By WESLEY REMMER
The Olympic College Board of Trustees rescinded a decision to change the college’s mascot from the Rangers to the Bears Tuesday.
The student body voted to change the school’s name last year, citing the Ranger, among others, as an unidentifiable mascot.
But after two public forums this month — held in response to a petition started by OC alum Bob Summers, who says the mascot should remain the Rangers — the name change came under fire, receiving scrutiny from members of the Ranger family, who value tradition over change.
Summers, along with other OC alum and longtime Bremerton natives, one-by-one voiced their opinions at the first forum on Feb. 11.
“It was very passionate,” said Associated Students of Olympic College (ASOC) President Leslie Miller of the public forums. “There was a lot of oral tradition shared.”
Miller, who received more than 50 messages through a Ranger-Bear e-mail account set up for public input, presented her findings to the trustees at the Wednesday meeting.
“I didn’t really hear anybody (at the forums) say adamantly or concretely that they’d like to be the Bears,” Miller said, recommending the trustees rescind the name change.
The trustees accepted Miller’s recommendation, discussing the possibility of designing a new school logo in place of an entirely new mascot.
“I think the problem is there’s no mascot the students can identify with,” said trustee Pete Crane. “They’re looking for something a little more modern and up to date.”
Trustees agreed that more discussion is needed, but the pro-Ranger sentiment was too strong to ignore.
“I’m inclined to say we may have done this too quick,” Crane said. “Maybe we should put the Bear back into hibernation.”
Men can’t hold first-half lead
Despite leading 42-39 at the half, the Olympic College men’s basketball team couldn’t keep the momentum up in a 99-74 season-ending loss to the Skagit Valley Cardinals last Saturday.
After starting off hot (OC made 48.6 percent of its first-half field goals), the Rangers cooled in the second half, completing just nine of 44 attempts en route to the lopsided 60-32 second half by Skagit Valley, whose Bryan Black led the game with 28 points and 18 rebounds.
Duntae Jones led OC offensively, scoring 23 points to go with four steals. Bremerton grad Patrick Lewis scored 16 and led the Rangers with eight rebounds. Justin Artis had 16 and Jereth Robinson a dozen for OC. Central Kitsap grad Will Perry scored eight points and grabbed seven boards.
The loss ends OC’s season at 6-19 overall, 4-12 against North Division competitors. While not what the Rangers had hoped for this season (OC finished 11-16 overall, 7-9 in division play, last season), everyone on the roster was a freshman this season, meaning the team will have a large returning core to build on.
Shorthanded Lady Rangers fall in finale
With just six players making the trip to Mt. Vernon for Saturday’s women’s hoops game between OC and Skagit Valley, five played the entire game as Laraa Brown, CK grad Ariel McDermott, Dorothy Wood, SK alum Megan Gilbert and NK’s Whitney Pearson each logged 40 minutes in an 81-54 loss to the Cardinals to close of the season.
Caitie Newman led the Cardinals with 20 points, while Gilbert scored a game-high 24 to go with six rebounds. Pearson added five points and 10 rebounds for OC while Wood dished out eight assists. McDermott had 12 points and four assists.
The loss dropped the Lady rangers to 8-18 overall this season, 5-11 in North Division play. Despite the win-loss record, the numbers are a three-game improvement over last year’s 5-21 record.
Loaded with sophomores, the game marked the end of careers for Pearson, Patricia Lewis, Brown, McDermott and Gilbert.
Early soccer signings
OC announced some early signings to both its men’s and women’s soccer programs.
Jordan Kaatz will join the men’s team after helping Skyline to a 7-6-4 record last season.
The women’s team added two signees, getting South Kitsap’s Samantha Gallegos and Maria Jose.