Teacher Chad Shaw shares Reds Mascot history

Isaiah Cordova

EHS History Teacher, Chad Shaw, shares his research and views on Eaton’s mascot. His paper can be found [HERE]

Timeline of Shaw’s Mascot history:

  • 1901: Eaton begins organized sports with the title, “Fightin’ Reds,”  based on the uniform color. Eaton’s teams closest form of a mascot is a large red “E.”
    • Meanwhile, Galeton High School’s mascot is the Indians.
  • 1954: Galeton High changes the name of its high school annual from The Torch to The Tomahawk.
  • 1962: Galeton combines with the Eaton School District. Eaton’s athletic teams are still referred to as the Fightin’ Reds with no mascot other than the large red “E.”
    • Soon after Galeton joins, Ken Ridgely, physical education teacher and coach, take the initiative to find a mascot for the high school teams. He decides an Indian goes best with the word “red,” and cho0ses a picture from a book of mascots which is still today’s Eaton Indian.
    • Ridgely takes the small picture to Manuel Jimenez, the high school’s Spanish and Art instructor, along with Vince Capillupo, a student teacher from Colorado State College (now UNC). The three paint the mascot onto a piece of plywood and hang it up in the gym, adding an “E” on the feather and “Reds” on the loincloth, without seeking the approval of the principal, superintendent or school board.
  • 1966: The first year of the mascot’s existence. The mascot also appears in the high school annual.
  • 1969: The mascot becomes commonplace within the school, and it appears on the cheerleaders’ and pep club’s uniforms.
  • 1969-1973: A human mascot dances with the cheerleaders in makeshift Indian clothing.
  • 1970s: The mascot’s popularity continues to grow in locations around the school, on uniforms, and in the annual.
  • 1983: The entire annual portrays an Indian theme with the mascot on the front cover for the first time.
  • 1990s: EHS students are the sons and daughters of the 1960s and 70s parents who have come to cherish the mascot.
  • 2002: A protest of the mascot by a Native American group during graduation sets up a series of reactions, including a UNC intramural team’s “Fightin’ Whites” and an innapropriate double entendre by a Denver radio team. Mascot begins to appear everywhere.
  • 1990-2016: Parents and supporters wear clothing and other gear displaying the mascot.