New high school has a familiar mascot

2016-2017 Members of Osceola Anglers High School Fishing Club.

Editor’s note: The name of the new high school on Boggy Creek Road is Tohopekaliga High. This column originally incorrectly stated the name as Lake Tohopekaliga High. Also, after the News-Gazette’s deadline for the Aug. 3 edition, when the column was published, the School Board decided to make the school’s colors navy blue and orange.

By Rick Pedone

The new high school on Boggy Creek Road, which opens next year, will be named Tohopekaliga High.

For me, that is way too many vowels and consonants to hammer out on the keyboard each time it is mentioned, so, in reality, what we have here is Toho High.

The School Board picked that name even though the most popular suggestions from the community were East Lake High and Boggy Creek High.

East Lake might have been too generic and confusing. There is already an East Lake High near Tarpon Springs, and then there is East River in Orlando.

Boggy Creek High apparently didn’t have enough cache for the School Board, but I think they overlooked the opportunity to connect with one of the truly epic cult horror films of the 1970’s, The Legend of Boggy Creek.

The low budget film, which cost a Porsche – $160,000 – to make, grossed more than $25 million primarily at drive-in theaters. You remember drive-ins, right?

The movie featured a sasquatch monster, but the story was based on true events in Arkansas, not at our Boggy Creek. Not that there was ever any documented reports of an actual sasquatch roaming the Ozarks, but the folks in rural Arkansas seemed convinced that it was out there. I find the story unbelievable only because if something that big and powerful was roaming SEC territory in the 70’s, Bear Bryant would have recruited it.

Anyway, Lake Toho High it will be, and the School Board also selected the team’s nickname – the Tigers.

The Toho Tigers has a nice alliterative ring to it, but the School Board either overlooked or just ignored the fact that New Dimensions High in Poinciana already has the Tigers mascot.

So, we’ve got two teams named Tigers in the same county? And, we’ve already got two Eagles – Poinciana and Heritage Christian. Originality isn’t falling out of the trees around here, is it?

New Dimensions is a charter high school and doesn’t play football, but, still … there are other big cat names out there. Gateway already has the Panthers, but there’s also Jaguars, Leopards, Bobcats, Lions, etc.

I still like my suggestion, the Mocs.

The new school’s colors will be some variation of dark blue and white, which isn’t too far off from what Poinciana (dark blue and red) already wears.

If the School Board is settled on Navy and White, why not just call the place Penn State and name its teams the Nittany Lions?

There are more big high schools coming, and it’s never too early to begin thinking about those names.

I would suggest, however, that we draw the line at one (1) of the Bulldogs (St. Cloud), Longhorns (Harmony), Chargers (Liberty) and Kowboys (and yes, that counts the more grammatically correct Cowboys, Osceola).

I can’t imagine that the School Board would select another Storm (Celebration), but I guess there’s room for the Tornadoes and Hurricanes.

The way the roads are growing increasingly congested around here, I think a good nickname for the next Osceola County high school might be the Traffic Jams, or the Clogged Left Turning Lanes.

But, I’d settle for the Mocs.