What was your school mascot? Funny how we all remember them no matter how many years we have been away from our alma maters.

School mascots are characters meant to drum up school pride, student energy, and a whole lot of excitement, mainly at sporting events. Back in my day (1950s) every other school (including mine) had a mascot with a cheesy, homemade costume to wear.

Today, Hollywood costumers are employed to create wonderful, crazy Disney-like mascot costumes. Knights, dragons, super heroes, and all kinds of members of the animal kingdom now roam the sidelines of the football fields and basketball courts of high schools and colleges across the country.

In Upstate New York we have a crazy quilt of school mascots, 17 of them which are on this list. Yes, we have bears, lions, jaguars, eagles and the like. But we also have golden griffins. Huh? We have a small rural community named Greenwhich that is pronounced exactly as it is written: green witch. Guess what their school mascot is?

We have a lot of railroad themed mascots in our area, as well as mascots that pay tribute to our rugged region. We have mountaineers and lumberjacks in the Northern Catskills, and Eskimos in the North Country. And don't event get me started with the Hillbilly mascot in western New York! Oh, you will love the reason why one school has adopted the elephant as its school mascot. Talk about history!

They are all fun, they are all the pride of their school, and they are all beloved in their home communities. School mascots. Where would we be without them!

From Lumberjacks to Thunder Chickens -- Upstate New York Loves Their School Mascots

This is a list of Upstate New York's favorite, colorful, and somewhat wacky school mascots. No matter how weird they get, the schools love them and they adore their mascots and school logos.

What is a thunder chicken? And why did a small rural school pick witches as their team mascot? And what on earth is a "sawyer?"

Take a look at these mascots. Some of them will leave you scratching your head!

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