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New Kenmare Honker mascot to be unveiled...

For the second time in a year, Kenmare High School Student Council President Lindsey Miller has come up with an idea that will touch a lot of people.

4/09/19 (Tue)

For the second time in a year, Kenmare High School Student Council President Lindsey Miller has come up with an idea that will touch a lot of people.

Early in the school year, Miller and Librarian Fay Froseth put together a book drive to get books in the hands of the residents of three northern California counties after catastrophic fires.

This time, Miller is working on bringing a new team mascot to Kenmare High School.

It’s in the process, half the cost is already paid for and now it’s just a matter of time before it arrives.

Miller is hoping the mascot gets to Kenmare before the school year and her term as student council president ends.

“Going into my senior year, I thought it would be cool to be valedictorian or something,” she said. “But this mascot... I hope he arrives before the end of the school year.”

Miller, who calls herself old fashioned, says she understands mascots, because once upon a time, they were very popular in high schools in North Dakota, and she has seen them in other high schools.

Apparently, Kenmare had one as recently as the early ‘70s, but The Kenmare News quizzed several people who were in high school and middle school in the early ‘70s but they don’t have a memory of its existence.

A scan of yearbooks through the 1960s and ‘70s didn’t indicate any photographs that revealed a mascot.

Miller, however, said she strongly believes that Kenmare once had a mascot that apparently went into hiding and has never resurfaced.

In fact, the new mascot is based off the old “Honker,” according to Miller. It is the closest representation of a goose without actually being a goose. The actual design that was sent to the manufacturer was based off the logo you’ll see on official school documents.

Miller said the photo from Mascot Makers is an overall concept and the actual mascot may have some slight variations, but will be very similar to the photo you see above.

Everyone knows the official brand of Kenmare Public Schools is the Canadian honker goose. The team’s nickname is the Honkers, but it’s a rare nickname.

The only other known team using the Honker goose as a mascot is the Rochester Honkers summer collegiate baseball team in Minnesota whose mascot is a goose named Slider.

As a result of its rarity, Miller said a lot of research was done to find a company that could actually produce a life-sized Honker goose that resembles the bird in nature.

“There are some companies in the United States and Canada that didn’t understand what we were talking about,” Miller said. “So we’re working with a U.K. (United Kingdom) company.”

Mascot Makers in Windsor, England, is well known for their work in preparing what the buyer is looking for. But it doesn’t come cheap.

Miller said the cost was $3,800, but no other company could produce what the Kenmare students desired.

Fund raising efforts and a grant from Vets Gaming provided enough money to secure the Honker mascot. Now, it’s just a matter of when will it be finished?

“We wanted something regal looking,” Miller said. “We wanted something classy and tried to stick with the original concept.”

She expects there will be a lot of anticipation and excitement when the Honker arrives.

“I know I’m excited,” Miller said. “I got to see him come to life over the email.”

Naming event

Because Kenmare has such a strong alumni affiliation, the plan is to do a community-wide naming at an event to be announced complete with prizes.

“We’d like to have an event so at next year’s games, people will know,” Miller said. “As student council president, one of my goals was to increase school spirit and this may be it.”

Students haven’t exactly been jumping on the bandwagon to be wear the mascot during athletic events. But, as Miller pointed out, the school’s general population wasn’t aware of it until this article was published.

She added it’s largely been a project of the student council so it really hasn’t gone far beyond that, until now.

“We do have a lot of support from the seniors and some of the younger students,” she said. “We haven’t sought out volunteers yet, but those who do know are excited.”

Regardless, someone in Kenmare Public Schools will have the privilege of wearing the mascot during games and tournaments. Football season kicks off the 2019-2020 school year so there is already some anticipation of the yet unnamed Honker making its inaugural appearance at Kenmare’s first home game.

This has been a long time coming, according to Miller, and it’s her sincere hope that the unveiling can take place soon for the benefit of the graduating seniors who have been an integral part of the school, in some cases, for many years.

“We started working on this in December. I was at the state student council and saw the school spirit,” she said. “But, it’s been on my mind since last summer.”

A lot is going to depend on when Mascot Makers gets the Honker finished and shipped to the United States.

“We’ll get someone to dress up,” Miller said. “We want to do a pep rally for the unveiling, but most seasons will be done.”

If it’s not possible to unveil the mascot before the end of the school year, it will most likely be postponed until school starts in the fall and would be unveiled during a school sanctioned event.

Should that happen, it is expected those on student council who worked on this project would attend and be honored for their part in elevating Honker spirit in Kenmare.

“We really wanted a Honker goose and I think we found it,” Miller said. “We’ve been working hard with this company and we wanted to base it on the old mascot.”

Any students interested in dressing up as the mascot, should get in touch with Miller and let their intentions be known. The final decision on who will be picked or how they will be picked, is yet to be worked out... Read EVERY WORD on EVERY PAGE of The Kenmare News by subscribing--online or in print!