Spartan logo forges high school identity

Jason Altshuler, Staff Writer

Graphic by Leon Yang
Graphic by Leon Yang

Piles of boxes dominate the space of Assistant Athletics Director Kyle Williams’ office.  Inside these boxes are various assortments of BHS apparel: team uniforms, equipment, leftover gear, and more.

Everyday, students and faculty see members of the high school community walking around wearing high school apparel. In the hallways, around town and at sports games, people can see this apparel almost everywhere.

Recent school gear is different from the high school’s shirts and jackets one would have seen in years past. Instead of the arrowhead or three letter “BHS” insignia, this merchandise is inscribed with the high school’s relatively new logo that most students and faculty are already well acquainted with: the Spartan warrior.  

What may appear to simply be a picture actually has great meaning. The Spartan logo, along with the clothing and accessories it is on, gives students something to identify with and helps keep school spirit alive, according to Williams.

According to Williams, the Brookline community agreed to remove the old logo, a spearhead. The stereotypical Native American spearhead was seen as racist, junior Nina Pittas, a former member of the Superfans, said.

According to Williams, because there was no one logo for the school, sports teams were forced to make their own team-specific symbol.

“I think there was a sort of void for however many number of years,” Williams said. “There is the insignia, the BHS script logo that’s in the atrium, which is nice, but there’s no identity behind it, not much meaning behind it.”

According to Pittas, in order to establish a new logo, Student Council first held a vote for students through advisory to decide what the theme of the new mascot would be. The options were a Revolutionary War hero and a Spartan warrior; the Spartan warrior won.

Once the general idea for the logo was decided on, a committee was organized to come up with the actual image, according to Williams. There were many guidelines that the logo had to fulfill.

“There were a lot of qualifications, which is good because we wanted something at the end of the day that everyone would be comfortable with,” Williams said. “At the same time, you sort of want to balance that with something that is still exciting and interesting to people. The hope when we started the committee to come up with the new logo was that it would be something that people could turn to to help them define what it means to be a warrior, what it means to be a part of our community.”

Once it was created, the Spartan logo was unveiled at the 2014 Powderpuff rally, Pittas said. According to Williams, it was exciting for the school, and people were instantly asking for gear once the logo was shown.

To satisfy these students and faculty members, Williams set up an online store through a third party vendor and asked for things that would appeal to community members. The outside company took care of the production, finances and shipping, Williams said.

According to Williams, there have been a few of these online stores since.

“We try to do them every few months as people start asking again. We try to have it coincide with a new season, because then you get a new group of kids coming in, or a major event like a 21st Century Fund gala or the Thanksgiving football game or graduation,” Williams said.

According to Williams, the community has embraced the gear and logo: it serves as something that everyone, including coaches, players and parents, can be a part of. According to Pittas, it is good for students to have one logo that everybody can identify with.

“There’s no one sport that everybody participates in, so it is nice.” Pittas said. “You can recognize it when you see other people wearing it.”

A big proponent of school spirit and gear are the Superfans. According to junior and Superfans member Henry Sher, members of the club have designed shirts for the incoming freshmen class for the past few years and have asked local businesses to sponsor the project so that every incoming freshmen gets one on their first day of school.

According to Pittas, each grade gets their own slogan on their shirt, which helps to welcome them to the high school. The new students begin their high school career already owning a piece of clothing associated with their new school.

“It’s a good way to bring the freshmen in and introduce them to the Brookline family and the spirit and all that and say you’re a part of this,” Sher said. “You’re not just a freshman, you’re not just new kids. We’re going to welcome you into the Brookline community and the high school community.”

Superfans does all sorts of other things to build school spirit. For instance, they get people to attend events they might not normally go to, according to Sher.

“We try to get as many teams to come to each other’s games as possible, to make us one big family and have us support each other,” Sher said.

According to Williams, gear with the logo on it is spreading beyond the high school as well. A few youth teams, such as recreational basketball, have recently bought new uniforms for their players that have the high school’s logo on it. Some elementary school students even wear and own Superfans shirts, Williams said.

According to Sher, the new middle school jerseys help connect Brookline’s students.

“All the travel teams got brand new jerseys this year and they all have the Brookline Warrior logo on it,” Sher said. “So I think we’re starting to integrate it more and more with the younger kids to make it one big Brookline family. I think the logo is starting to bring us all together with the younger kids”

According to Williams, BHS apparel will continue to be sold and produced as long as people want to buy and wear it.

“The main reason for it is to keep people excited,” Williams said. “About the community, about the high school, about athletics and about the logo too.”