Addendum on 7/29/15: The GCS school board has voted that as of January 1, 2016, we will retire the Goshen Redskin mascot. This decision has created much emotion. This topic is very personal to many, which requires us all to respect others and the manner in which they view this decision.
The mascot statement that was first added to the GHS athletics website in the fall of 2013 will remain online until 1/1/16. It is more important now than ever, that our students, staff, and community embrace the finest qualities of leadership as our student-athletes strive for the excellence in representing Goshen High School.
My plea to community members is to not let your feelings about this decision affect our current and future student-athletes. These kids deserve the same opportunities to compete regardless of our mascot. GHS student-athletes need your positive support more than ever.
My personal expectation for all Goshen coaches and student-athletes will be that we focus on my comments from the 3rd paragraph below about leadership as we move forward. Our challenge is to honor the tradition in a respectful manner while also nurturing excitement about the creation of a new mascot/logo/and nickname. There are certain things in life that we can control and certain things we cannot……GHS athletic staff and student-athletes will continue to have a positive attitude and not let this decision detract from their goals of representing Goshen High School with excellence. Our reaction will be our true test of character and we will shine!
There has been much discussion about the name of the Goshen High School mascot. As athletic director, it is not my calling to defend or condemn the name. It is my responsibility to promote an environment of sportsmanship and learning of which our student-athletes, coaching staff, and community can be proud. We are proud to be called “Redskins”!
Most of our student-athletes become “Redskins” when they attend their first athletic youth camp sometime between 1st and 4th grade. They learn about teamwork, they learn about commitment, they learn about sportsmanship, they make new friends; they become proud of the effort they exert and the new community to which they now belong. When Goshen student-athletes shout “Redskin pride!”, they are honoring the efforts of their athletic teammates and are making a declaration that they are proud of the positive choice they have made to be part of the team.
The official logo of the Goshen Redskins is that of an Indian Chief……..a leader……someone who sets a good example………These are the life skills that athletic participation teaches student-athletes as they grow from childhood to adolescence to adulthood. A leader is also someone who listens to ideas and does not condemn or criticize; someone who has to make difficult decisions that they determine to be for the good of the entire group. Our attitudes towards sportsmanship, our behavior, and our pride in Goshen HS are not dependent on our mascot name, but on the positive life skills that sportsmanship instills in student-athletes.
As in the past, others will ultimately determine the fate of the Goshen Redskins nickname. All will have their chance to be heard if it comes to that. My promise to you is that as long as we are the Goshen Redskins, we will embrace our tradition, we will continue to be positive leaders, we will continue to be positive contributors to our community, we will continue to display a work ethic beyond compare, and we will continue to mean nothing but the highest praise when we hold our heads high and yell as a group, “Redskin Pride!”
Larry J. Kissinger, CAA, Director of Athletics, Goshen High School