The Princeton Secondary School Rapids are now working on choosing a logo, after the decision to change the school’s team name from the Rebels to the Rapids.
“We’re in the logo process now,” said PSS Principal Bill Lawrence, who added that the naming process has been an ongoing discussion throughout the entire school year. “It was a little bit slow, but we settled on the Rapids.”
Lawrence said that as far as he knows, the PSS Rapids will only be the second ‘Rapids’ in British Columbia.
“We’re quite unique in that sense.”
It was in July of 2020 that PSS officially decided to drop the Rebels moniker, with many tying the name to an inadvertent ode to the racist past of the American Confederacy.
“It has recently come to the attention of the Board of Education that the logo for Princeton Secondary School ‘Rebels’ has a history of being defined by images that glorify the Confederate cause during the American Civil War,” read a letter sent out by School District 58 last year.
Past iterations of the PSS Rebels’ logo have included images of the Confederate flag, as well as a hat that resembles that of the Confederate Army with two swords crossed in front.
As for the new logo to match the modernized name, the second semester Graphic Arts class was put on the case. Ten different logos have been submitted, a few of which will be chosen by a committee of staff and students to be voted on by the student body.
“It’s exciting,” said Lawrence. “It’s interesting.”
According to School District 59 Superintendent Stephen McNiven, PSS will have a budget of $35,000 to rebrand stationary, school signage, etc., but perhaps most significant, new athletic uniforms to represent the name and logo change.
“Hopefully we can do justice to whatever new logo is chosen,” said McNiven. “Being one of only two Rapids in the province, we can put some good uniforms on the backs of all of our students.”
SD58 Trustee Gordon Comeau acknowledged that there are some “sensitive issues” behind the change in name and logo, but that it is the right time.
“Regardless of whether it was intended that way or not, that’s what it ended up being,” said Comeau, speaking on the past Rebels moniker, which had been a part of PSS for over forty years. “So good on (Lawrence), and good on the school for digging in, and finding something that will hopefully become the pride of that school.”
Fellow Trustee Dave Rainer echoed his colleague’s sentiments.
“I think it’s a great name…Rapids will be moving forward, and through all the competition. That’s the cool thing!”
In terms of student support, representative Kaelan Druck has been meeting with PSS’s athletic director to draw up some prototypes of possible jerseys for the volleyball and basketball teams. PSS is also hoping to get a track team on the ground next year as well.
Though reversible jerseys have been considered for cost-cutting measures, hygiene has been discussed among athletic staff and the general consensus is that separate home and away jerseys are the best option.
“We want to make sure that their uniforms look similar to MSS,” said Assistant Superintendent Jameel Aziz when speaking on quality. “I don’t want one side of the district to have Product A and the other side of the district to have Product B. If we have to do it over a little bit of time, we can talk about that as well.”