Sometimes those official school nicknames aren't as durable as they are supposed to be. Here's a look at some schools and how their mascots have changed with time.
The Wood--What's the real nickname of Lynwood High School? As detailed in an earlier Sports Shorts, two publications that keep track of such things list different names. Now the story can be told. The school's official nickname is "The Knights," but several years ago, according to student commissioner of activities Corliss Wilson, the student body unofficially adopted "The Wood." This season "The Wood" was emblazened on the jerseys of the Lynwood football team. Wilson said that "The Wood" is a local synonym for Lynwood High.
The Beach--At Poly High School "The Beach" supplanted "The Jackrabbits" several years ago. The Jackrabbit football team wears "Beach" on the front of its football jerseys just above the numbers. Poly, officially known as Long Beach Poly by the Southern Section office, has also been called "The Hares."
The Beach II--One of the first unofficial nickname switches that stuck came at Cal State Long Beach. A marketing and recruiting campaign several years ago for the athletic department used "The Beach is Back" as a slogan on bumper stickers and press guides. It never made it onto the uniforms, but "The Beach" stuck. Follow-up campaigns capitalized on the early success and today in casual conversation the 49er campus is often referred to as "The Beach."
Vikings--Not to be outdone in the nickname department in the City of Long Beach, Long Beach City College has been referred to in press reports as not only "The Vikings," but also as "The Vikes" and "The Norsemen."
Fast Ladies--And then there is the Artesia High School Pioneers. The girls basketball team calls itself "The Fast Ladies."
Rio Hondo College--Freshman wide receiver Miguel Padilla was chosen to the all-Southern California Conference first team for his efforts in leading the Roadrunner football team to a 3-7 record. Padilla prepped at Schurr High, where he was an all-Southern Section choice. He caught 45 passes for 821 yards and 11 touchdowns this season. He was also awarded a second team berth as a punter. He averaged 40 yards a kick. Sophomore offensive lineman Roger Garrett, formerly of La Serna High, received a second-team berth. Honorable mention spots went to freshman quarterback Eric Rubalcava (Schurr), sophomore linebacker Kelly Madigan (St. Paul), sophomore linebacker Casey May (Santa Fe), freshman tailback Gilbert Lopez (Pioneer) and freshman linebacker Rod Gibson (Lynwood)
Biola University--Barb Rozendal, who led Biola to the District III volleyball championship, has been named an NAIA All-American. She was the team captain. Biola finished seventh nationwide in NAIA post-season play.
Girls Volleyball--Jill Johnson, a senior at Gahr High School, was chosen the Southern Section 4-A player of the year for her part in leading the Gladiators to the division title. Melissa Aldrich of Wilson and Laura Boone of Cerritos high schools were awarded second-team 4-A berths. Kari Parriott (first team) and Corinna De Young (second team) of Valley Christian High and Debbie Waller (second team) of Whittier Christian High received 1-A Division spots. Debbie DeLeon of Whitney High received a second team, Small Schools Division berth.
Water Polo--Junior Eric Berg of Wilson High School received a second team all-Southern Section 4-A Division berth. Third team honors went to Poly High's John Webb and Millikan High's Blair Conroy. In the 3-A Division, Bill Orr of St. John Bosco High was selected to the second team. Sal Castro of St. John Bosco was chosen to the third team. In the 2-A Division Corbin Walberger of La Serna High was named to a first-team spot. Eric Delgadillo and Scott Carlson of El Rancho High received second-team positions. Artin Gevorgian of Montebello High and Andy Ellis of La Serna were third team choices.
Rueben Solario--The 6 feet 3, 220-pound junior at Cal Lutheran University was given a second team berth on the All-Western Football Conference team. He was a Times All-Southeast choice while at Schurr High School.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK:
Pat Haden--The former professional quarterback speaking to about 200 spectators recently at a Southern Section football press conference in Norwalk: "Having been a player in this area for the Rams I'm not used to being introduced to a crowd this size without being booed."