Everyone loves a good throwback uniform.
Whether it’s the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in their creamsicle sets or the Pittsburgh Pirates in their pillbox hats, sometimes throwing it back to the teams of years past is fun for fans new and old.
We’re starting to see this trend at the high school level as well.
When I was still in high school, Harding started to wear throwbacks honoring the pre-merger era of Warren City Schools.
As a student there at the time, I thought it was a great way to experience some of the traditions my parents were a part of as former Panthers.
During this past basketball season, Mathews, Bristol and Badger each wore uniforms honoring some of the communities that make up their respective school districts and the past schools in them.
Mathews honored Rex Leach and the former Vienna High School, wearing uniforms inspired by the red and white Flyers uniforms.
In 1988, the Farmington school district was absorbed into the neighboring Bristol district. This past season the Panthers became the Indians for a night, donning the colors and uniforms of Farmington. It’s expected to be a yearly tradition.
The team “Farmington” took on in that game was Badger, who was in their own throwbacks, honoring the Hartford Bobcats.
I don’t know why, but I’ve always been really interested in the history side of high school athletics. Getting to see schools honoring past looks and identities is really cool to me.
There’s still quite a few potential options as well. I combed through a bunch of old yearbooks online at 3 a.m. looking for information about this and came up with a few throwback ideas I’d love to see worn on the court in the near future.
The Badger school district is comprised of four former schools, two of which have yet to be honored, Kinsman (the Klippers) and Vernon (the Blue Streaks). The latter will be honored next year according to coach Josh Upshire.
Vienna got its shot in the spotlight. Now Mathews should honor the other school and wear Fowler Wolverines jerseys as well.
LaBrae’s gym has banners for the Braceville Bees and Leavittsburg Yellow Jackets. Both being named after kinds of bees, I figured they would have called themselves the Hornets upon merging, but that’s beside the point. It would be neat to see each of the past bee teams get their turn, especially because LaBrae has seemed very keen to honor the two schools that formed the district in recent years.
According to yearbooks from the 1940s, Brookfield’s athletic programs were known as the Hilltoppers. Bringing that nickname back for a night would be a fun change of pace. In fact, if Brookfield were to ever drop the “Warriors” name, Hilltoppers would be a great choice.
Harding wore Western Reserve jerseys on the basketball court a few years back, but I can’t remember if the original Harding has gotten the same treatment yet. If not, a red and black Panthers set would be awesome to see.
Maybe Harding could even honor the Market Street School Wildcats if you really want to dig deep into Warren basketball history.
For some Mahoning County schools, West Branch wearing Goshen Gopher threads or South Range in some North Lima Zippers or Greenford Bobcats jerseys would be awesome as well.
It’s probably sacrilege, but I’d love to see a revival of the Rayen Tigers for a night, worn by either East or Chaney. The Rayen name is super iconic, and it would be awesome to see it come back in some way.
This is by no means a comprehensive list, I’m sure there’s schools I’m forgetting about, but these are just a few that came to mind.
I’m just big into the history of the area and am especially interested in the era that came before the mass-mergers of the late 50s, early 60s. Seeing names, looks and traditions of schools that have been relegated to just yearbooks and memories is fun. Nothing wrong with looking back.