The Times - Serving Waitsburg, Dayton and the Touchet Valley

By Dave Schreindl
the Times 

DW athletic combine meeting focuses on new mascot


While there were a number of items on the docket for the monthly Dayton-Waitsburg Athletic Combine Committee (DWACC) meeting on Feb. 24, over an hour was spent discussing the recent procedure used in choosing a new team mascot, concluding with the choice of the DW Wolfpack by Dayton and Waitsburg high school student bodies at the Feb. 14 election.

The committee chose to put the adoption of the mascot on hold. This came after the high schools had voted for DW Wolfpack and both the Dayton and Waitsburg school boards voted to ratify the student’s choice. It was never clarified how, when and who will ultimately approve a new mascot during the combine meeting. At the conclusion of the meeting the athletic combine of Dayton-Waitsburg still did not have an official mascot.

Without a formal vote, the committee chose not to set aside the student vote entirely and start over. The group didn’t want to appear to be undermining the student’s effort in this whole process but rather agreed to send it back to the four Associated Student Body groups and their advisors. The committee has asked that each of the advisors and members of the ASBs write at least four sentences about their thoughts on how they felt the process went regarding the choosing of the DW Wolfpack.

The deadline for this process is Mar. 4 and only the principals will know the names of the respondents before it is shared with the members of the committee. If the process is viewed to have proceeded acceptably by the ASB then the logo stage of the mascot approval for DW Wolfpack will proceed and the issue of the new mascot will be closed. However, if the students felt there was any sort of impropriety in the process, the committee will meet and decide what to do next, including the possibility of a new vote.

Multiple members agreed to this process as they felt certain the ASB had not been comfortable with the original procedure, putting the issue of the new combine mascot up for debate once again.

Several members stated that while they might not love the choice of DW Wolfpack as the new mascot, it was not their place to go against the choice of the ASBs, it was their responsibility to make sure all suggestions had been presented and done so in a fair manner. At this meeting and at the Dayton School Board meeting the week prior, community and alumni members expressed frustration that they hadn’t been able to participate in the decision. This is despite both school boards and the DWACC’s outreach through the news media, Facebook, school websites and multiple meetings to notify the Touchet Valley community of the process before it began. Overall participation in the process was questioned. Wendy Richards, a fifth-grade teacher, stated her class had spent a lot of time researching the mascot issue and she was disappointed that their 10-page presentation appeared not to have been given enough consideration as her class’ goal was just to help see the combine succeed.

Other concerns over participation included the fear that several mascot suggestions, emailed before the February 12 deadline, were either lost or ignored altogether. It was also felt the student body vote in Dayton should have been delayed due to low student attendance on February 14 and that a proper presentation of potential mascots had not been adequately prepared.

Since a powerpoint presentation had been created and the Dayton ASB felt ready to present the mascot options the vote went forward. Waitsburg’s ASB chose to wait until the following week to conduct its vote.

One of two arguments for letting the vote stand was that the combine would end up with a black eye should they ask the students to vote all over again. The other argument came up in the form of the question, “who’s paying the bills,” and that the students will be gone next year while the community will be left behind to deal with things.

At the end of the discussion it was agreed that since there were some failings in the mascot approval process and the committee would follow Superintendent Doug Johnson’s advice and ask the students how they felt about the process.whether they were satisfied with the votes outcome.

Initially the agenda for the athletic combine meeting had been to decide the process of creating the logo using the new mascot. An original deadline of March 31 had been set for the acceptance of logo designs from the community with a vote for the winning design in April.

With the results of the meeting the issue of a new logo has been tabled until the mascot issue is resolved. The hope is that everything will be ironed out in time to start the fall athletic season.

The other items on the agenda received just a brief review:

Josh Wilson hired as assistant softball coach

Still looking for MS/HS assistant track and field coaches

Middle school head baseball coach needed

Have applicants for coaches, interviews to take place soon

Pre-season sports meeting announced

Brief discussion of bussing and importance of being on time at both ends by students and parents

March 12, 6 p.m. Winter sports banquet

Suggestion for a combined athletic booster club

The need for site supervisors to help at games

Update on uniform needs – Golf is getting new shirts and jackets, Cheer got new uniforms this year, new uniforms for baseball purchased with room to add logo design next year, and new pants for softball

Football will need new uniforms for the fall

Not enough middle school teams to play against

Needing more bus drivers

Items suggested for the next Combine meeting on Monday Mar. 16 at the Dayton School Board meeting room:

Support for summer athletic programs

Support for spring football

Budget needs to be discussed

Renewed effort for combining the athletic code of conduct into one for the newly combined athletic body to be ready by the start of fall


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