Brainerd warriors have a mascot for the first time in nearly two decades.
A strong, fearless champion now represents the iconic name of the Brainerd warrior.
The new school mascot was unveiled Friday to students at Brainerd High School. It’s the first mascot the school has displayed since 1995, when district officials got rid of the previous American Indian warrior image.
Instead, Brainerd school leaders used the well-known “B” to represent the school at sporting events for the last 18 years.
But students wanted a mascot to call their own, said Brainerd High School principal Andrea Rusk.
Staff began meeting with RedHouseMedia in April to design a mascot for the warriors. It cost the district $3,600; an additional $7,785 was discounted by RedHouseMedia.
More than 20 revisions later, a unique image prevailed.
“It takes a while to understand the significance built into the image,” said Charlie Campbell, district activities director. “It’s ours. You’re not going to go to any school anywhere and see this. It separates us.”
The tough, intense face reflects the athletes’ aggressive demeanor in competition, he said. The hand over the heart, showing the human side of each warrior.
Each of the six elementary school mascots got a makeover as well, each featuring the Brainerd “B.”
The district released its new logo and tagline last week.
The mascot, however, is sometimes more identifiable to students, said superintendent Steve Razidlo.
“Mascots are one tangible piece of identify for any district,” he said. “We hope the work done with the new warrior gives them a new opportunity and an invigorated sense of being part of Brainerd public schools.”
Having the new mascot will make things easier for the Brainerd High School Super Fans, a group of seven senior boys who push for heightened school spirit.
It gives fans something to dress up as, said super fan Christian Einarson.
Fellow super fan Tyson Genz added, “We’re not just the flying B's. It’s something to look like.”
“To look up to,” added Dan Larson, super fan. “Something to fight and play for.”
“It helps get into character,” Larson said.
Students can go all-out and dress up like the warrior, or they can wear the helmet, hold the shield, or sport braids for girls or beards for guys.
For some, the new mascot is a much-needed identity, Rusk said.
For athletic competition in games, it’s an intimidation, Campbell said.
The redesign as a whole — the mascots, logo and tagline — will help spark a new emotional connection and loyalty to Brainerd Public Schools, Razidlo said. It also gives outsiders to the district an inside look to what Brainerd schools are all about.