Mohawk High is not looking to change its Warriors nickname.
The thought, in fact, has not even been considered at this point — although it could in the future.
The Washington Redskins announced Monday they are dropping the “Redskins” name and Indian head logo. That is in response to recent pressure from sponsors and decades of criticism that the name and logo are offensive to Native Americans.
Mohawk is the only team in Lawrence County that has an Indian-themed name. Superintendent Mike Leitera said there has been no talk at this time of changing the name and he wasn’t even aware of the Redskins saga.
“At this point we really haven’t considered anything,” he said. “It should be a board and community decision. The nickname is something that’s deeply engrained in the community and not a singular decision.
“Our board has been very good about talking to the community when decisions like this have to be made, so I’m sure there will be discussion.”
Football coach Tim McCutcheon did not mince words regarding his thoughts on the matter.
“My feelings about this could not be any stronger,” he said. “I do not find the name ‘Warriors’ offensive in the least. I am not of American Indian descent, but I don’t feel like we’re discussing a skin color or race here.
“At a time when it seems like everything is offensive, you have to be digging really hard to make an issue out of this. I don’t think a change should be considered at all. It would just be wrong.”
Basketball coach Nick Marmo, who also serves as an assistant football coach at Westminster College, said that he, too, has never even considered Mohawk’s Warriors nickname an issue.
“I honestly never thought about it,” he said. “Good, bad or indifferent, that’s what the name’s always been. Even with everything that’s going on in Washington, I don’t think it has a negative connotation or anything.
“It’s a sense of pride at Mohawk. It’s drawing attention to something I don’t think is an issue.”
The Redskins move came less than two weeks after owner Daniel Snyder, who once declared he would never get rid of the name, launched a review amid pressure from sponsors. FedEx, Nike, Pepsi and Bank of America all protested the name, which was given to the franchise in 1933 when the team was still in Boston. The new name has yet to be announced.
Athletic director Gerald Guido said he, too, had never considered the nickname or logo a problem at Mohawk.
“At this time, I don’t think it’s an issue,” he said. “ I have no idea if it will be brought up.”