I wrote a version of this story last year that I think it’s a great way to celebrate the birth of this great country. It’s our way of saying Happy 243rd Birthday America from High School Football America.
According to the website High School Nicknames, there are 270 high schools that carry the nickname Patriots. Florida, not one of the founding 13 colonies, leads the way with 19 schools carrying the Patriot nickname. Next in line is North Carolina with 12, Indiana and Tennessee with 11 each, Virginia with 9, Maryland with 8, and West Virginia with seven.
Four teams in our Preseason 100 are nicknamed the Patriots — No. 20 John Curtis (Louisiana), No. 57 Oakland (Tennessee), No. 68 Liberty (Nevada) and No. 82 American Heritage (Plantation, Florida).
It may surprise you that Massachusetts with such noted patriots of the American Revolution like John Adams, John Hancock and Paul Revere only have two schools that call themselves the Patriots —Concord-Carlisle High School and North Middlesex Regional High School.
The Colonials and Colonists are two other nicknames with plenty of red, white and blue to them.
There are twelve teams that carry the nickname the Colonials. Only one school is called the Colonists. That’s Anaheim High School in Southern California. Anaheim’s arch-rival is Western High, nicknamed the Pioneers.
There are plenty of other Founding Fathers honored with high schools being named after them. In Philadelphia, Ben Franklin High is known as the Electrons. In Los Angeles, George Washington Prep proudly carries the nickname the Generals. In Ozone Park, New York, John Adams High is known as the Spartans. In Elmford, New York, Alexander Hamilton High calls itself the Raiders. James Madison High School in Vienna, Virginia is the Warhawks. And, John Jay High School in Cross River, New York is the Indians.
The last part of today’s history lesson comes from my hometown area known as the Lehigh Valley, which encompasses Allentown, Bethlehem and Easton in eastern Pennsylvania where one school district celebrates our independence everyday.
In the late 60’s when the Bethlehem School District split Bethlehem High School into two schools, officials decided on the names Freedom High School and Liberty High School.
Freedom is known as the Patriots, and to this day, I believe that the school’s marching band has the coolest outfits, as you can see below.
For those of you wondering, Liberty High is known as the Hurricanes and it also has a great marching band known as the Grenadier Band, which comes complete with Scottish kilts and bagpipes.
And, the only way to close this story is by watching the Freedom and Liberty bands play the Star Spangled Banner below.
Happy 4th of July!