This article was taken from the Sidney Daily Sun, Tuesday, December 23, 1997, Volume 1, Issue 66 -
Article written by Bob Moore
SHS grads recall how "Maroons" became the Sidney "Red Raiders"
An American Saddlebred mare named "Sea Treasure" owned by Dorothy Holoway vaulted into immortality at Sidney High School when a drawing of a horse was selected for the school's new Red Raider logo in 1967.
Ron Lieneman, a sophomore at Sidney High, submitted the winning logo from among 25 entries. Ironically, Lieneman preferred the name "Spartans" at the time the change in mascot names was made.
"Red Raiders" officially replaced "Maroons" as the school mascot name on December 15, 1967, following a vote on proposed new names by the student body.
"It wasn't an overnight change," recalls Bill Fankhouser, a former principal at the school now retired. "The Student Council and the students pretty much handled it." "The public outcry (at the change) was terrible," remembers Jeff Pippitt, a '63 graduate of Sidney High School now teaching at the Western Nebraska Community College. "We had tried to change the name when I was in High School, but didn't get very far."
Larry Pippitt, a '58 graduate and the new band director at Sidney High in '67, said Gene Torczon, the school's basketball coach at the time, was the driving force behind the name change.
Paul Sheaman, who started teaching social studies at Sidney High in 1956, now retired, recalls that it was the athletes who pushed for the name change. "The thing was, all the athletes wer called "morons" by their opponents, and that's the main reason for the change," he said.
Pippitt said "Red Raiders" was not a common nickname, which was one reason it was selected. As chance would have it, Pippitt said the band director he had replaced, Dean Killon, was band director at Texas Tech University at the time. Texas Tech's mascot name is Red Raiders. "I don't think Dean had anything to do with the Raider name being selected," said Pippitt, "But it was quite a coincidence."
Dorothy Holloway, a long-time Sidney High English teacher and owner/rider of Sea Treasure, said the student's liked the new nickname. "Maroons" was a very difficult name to design a logo around," she said. Holloway remembers that it was very windy the day the picture of her and Sea Treaure was made, the picture that Ron Lieneman used as the model of his handdrawn entry.
"He did a good job," said Holloway. "Many of the details in the logo are the same as those in the picture."
"I wasn't the best artist in school," confessed Ron Lienaman when contacted at his Indiana home. Now the manager of two county electrical cooperatives near Rushville, IN, Lieneman said another student, a senior whose name he couldn't remember, drew the final version of the future Red Raider symbol, Sea Treasure.
Lieneman said he voted for "Spartans" when students balloted the final time, but he couldn't recall any of the other choices. The runner-up for the Red Raider logo, he remembers, was a pirate. His prize for submitting the winning drawing was a suitcase.
The school colors were changed from maroon and black to red and white when the change in mascot occurred. "We were pretty happy about it," said Jeff Pippitt. "Anything was better than 'moron."