Chowchilla Union HS Celebrates 100 Years, Says Goodbye to Redskins”


All weekend long, Chowchilla Union High School will celebrate its 100th year. Nearly a thousand alumni are expected to come into town for festivities including a golf tournament and Friday night’s homecoming football game. But, as the school enters its centennial year, it’s also saying goodbye to its long-standing mascot- the Redskins.

After a State mandate passed last year to change what some call a derogatory term, the high school will have to find a new mascot by January 1, 2017. Tulare Union and Gustine High Schools were in the same situation, and have already changed names.

Lori Frontella is a Chowchilla Union High School alum. She also serves as the chairman for the “100 Year Reunion Committee”. She said, “We’re native Chowchillans, and it’s who we’ve been all our whole lives, and it’s sad to see it go for me.

Frontella said being a “Redskin” runs four generations deep.

“It’s a sad moment for all of us, but we’re very hopeful, and we know that the new era in Chowchilla will carry the same pride, and spirit, and dignity that the last 100 years had,” stated Frontella.

The “100 Year Reunion Committee” has gathered nearly 1,000 alumni to come into town for the weekend. On Friday morning, festivities kicked off with a golf tournament. On Saturday morning, there will be a reunion celebration program followed by a barbeque luncheon at the football field of the high school. Then, at 6 p.m., the large group will gather at the Chowchilla Madera County Fairgrounds for a party. On Sunday morning at 7 a.m., the weekend will conclude with a breakfast and short inspirational program.

John Cook graduated from CUHS in 2015. He said, “Everyone’s excited. We have a lot of people coming down for this event, and we’re gonna have the football game tonight, and I’m sure there’s going to be a huge turnout for that. And it’s just gonna be a great time!”

Frontella said it doesn’t matter what the mascot name turns out to be, come the new year. She said, “I think if the people come tomorrow and the people that are involved and have been to high school here for the last hundred years. That’s who we are, we are Redskins. We are proud Redskins.”

But the Redskins name has not come without controversy. Many have said the name is derogatory against Native Americans.

CUHS Superintendent Ron Seals said, “None of us want to do it, but the law is the law, and we will comply.”

The Board of Trustees will vote on November 7th on a new mascot name. Seals said some of the names they’re tossing around include Crimson Tribe, Chiefs, Braves, Warriors, Natives, and the Red Hawks.

Copyright 2016 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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