Throughout America, schools struggle to find a geographically unique mascot that also provides assets like alliteration and, if possible, some sense of uniqueness. The best stand out and feel genuinely authentic.
Few can feel more authentic than the Key West (Fla.) High Conchs. Unsuprisingly, they were selected as the best mascot in the state of Florida.
If you have to ask what a Conch is, you probably haven’t been near the beach in Florida, the Carribean or a number of other tropical locales (not that there’s anything wrong with that; beaches worldwide are all relatively wonderful). In short, a Conch is a giant shell that is used by sea snails as a sort of mobile home. Later, the conches are left behind when the snails move on.
Since 1906, the Conch has also served as the mascot for Key West High. According to USA Today, it’s the only school in the country to feature such a mascot.
All of that makes the Key West Conchs feel more special. They are special. And whether they win on the field or the court, they can all feel comfortable now knowing that they win in the mascot wars every time.
Other Great Florida Mascots of Note:
Florida is another big state, so it’s no wonder that there are a number of terrific mascots spread across the state. Still, these truly stand out.
The Tarpon Springs (Fla.) Spongers are named for exactly what it sounds like they’re named for: People who dive for sponges. Sure, it isn’t the most intimidating mascot, but the Tarpon Springs Spongers have been in action since the 1920s.
Wonder why Laurel Hill (Fla.) High features teams known as the Hoboes? Well, the railroad used to come through town, and it brought along a number of visitors, including migratory workers (i.e., Hoboes). Regardless of origin, the Hoboes are very unique -- they’re the only Hoboes in the country -- and pretty cool to boot.
One can’t visit the territory of Florida mascots without mention of the Lakeland (Fla.) High Dreadnaughts. According to USA Today, the school picked a term traditionally reserved for British warships as its mascot after Lakeland’s principal said the team should be honored as Dreadnaughts after it rolled over rival Hillsborough High. The name stuck, and the school even has a naval bell at the football field to celebrate big plays. Lakeland High: Nothing if not thorough.