The Alabama School for the Deaf’s mascot, the silent warrior, now faces off against eight school mascots in Region 3 of USA TODAY’s on-going “Best Mascot” competition.
“We have always been super proud of all our students and of our school,” said Jessica Parker, the school’s assistant director for development. “Things like this gives our school a little more exposure to those who may not necessarily know about the Alabama School for the Deaf.”
Each AIDB school mascot serves as a tribute to Talladega’s rich Native American heritage. The Alabama School for the Blind uses the “redskin” as its mascot, while the Helen Keller School for the Deaf and Blind features the “Indian.”
“Warrior is a very common mascot, but we have the only silent warrior in the country,” said Walter Ripley, the school’s director of physical education, athletics and after-school programs. “We added silent in order to represent our school. We use Native American mascots out of pride and respect for the history of Native Americans.”
The silent warrior’s opponents in the regional round include chipmunks, liberators, red elephants, conchs, hillbillies, briar jumpers, turkeys and rock-a-chaws.
“The students were really excited when they found out their mascot had won,” Ripley said. “They seemed more motivated and united. It was amazing to see students involved in voting — recruiting others to vote and sending emails to their friends and families. They were full of energy and enthusiastic.”
The national winner of the competition receives $2,000 for its school’s athletic programs. Mascots placing second, third, fourth and fifth receive $1,000, $500, $250 and $100 respectively.
“We want to win,” Parker said. “We’re very competitive!”
The online poll for the regional round closes Thursday. To vote, follow these instructions:
• Go to http://contest.usatodayhss.com/mascot/regional-map;
• Click Alabama on the map to go to the Region 3 voting page;
• Select the first option to vote for ASD;
• Vote early and often.
Contact Shane Dunaway at firstname.lastname@example.org