Athletic Department plans to restructure logos and core values


Katie Felsl

With dozens of different logos at LHS, Athletic Director John Woods is making an effort to lower them down to a modest number.

The LHS Athletic Department is in the process of creating a set of mission statements based on the school’s values, while also condensing the amount of Libertyville logos used to represent the school. By working with LHS coaches and students, they hope to unify and empower the student body.

Libertyville’s new Athletic Director, Mr. John Woods, has begun meeting with a group of LHS coaches on his Core Values Development Team to determine what the athletic program’s core values should be, and then defining those values. Mr. Woods has also met with a student group in order to collect student input.

“When we talk about who we are as a school, the more input we have from the people it’s going to directly impact, the greater accountability we’ll have, and the greater level of belief in [those values] we’ll have,” said Mr. Woods, adding that his goal is to “create a culture that everybody wants to be a part of.”

LHS currently has 31 sports and 92 teams, plus many other extracurricular activities for students to participate in. The number of LHS logos being used by teams and other activities could be upwards of one hundred, said Mr. Woods.

“Are we 31 sports, 92 teams, or one school?” asked Mr. Woods.

According to lifelong Wildcat and retired LHS teacher Mr. Dale Eggert, during LHS’s first 10 years as a school, there was not a school mascot. It wasn’t until the fall of 1927 when the football coach told his players that they “played like a group of Wildcats” that the Libertyville Wildcats nickname came about, Mr. Eggert said. The school colors at that point had been maroon and white, but after the “Wildcat” nickname stuck, the school colors changed to orange and black for the 1927-1928 boys basketball season.

“Ultimately, the question boils down to: who are we, and do we need to unify or align our logos and what we live by? And if the answer is no, and we’re satisfied with having 37 different logos, then let’s have 37 different logos! But I can promise you that we’re not going to act 37 different ways,” stated Mr. Woods.

The athletic department’s hope is to create one unified mission that aligns with the district’s DARING mission in order to empower and educate kids, and then address the logo situation afterwards. However, Mr. Woods added that it’s still open to the students and coaches to determine if the amount of logos should be cut down.

Senior Erin McCane, a track and field athlete, feels that having multiple logos isn’t a bad thing because it “takes something that represents the whole school and it makes it individualized to the different sports.”

McCane feels the logos don’t cause any issues with unity because “our school already does a really good job of supporting every sport.” She added that she believes it would be beneficial to have one overarching logo but continue to let individual sports personalize their own logo.

The longest-standing Libertyville logo is the varsity letter, the “L,” but the orange paw has also remained steadfast. According to Mr. Eggert, the “L” was popularly worn on sweaters to show Wildcat pride throughout the 1960s.

“When people see the ‘L,’ they should know who we are, they shouldn’t have to ask,” stated Mr. Woods.

Mr. Woods has also noticed during his research about the Libertyville logos that the one that always seems to change is the Wildcat. Different variations of the cat have been used throughout the years, and even today, different cats are used by the football team, basketball team and the standard front-facing one.

“Our logo should be recognizable. When we show up, you should know who we are by what we wear, how we behave, how we perform and how we leave your place,” expressed Mr. Woods.

On the other hand, McCane expressed how she feels that our school is represented through every Wildcat and every paw seen around school, and shouldn’t be cut down to just one.

“I’m not on the football team, so I shouldn’t have to have the same logo as the football team,” she explained.

McCane also mentioned that the girls track and field team did a similar project this year where the team members were asked to submit one word that they felt represented their team, and coaches and team captains picked the top four words and definitions. McCane feels that Mr. Woods’s idea to implement a project like this to develop stronger core values would be very helpful to the Athletic Department, as she has already seen the benefits within her teammates’ sense of unity and passion.

“I don’t think this issue has ever been addressed because I think programs were allowed to go off and make their own logo as long as they coach properly and always do what’s right,” commented Mr. Eggert. “Our coaches know that if they do it right, even if they don’t win, but they’ve done it right, they’ve got the support of the Athletic Department.”