Monday, South Burlington High School’s football and cheerleading teams began practicing for the new season.
The school’s new mascot, the Wolves, can be seen on the football field’s scoreboard.
The work for the new logo design was created by Burlington agency Select Design, at no cost to the school.
With a new name comes exciting challenges for the cheer team.
At practice Monday morning, cheerleaders were tasked with finding new cheers.
The school’s scoreboards have been updated to say wolves, and will eventually be repainted.
As of now, a brighter blue color can be seen on half the scoreboard.
Inside the building, the gym floor was also updated to include the Wolves name.
Head football coach Joe McDonald is excited for the updated facilities.
“Just being in here and being able to be on a brand new floor, basically, even though it’s 50 years old, it’s just been reborn,” said McDonald.
There are also changes in the weight room, too. The record board has been retrofitted, and signage coming into the room has been changed to say SB Strong.
The cosmetic changes are not the only new thing for student athletes this year.
Michael Jabour began working as the school’s new athletic director July 1.
Jabour is a 2005 South Burlington graduate, and the former Rebel says he’s proud to come back and represent South Burlington.
“South Burlington, the SB, has always meant more to me than the mascot name, and that hasn’t changed. So the town and community has stayed the same,” said Jabour.
The Wolves mascot was chosen by students in the fifth through twelfth grade, and approved by the School Board in June.
The process to change the name was set in motion after the School Board voted unanimously in February to drop the Rebel name because of the name’s ties to the Confederate flag.
High school principal Patrick Burke says SBHS alumni are still encouraged to be proud Rebels.
“If a banner says Rebels on it and it’s a championship banner, that’s not changing,” said Burke.
He adds students with Rebel gear from years past won’t be in trouble for wearing them to school, though all athletes will wear Wolves gear when competing.
“This changes going forward. I’ve been here 20 years, and I don’t know if you could have been a bigger Rebels fan than I was, you know, and I’m proud of that. But going forward, I’m proud of being a South Burlington Wolf as well,” said Burke.
Moving forward, Burke says he hopes the new year will be all about uniting behind his students.
“In the midst of discussion and controversy, this is a community that puts its students at the center, and I have no expectations that that will change, and I think that we’ll be re-energized to commit to them,” said Burke.
Also new this week, the school will unveil a new ‘Wolfpack’ app to encourage school spirit and attendance at games.
School leaders say students will get points for checking in, and can redeem them for new gear.