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Gallatin High Raptors: What’s next for the mascot? Board, paleontologists weigh in

Posted: 2:34 PM, May 15, 2019
Updated: 2019-05-15 17:43:17-04

BOZEMAN – The school board made it official last night — the new mascot for Gallatin High School will be the Raptors, and that does not mean the flying kind.

“It’s very exciting that the mascot of Gallatin High is going to be the raptor,” says Dr. John Scannella, John R. Horner Curator of Paleontology at the Museum of the Rockies.

Armed with intelligence, teeth and that famous “terrible claw,” the raptor namesake now can be associated with Gallatin High School, the end of a process school board chair Andy Willett says was not short.

“I think that the process was lengthy, hopefully thorough, at times felt arduous, but we have a mascot,” Willett says. “We have colors and we’re ready to move on.”

And not a moment too soon — Willett says as of last week, the school’s construction met its halfway point.

“We’re 50 percent complete and we will be done by June 1 of next year, is the goal so we have time to move in, but we are at that stage in construction where the colors are important in lockers, stadium seating, potentially,” Willett says.

With the official school colors being black and royal blue, Willett adds that part is behind them.

Meanwhile, paleontologists like Dr. Scannella say this makes sense.

“Raptors have a very long history here in Montana, going back to prehistory but also scientifically some major discoveries involving raptors have been made here in Montana, which have really shaped the way that we view dinosaurs, as a whole,” Dr. Scannella says.

Dr. Scannella says the raptor makes a perfect example of a mascot, down to its ferocity as a predator and its intelligence so he says moving forward even here for scientists, it’s exciting news.

“Raptors are thought to be very active dinosaurs, predatory animals, intelligent and so all of these attributes come together to make raptors a really great choice,” Scannella says.

As for the future logo…

“I think we’ll have a couple of groups take a professional crack at it, as well, and, from there, just sift through what we ultimately think will be a great mascot,” Willett says.

But Willett says there is no rush.

It will take the full year to finish construction and make the complete move into the new building.

And while his was the lone “no” vote, Willett says he is starting to see things differently.

“I like the Raptors just fine. It’s already grown on me in the last week or so,” Willett says. “I felt like this is where it was headed. I just personally liked the Mountaineers a little bit better and there was all sorts of folks that didn’t get their choices up there either, so I think the Raptors will be a great mascot. Go, Raptors!”

The school board says now that they have the colors decided upon, it will make modeling the inside of the building easier to complete.

Reporting by Cody Boyer for MTN News