The Rhinelander Hodag is the best mascot and nickname in Wisconsin high school sports. In the finals of the Frontier Communications Mascot Challenge, the Hodags out-paced the Hortonville Polar Bears 23,400 to 19,133 following a HUGE voting turn-out to claim the title of best mascot.
A huge thank you to all the schools, students, administrators, and supporters who voted in the Mascot Challenge over the last two months. More than 545,000 votes were cast in total, which is an absolutely incredible number.
Look for more info on the winning Rhinelander Hodags next week.
It all comes down to this. After 9 weeks, 6 rounds of voting, and more than 500,000 total votes cast, the Hortonville Polar Bears and the Rhinelander Hodags are the last two standing in the 2015 Frontier Communications Mascot Challenge.
Voting is open for the Finals of the 2015 Frontier Communications Mascot Challenge. You can vote in each poll below, up to once per day. Voting is open until Friday, April 17th at 4 pm.
Remember, the best way to build vote totals is to share the information with classmates, friends, family, and the community by posting the link to vote on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. as well as forwarding via email.
To view more information about each school, their nickname, and/or mascot, including history, how the nickname came about, mascot special skills or abilities, photos, and videos, click on the corresponding mascot image below.
Remember, the winning school for the 2015 Frontier Communications Mascot Challenge at the end of 6 rounds of voting will receive $1000 for their school's athletic or general fund!
Hortonville Polar Bears vs Rhinelander Hodags
How They Got Here:
Round 1 - beat New London Bulldogs 3,773-2,456
Round 2 - beat Chequamegon Screaming Eagles 6,408-6,299
Round 3 - beat Butternut Midgets 8,975-8,833
Round 4 - beat D.C. Everest Evergreens 6,630-5,108
Round 5 - beat Horicon Marshmen 12,104-12,103
Total Votes Cast in support of the Polar Bears in Rounds 1-5: 49,993
History of the Polar Bears:
The first high school classes began being offered in 1902. In 1906, Hortonville graduated its first senior class of 17 students. During this time, athletic events were held at the Hortonville Opera House (later known as the Hortonville Community Hall), where due to the temperature of the facility, the teams earned the nickname “Polar Bears”. In the early 1920’s all basketball teams traveled by train or sleigh. Students from other teams would take a Hortonville player home to stay with them overnight and players would return to Hortonville the next day. Boys and girls basketball would play on the same night with a dance to entertain the visiting team afterwards all held at the Hortonville Opera House. The Opera House was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
How They Got Here:
Round 1 - beat Watertown Luther Prep Phoenix 1,816-565
Round 2 - beat Hayward Hurricanes 3,514-1,252
Round 3 - beat Watertown Goslings 7,819-6,932
Round 4 - beat Mineral Point Pointers 5,837-4,107
Round 5 - beat Washburn Castle Guards 17,547-17,065
Total Votes Cast in support of the Hodags in Rounds 1-5: 36,533
History of the Hodag:
In 1893, newspapers reported the discovery of a Hodag in Rhinelander, Wisconsin. It had "the head of a frog, the grinning face of a giant elephant, thick short legs set off by huge claws, the back of a dinosaur, and a long tail with spears at the end". The reports were instigated by well-known Wisconsin land surveyor, timber cruiser and prankster Eugene Shepard, who rounded up a group of local people to capture the animal. The group reported that they needed to use dynamite to kill the beast.
The Hodag became the official symbol of Rhinelander, and lends its name to numerous Rhinelander area businesses and organizations. The city of Rhinelander's web site calls Rhinelander "The Home of the Hodag." A larger-than-life fiberglass sculpture of the Hodag, created by a local artist, resides on the grounds of the Rhinelander Area Chamber of Commerce where it draws thousands of visitors each year.
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