering regardless of its circumstances or environment, reflecting the student body’s same determination.
The mascot was finally chosen because it is unique to those of surrounding schools in Southeastern Pennsylvania and aligns with an identifiable brand. With a distinct, recognizable logo of concrete imagery, the Longhorn establishes a solidified brand for the school and district. Still, the Longhorn maintains the district’s signature blue-and-gold color scheme, ensuring that in both its appearance and significance, the mascot depicts the community of past, present, and future.
May the Longhorn embody the community’s honorable history and the student body’s diversity, leadership, and perseverance for years to come.