H.S. FOOTBALL | Bracken Co. Reflects on Unique Mascot During Homecoming Week

09/22/2017 01:48 PM

Friday night at 7:30 p.m. eastern, Bracken County faces off with Dayton in a homecoming match-up. That part of the high school experience isn’t too unique, but Bracken County’s mascot- that is another story.

Senior volleyball and tennis player Makenleigh Cooper explains their mascot is usually a surprise to others.

“‘The Polar Bears?’ Like, it’s kind of like a question. Like, ‘are you sure?’, because you’re usually used to like the Indians or like the Eagles…but, I mean, its really cool because they’re like ‘Oh, really? I love Polar Bears!’ You kind of get that initial response.”

While there are dozens of mascots in the state of Kentucky, there is only one school that calls themselves the Polar Bears.

“I love to go to the games. I love to cheer them (other athletes) on. I love to be louder than everyone else there and I love to let all the players know like, hey, we’re here. We’re ready to play. Like, let go Bracken,” said Cameron Ashcraft, a senior football player.

The Bracken County Polar Bears take great pride in their school, community and unique mascot.

“To be a Polar Bear means we’re all kind of family. That’s our motto for volleyball is that we’re all family,” said Cooper.

Sophomore volleyball and basketball player Aryah Myrick agreed.

“Like you hear Eagles or Panthers or stuff like that we’re the Polar Bears and people are like “oh that’s different”. Kind of, it’s like our own little thing that no other school really has.”

How they became the Polar Bears, is something of a local legend at this point, but basically the students say that before the high school was moved to its current location, it was located next to an old tobacco warehouse. The warehouse served as a practice court for the basketball team.

“They used to practice in an old tobacco warehouse and a lot of the old-timers, you know, they hung up goals and stuff in there for the kids to use after school. they would hang up goals and go over there after school and practice and it was very cold in a tobacco warehouse,” explained Bracken County Athletic Director Daniel Fisher.

They were already the Bears, so Polar Bears wasn’t too far of a leap.

“So an old man came in there and was watching them one day and he said, you know, ‘what are you all doing in here?’ and I guess he started talking to them and he said ‘well, it’s so cold in here, you guys should be called the Polar Bears,’” Tanner Fisher, a senior that plays football, basketball and baseball added.

“We took it and we were like, ‘yeah, lets do it,‘” Ashcraft said.

As the Polar Bears march into their homecoming match-up, they try to channel their inner polar bear for the most part.

“We don’t want to play like Polar Bears, though,” AD Fisher joked. “We don’t want to be slow and docile. We want to be fierce and ferocious. So yeah, it’s something we take pride in and something we hang out hat on.”

As they take the field on Friday night in front of the home crowd, the Polar Bear pride will be felt throughout.

“I think it’s one of the best things about Bracken County, like we are the Polar Bears. We’re so uniquely- just diverse and its really cool to just be like, we are so unique and we’re so different than anyone else. I think we should really take some pride in that,” Cooper told Spectrum News.

The Bracken County Polar Bears football team currently has a 4-1 record.

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