Juneau High opens the 2018 Alaska high school football season at Palmer on Saturday. The game will mark the first-time that the team that was created from the merger of football programs from Juneau-Douglas and Thunder Valley high schools will hit the gridiron. The consolidation was the result rising travel costs and declining participation numbers.
For the most part, the merger has gone smoothly…except for the fact that the new team doesn’t have a mascot yet. Actually, the team did have one back in February when it was decided that the new team would be called the Juneau Thunder Bears. The name was a combination of Thunder Valley and the Crimson Bears, which was the Juneau-Douglas nickname. Thunder Mountain’s nickname was the Falcons. Other name suggestions were the Capital City Senators and the Orcas.
Then in March, the name was rescinded when it was discovered that a “thunderbear” is a racial slur.
Juneau legislators, high school students and school administrators are here at the Capitol this morning discussing the district’s new mascot.
“Thunder Bears” was found to have an offensive definition online after students selected it last month. pic.twitter.com/Li9cZKoN8s
— Adelyn Baxter (@adelynbaxter) March 10, 2018
For now, the team is just known as Juneau.