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Nickname history: Mt. Vernon Marauders

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Mt. Vernon High School

Incorporated: 1963

Nickname: Marauders

Colors: Old Gold and White

Fight song: Mt. Vernon Fight Song, an original composition written by former band director Stan Ricks around the time of the 1963 consolidation

What’s in a name? The Marauders moniker is keeping in the same plundering “family” as the nicknames of the schools that consolidated into Mt. Vernon High School in the early 1960s. The McCordsville Pirates and Fortville Demons eventually formed the Vernon Township Vikings and, in 1963, Vernon Township consolidated with the Mt. Comfort Buccaneers to become the present-day Mt. Vernon Marauders. These area elementary schools continue the swashbuckling tradition: Mt. Comfort Buccaneers, Fortville Vikings and McCordsville Pirates.

Various dictionaries define a Marauder as a “predator, vulture, piranha, bandit, outlaw, raider or or such who moves about in roving, attacking fashion looking for plunder and booty.” It doesn’t get more intimidating than that. Dale Lawrence, though, takes it a step further. In his “Hoosier Hysteria Road Book” Lawrence writes that the Mt. Vernon Marauder evokes “roving bands of unrepentant cutthroats and rapists.” Seems a bit extreme, doesn’t it? But, the Mt. Vernon mascot on the school’s website is a bearded man wielding an ax while wearing an uncomfortably short skirt/kilt of some kind. Scary, indeed.

The bearded Marauder figure came about from a school contest sponsored by the Herff Jones class ring company at the time the high school was incorporated.

More contemporary Mt. Vernon logos, including those used in this newspaper, include the letters M and V imposed on a shield or circle in colors of gold and black.

While Mt. Vernon’s official school colors, as listed in the Indiana High School Athletic Association directory, remain Old Gold and White, nearly all MV athletic uniforms also contain black, with many teams using black as the dominant color.

Bruce Kendall, the Marauders’ track and field coach for over three decades, explains, “We put black on our uniforms in 1980 for cross country and it kind of went from there.  To my knowledge, no one used it before then. 

“We thought the old gold and white was pretty pale.  We thought a black background would give it a better image.”

In recent popular culture, Marauders have served as characters in the Harry Potter and Star Wars movies and in Marvel Comics adventures.

Mt. Vernon is the only school in Indiana with the Marauders nickname, and one of 28 high schools in the country with the name. The closest fellow Marauders outside Indiana are the Meigs High School Marauders in Pomeroy, Ohio.

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