CENTRALIA, Ill. (KMOX) – Centralia High School is a finalist for a national honor: “America’s Most Unique Mascot.”

The team name is the Orphans.

School principal Reid Shipley says Centralia switched from the Cardinals back in the 1940’s, presumably because of a comment a Chicago sportswriter made about their boys basketball team at a tournament in Pontiac,”They came out, they didn’t have the right uniforms, there was bad weather. They looked ragged in their torn uniforms. A reporter made the comment that they look like a bunch of orphans, but they sure can play basketball.”

Shipley says school administrators were also fans of the 1920’s Lillian Gish silent film “The Orphans of the Storm.”

Back to the contest, USA Today is giving out $2,000 for the first prize. Voting concludes on March 27.

The Orphans are up against the likes of the Chinook (MT) Sugarbeeters, St. Mary’s Episcopal (Memphis, TN) Turkeys, and Key (Annapolis, MD) Obezags as finalists.

Click here to visit the voting page.


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