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Tell the School Board what to name the new high school; OHS hoops sees opponent weakened

Posted on Thursday, July 13, 2017 at 2:38 pm

Nate Alexander led OHS to the Class 9A state basketball championship. OHS returns three of its top six players. Photo/Martin Maddock

By Rick Pedone

 

The School District of Osceola County is seeking your opinion about the name and mascot of the new STEAM high school at Boggy Creek Road, which opens next year.
To begin with, right there in the description of the school’s mission is a good option for the mascot’s name: the Steam.
Haven’t heard that one before, and it’s as inoffensive and politically correct as it possibly can be.
However, I would prefer a mascot that is more indigenous to Osceola County. We’ve already got the Osceola Kowboys and Harmony Longhorns to honor the county’s ranching heritage.
The Eagles, Poinciana’s mascot, is appropriate because one of the largest habitats for the national bird is here in Osceola County. So maybe we should highlight more of the wildlife that thrives hereabouts.
But, we can’t honor the everyday pests that plague the area. Immediately eliminated are the mosquitos and the roaches. Now, I do think the Fire Ants has a certain flair to it. Probably because I’ve been writing about the local FSL Fire Frogs this summer. But I’m not sure how onboard the coaches and students at the new high school are going to be about being nicknamed after an insect.
Also out are the Gators, who have been done to death in Florida. The Ospreys, the nickname of the University of North Florida, just doesn’t sound gritty enough. The Sandhill Cranes? Nah.
I thought maybe it was time to honor the county’s fisheries, but how fired up is the student body going to be about being named the Largemouth Bass? The Crappie is out of the question, for obvious reasons, and The Carp goes nowhere.
So, I’ve decided to roll with the snakes – I like the Moccasins, Mocs for short – the nickname of Florida Southern College’s teams in Lakeland.
No, it’s not original, but it has a nice ring to it. And, there’s a bunch of those menacing black snakes around here.
As far as the high school’s name? If I could make the choice the school would be named after the late Mike Fields, one of the great leaders in Osceola County school history. He not only was a veteran and an outstanding coach and athletic director at both St. Cloud and Harmony high schools, but he basically built the infrastructure of modern high school athletics in Osceola County during his 35-year coaching career here.
Oh, and his devotion to community service was such that he is recognized with a special award each year – the Mike Fields Distinguished Leadership Award – by the School District.
By tradition, the Osceola School District never has named a high school after an individual. And, dozens of other outstanding teachers, administrators and coaches would also merit consideration for the honor of having a high school named for them.
That’s fine, and if the School District wishes to continue to name its high schools for their locations (St. Cloud, Celebration, Osceola, Harmony, Poinciana) or a generic term (Gateway, Liberty), then the logical name for this high school is Boggy Creek High. But, if the school’s name is to reflect its high tech intentions, then the possibilities are limitless. How about Enterprise High? Or, Innovation High?
Oh, and we must select colors for the new school. There isn’t a bright orange here yet (Harmony mimics the Texas Longhorns’ burnt orange), so Orange and White would be cool.
There also is the more sinister Orange and Black.
An excellent NFL color combo that rarely gets picked up at the high school level is the San Francisco 49ers red and old gold – a striking look.
So, go to the school district’s website – osceolaschools.net – and submit your suggestions about what to name the new high school.

I know we haven’t started talking about football yet, let alone basketball, but Osceola High’s Class 9A state champion boys basketball team saw the path to a repeat title soften just a bit last week when Oak Ridge guard Mike Devoe transferred to private school powerhouse Montverde Academy.
Devoe, a 6-4 swing player, nearly led the Pioneers to a win against OHS in the regional finals.
Oak Ridge still will be strong, but that is a big piece for new Pioneers Coach Steve Reece to replace. Devoe averaged 22 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists last season and maintained a weighted 4.5 GPA.
Osceola Coach Nate Alexander has three of his top six returning from the state championship team.
It’s rare to win back-to-back state basketball championships, but OHS has a better chance to do that now.

The NBA free agent period has climaxed, and Orlando Magic fans are sitting in the same place that they were when free agency began a couple of weeks ago – without hope.
The Magic weren’t in a position to do much after the disastrous GM Rob Hennigan era. Hennigan tied up way too much money in bad free agent signings that killed most of the team’s cap space. But, heck, couldn’t the Magic at least have moved the deck chairs around a little to make us feel better?
The Magic made their own mess, but the NBA has become so super-team oriented that it is getting very hard to be competitive unless the superstars want to cluster in your galaxy.
But, apparently, that’s what the fans like. The league’s attendance reached an all-time high this year.