We've seen a lot of adjectives placed in front of nouns when it comes to mascot names. You have Green Knights, Fighting Owls and Runnin' Lions, just to name a few.
The devil isn't exactly one that you would think is a good idea for an adjective ahead of a noun in a mascot name.
At Travelers Rest (S.C.)
they do have the word "devil" ahead of a noun but it has a much bigger explanation behind it than meets the eye. Don't raise too many questions: The United States Marine Corps is the inspiration.
They are the Devildogs at Travelers Rest, and they take their mascot name from a name given to Marines during World War I. The United States Marine Corps has reported that German soldiers called the American fighters "Teufelshunde," which translates to Devil dogs. There is much controversy about who coined the term and when exactly they coined it.
Regardless, it definitely stuck, and over the decades, Marines took pride in the nickname and used it widely. However, the term is fading a bit, and some Marines even find it offensive, according to the Marine Corps Times
At Travelers Rest, the question is why the school chose to go with the military-themed mascot name. And for that, there is little information. Since the Devildog symbol was popular during war times, the most plausible explanation is that the school just wanted to pay tribute to the brave Marines. And online clues pin the opening of the original high school in the early 1950s, when American support for the armed forces was indeed high.
So what does a Devildog look like? A mean-looking bulldog with a spiked collar and a drill sergeant hat. Oh, and a ferocious growl. Kudos to Travelers Rest for skipping Bulldogs and going with Devildogs.
Technically, the Travelers Rest Devildogs are the only ones with that name in the nation. But it should be noted that there are Devil Dogs at Morrilton (Ark.).
* Added April 21, 2014: According to reader David Laws (1996 grad), "The
school's first football coach Chico Bolin was a Devildog in the
Marines. He was shot in the leg on the Island of Iwo Jima. He chose the
mascot to honor them."