The ‘Rebel Man’ mascot is likely gone for good, but the Rebels team name will remain.
Following a student-led petition with more than 1,200 signatures, Henrico County and Freeman High School administrators have backed off plans to come up with a new team name for the West End school, the sports teams of which have been known as the ‘Rebels’ since the school’s opening in 1954.
The Washington Post reports that 16-year-old Alecsys Brown, who presented the petition to Freeman Principal Anne L. Poates this past week, was told that the search was called off and that the Rebels name would remain. However, the ‘Rebel Man’ mascot, which was retired some years ago, will not be returning.
“We came to the consensus that the lion was not the best fit for Freeman,” said Brown, 16. “We’re still the Freeman Rebels. But we’re going to try and find a way to create a new mascot to come together to represent the Rebels in the best way possible.”
Henrico schools spokesman Andy Jenks confirmed Brown’s account and said no change will be made in the fall. “The school was the Rebels, the school is the Rebels and the school will be the Rebels,” Jenks said.
Jenks said that in the coming months, Freeman students, alumni and administrators will have a broader discussion about a new mascot to support school teams during athletic events. “They are entering the school year with an open mind,” Jenks said. “When the school year starts up in the fall, undoubtedly this discussion will develop a bit further.”