Mulling Over the Merge

combining school teams increases wins, decreases opportunities

Luc Anthony

We live in the land of 10,000 hyphenated school districts. Stanley-Boyd. Eleva-Strum. Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau. How would you feel about adding Eau Claire to that list? And I’m not talking about Immanuel Lutheran and Regis; rather, North and Memorial?

Perhaps you missed the proposal from several weeks ago: as a way to help the problematic financial situation facing the Eau Claire Area School District, the athletic programs of Memorial and North High Schools could be combined into one citywide program. Your reaction likely involves a rolling of the eyes and a response similar to “Seriously?” Seriously, this was considered a viable option to reduce the public school system’s financial burden.

Yet, despite the improbability that this plan will come to fruition, seeing such a “what if” scenario laid before my eyes was too strong of a creative temptation to avoid delving into the concept. What would the prep athletic scene in Eau Claire be like if North’s and Memorial’s athletic programs merged?

Since this column deals with the aesthetic realm of athletics, let’s get such questions out of the way first. What would the combined schools’ nickname be? Simple: Old Huskies. Sounds a bit odd, not particularly ferocious, but you tell me a better compromise between the current monikers. Team colors? Purple and Columbia blue. Again, maybe not the desired outcome.

As an amateur expert in uniform design, I can tell you that purple and Columbia blue work fine alone, but combined? Not sure if that’s ever been tried, and the combo does not scream intimidation. I took the added step of going to my photo editing software and finding the halfway point between purple and Columbia Blue. The color’s name? 565A8A; no formal name, just its HTML code. Imagine an announcer saying “Now taking the field, the Eau Claire Old Huskies, in 565A8A jerseys and white pants ...”  

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