After a long process and many polls, Walpole has decided on a new name for the mascot to replace the outdated Rebel name. Walpole High School Principal Stephen Imbusch announced the new name, the Timberwolves, on April 28.
Walpole was previously known as the Rebels, yet in June of 2020, students and faculty decided to get rid of that name due to the racial implications and historical connection with the confederate flag. Prior to the Rebel name, Walpole went by the name ”The Hilltoppers.” The town colors, orange and blue, will not change.
“I knew [the Rebel name] was controversial and I knew why, but it was still difficult for me to think of them as anything but the Walpole Rebels. Do I like the Timberwolves? I do,” WHS Principal Stephen Imbusch said. “I like it better than just being Walpole, and I like it better than a lot of the names that were submitted.”
The process for renaming was a long one, a 26 person committee was formed at the beginning of the year with various students, staff and community members. People were encouraged to submit mascot proposals and multiple Google Forms were sent out to allow Walpole students and faculty to have a choice in the name. The final four choices were The Walpole Wolfpack, The Walpole Timberwolves, The Walpole Wild and Walpole. Choosing the logo was also a dynamic process, and people had the opportunity to pick their favorite. The new logo is now a wolf face with a “W” on the forehead for Walpole. All the logo choices were designed by BSN sports, which designs the uniforms for Walpole.
The timberwolf itself, also known as the gray wolf or its scientific name canis lupus, is an eastern wolf. Timberwolves are typically gray, but can also have a brown, black or white coat. These wolves are the largest canines and are considered social animals because of their practice of staying in packs. Timberwolves can be found in Canada, Alaska, Asia, as well as a few states in the continental United States including Michigan, Montana and Wisconsin—and now at a Walpole sports game. Walpole also used to be known for its Timber production and tradition.
While some people are not happy with the name, others are happy that the process has come to an end.
“I can’t change people’s hearts and minds, I have to accept that the current students made a decision about what name you wanted. The vote happened and like any votes that happened, you have to go with the process and move on,” Imbusch said.