“Go Bobcats!” can now be the cry at Haywood Community College, where they’ve adopted the feline as their new mascot. The bobcat doesn’t, as yet, have a name but the school plans to hold a contest this autumn to christen their newest representative.
It’s not the first time the school’s had a mascot, and in fact, it’s not the first time the mascot has been a bobcat. However, HCC has been mascot-free for years now.
The college doesn’t have traditional sports teams, so you won’t find the bobcat cheering on competitors at standard sporting events. They do, however, have a team of woodsmen who can now take the moniker with them as they go head-to-head with opponents at timber meets, as well as an ecology team that competes against other schools in everything from wild game calling to estimating board feet in a tree.
The animal’s selection isn’t just symbolic, though. The school’s student government pulled together to purchase a bobcat costume that can be donned at everything from the aforementioned competitions to open houses and recruitment events.
Discussion and debate over which mascot to choose has been circulating on campus for over a year. But in the end, faculty, staff and students settled on the bobcat, in keeping with the school’s history and local indigenous wildlife.
HCC is one of the first community colleges in the region to choose a mascot. Neither Southwest Community College nor Asheville’s A-B Tech sport a mascot, and mascot’s aren’t common among other regional community colleges without conventional competitive sports teams.