Curious Community: How Did We Get Our Eagle?


Photo by Mary McGinnis

Ozzie the Eagle at the Eagle Pals Game

If you’ve ever gone to a sporting event at Lakes Community High School, you’ve probably seen Ozzie the eagle. Since its beginning in 2004, Ozzie has been the official mascot of Lakes.

When Lakes was being developed, its first principal, Dr. Bob Crist, formed committees including teachers and parents of incoming freshmen. The committees chose the mascot and the name of our school street, Eagle Way. The timing of the school being opened was not long after the terrorist event of Sept.11, 2001.

“It was a pretty patriotic time hence the red, white and blue colors and the Eagle,” said current principal, David Newberry.

The committees that chose the Eagle and the street name also had some other options floating around to choose from. They considered various animals, symbols, etc. They also had to consider the rival schools in our conference, not wanting to duplicate another school’s mascots or colors. Ultimately, the committee decided to go with patriotic themed colors and mascot. Once the eagle was chosen, members of the school community the had to decide how to represent it throughout the building.

“There are so many different things you can do, from the Eagle Nest to the unbelievable options with the eagle, whether it’s the talon or the face of the eagle,” Lakes Athletic Director, Kurt Rowells, said.

For many, the eagle gives off the idea of freedom. The school tries to embody this idea of freedom by giving its students more freedom throughout our time at Lakes. The school gives students the feeling of soaring into our new lives after high school.

An eagle as a mascot has also influenced student life at Lakes. Ozzie the Eagle represents our school at sporting events; he is there cheering on the teams, getting the crowd riled up and encouraging school spirit.

What some students don’t realize is Ozzie is one of our very own students. Per the unspoken mascot law, the student in the Ozzie costume remains anonymous to most everyone. Only a few know the student’s identity, including a handful of teachers and some of the student’s friends.

“Being the Eagle is really fun. It has a bunch of freedom. It’s fun to go to the games; it’s fun to take pictures with people and it’s fun to have the mystery of people not knowing who you are,” said Ozzie.