McKenzie Jackson, Reporter

Sanger High represents itself through the Apache name and mascot. However, with more and more high schools and colleges dropping any affiliations with Native American groups due to the supposed offensive and reinforcement of negative stereotypes, is it time for Sanger High to drop the Apache name and move onto something else? This reporter argues, no.
Not only is the Apache mascot not intended to be offensive, but I’d consider it to be more of a tribute to the tribe rather than a mocking character. An article by the Times Herald titled “Native Americans join debate over Apache mascot,” sheds light on the controversy by asking their Facebook fans about how they felt toward the Apache as Vallejo High’s mascot.
Diana K, a Vallejo High alumni and Native American wrote, “I’m a firm believer that the Apache is not offensive. It’s a tribute and has been forever. He represents solitude. Dedication. Hardworking. History. Pride and strength.”
Sanger High’s Apache mascot is meant to represent what it means to be a strong student, both academically and athletically. The Apache 4 Pillars diagrammed in the 2022-23 Sanger High School Parent and Student Handbook list the 4 pillars as respect, tolerance, responsibility, and integrity; worthwhile traits that make up strong individuals with good characters and strong morals.
Additionally, the school Apache also represents Sanger High’s sports teams.
Take the Sanger High girl’s wrestling team for example. More often than not, they’re referred as the Lady Apaches, and is meant to be a strong title for a group of strong young women that are ready to, quite literally fight, and strive to beat their competition to bring themselves and Sanger pride.
Madison Love Robinson, a senior member of the Sanger High girl’s wrestling team, doesn’t consider the team’s title as the Lady Apaches to be an issue. Robinson regards the Apache as “powerful” and that it, “shows girls and boys have courage and fight in them.”
The Lipan Apache Band of Texas has well over 400 members of the Band living in the Fresno and Sanger area according to a letter addressed to Sanger High School. Daniel Castro Romero, Jr., General Council Chairman of the Lipan Apache Band of Texas wrote in the letter that, “members of the Lipan Apache Band of Texas wish to thank the Sanger High School for its use of the Apaches mascot.” Lipan Apache Band of Texas members additionally participated in this year’s Homecoming halftime show to show their continuous support.
A school’s mascot is who they represent themselves as. Even though Sanger High School isn’t represented by an animal, president, or another figure, the Apache mascot serves as an homage to the Apache tribe. It sends a message that Sanger High School is, as the school slogan says, “Always With Pride” to represent themselves as such a strong group as the Apaches in all the best that they do.