Just as important as a school's name and its location is its mascot.
Options abound, and some teams go with the commonplace while others go
with the truly unique.
In Florida, there are 682 schools with
mascots listed in the MaxPreps database. Listed below are the Top 15
most popular mascot names in Florida, the mascot names that only one
school owns and other mascot facts/stats.MASCOTS MIMIC WILD WEATHER
is famous for many things and extreme weather is right near the top of
the list. The Weather Channel reports that Florida gets more lightning
strikes than any other state, and the National Weather Service reports
that Florida bears the brunt of more hurricanes than any other state.
When it comes to tornadoes, only Texas averages more per year and
Florida owns the highest average number of tornadoes per 10,000 square
miles each year. Schools aren't afraid to name those destructive forces
of nature as mascots, as there are 11 Hurricanes, three Lightning, five Tornadoes and one Golden Tornado. Bolts could be included (1), so could
Storm (2) and Thunder (2).WINGED LETTERS
A sportswriter's small comment in 1917 lives on today for
. The school used to be the L's and word has it that a reporter saw Charlie Rhodes blazing down the track in a meet and commented "Look at that flying L," probably not assuming the weight of his comment. It's uncertain whether the phrase appeared in his article. Turns out that fans thought it was a great mascot name and it was changed to the Flying L's soon after. Click here
to see the school's living, breathing mascot.FEATURES OF THE SEA, UNITE
Florida is the only state to have Sharks in its Top 15, and the popularity of ocean-themed mascots is huge in the Sunshine State. They include: Barracudas (2), Blue Waves (1), Buccaneers (7), Conchs (1), Dolphins (3), Dreadnaughts (1), Fightin' Tarpons (1), Green Wave (1), Grenadiers (1), Hi-Tides (1), Makos (1), Manta Rays (1), Marlins (1), Pirates (11), Sailors (1), Sandcrabs (1), Seahawks (5), Sharks (13), Stingarees (1), Sting Rays (2), Tritons (1) and Vikings (7).
HOBOES AT WORK
One of the dictionary definitions of a hobo is a migratory worker. So when Laurel Hill
hits the road for tournaments and road games, players certainly live up to the mascot name. Much has been written online about the difference between hoboes, tramps and bums: Hoboes work hard and do not avoid working, but they travel and wander somewhat in between jobs. Laurel Hill hosts a hobo festival every year, and you can find photos online
. The railroad came through Laurel Hill decades ago and likely inspired the school's mascot name. Laurel Hill is the only school in America to use Hoboes as its mascot.DOUBLE THE FREEDOM AND DOUBLE THE PATRIOTISM
Florida is a large state with lots of high schools, so there are bound to be times when two schools have the same name or the same mascot. What is rare is when two schools in the same state have the same school name and mascot. The Freedom High Patriots can be found in Tampa
, two of the state's major cities. The Orlando team competes in 8A for football while the Tampa school is 7A. One school in Pennsylvania and one in North Carolina also went with the same combination.TOP 15 MOST POPULAR MASCOT NAMES
# Eagles 55 (There are 4 Golden Eagles, 2 War Eagles, 1 Fightin’ Eagles, 1 Silver Eagles and 1 Soaring Eagles)
# Panthers 31
# Lions 29 (There is 1 Royal Lions)
# Bulldogs 26
# Tigers 25 (There are 2 Fightin’ Tigers)
# Warriors 25
# Wildcats 17
# Falcons 16
# Knights 16 (There is 1 Red Knights)
# Cougars 13
# Raiders 13 (There is 1 Red Raiders)
Rams 12# Denotes mascot name is in America's Top 15MASCOT NAMES USED BY ONLY 1 SCHOOL
* Denotes that no other school in America has that mascot nameMASCOT STATS:
Most popular mascot name is used by 8.1 percent of schools.
There are 168 different mascot names for 682 schools.
21 schools have mascot names that no other American school has.
Florida's Top 15 features 6 of America's Top 15 mascot names.