What’s a Hillcat? Ask someone from New Hampshire (preferably from Deering)

Cameron Smith

New Hampshire is a beautiful state of pastoral fields, picturesque snowy peaks and skiing. Now we can add one more thing to that list: Rather blasé mascots.

Hillsboro-Deering plays as the Hillcats — Hillsboro-Deering High School
Hillsboro-Deering plays as the Hillcats — Hillsboro-Deering High School

Perhaps more strikingly than in any previous state (at least in alphabetical order), New Hampshire boasts a relatively stock variety of school mascots. The best in the state, as voted by readers of USA Today, was the Hillsboro (N.H.) Deering High Hillcats. Yes, the Hillcats. That's as good as they get.

And what, pray tell, is a Hillcat? Why, it's just a combination of a bobcat and a lynx. Sure, it's different (and a fair step up from a wildcat), but it's not particularly more original than a Liger. And Ligers were featured in Napoleon Dynamite, so they have to be the real deal.

Flickr
Flickr

Why were the Hillcats the state's best, and decidedly so? Largely because none of the other alternatives were all that much more unique. Franklin (N.H.) High plays as the Tornadoes, which would be a great mascot in parts of Kansas or Oklahoma, but is less so in New Hampshire, the 1821 New England tornado epidemic not withstanding.

If it were up to Prep Rally, the state's top mascot might be the Manchester (N.H.) Central High Little Green, a direct take off on Dartmouth College's Ivy League mascot, the Big Green. Big Green-Little Green … get it?
Other Great New Hampshire Mascots of Note:

The best two have to be the Tornadoes and Little Green listed above, but Colebrook (N.H.) Academy does deserve some recognition for it's sports representation's connection with both history and geography. Colebrook Academy plays as the Mohawks because the school sits directly on the border of traditional Mohawk territory.

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