Wildcat receives makeover


Natalie Rowland, News Editor

When freshman Michael Terry II first found out the wildcat was getting a redesign, he was shocked.


“I was really confused and I was, like, ‘Why did we need a new logo?’.I asked [my friends] had they seen the new logo, and they said no, so we pulled it up on a big board in our classroom,” Terry said.


The district announced the change in logos on Jan. 15 through the high school websites. The announcement included a presentation explaining the reasoning behind the change.


“I really found out through the school website because it was up there. I found out the day after,” Terry said.


The Lawrence North wildcat and the Lawrence Central bear are logos recognizable. LN began using the current wildcat in 2003 when they got permission from Kansas State to use their logo in a different color. The LC bear, which they’ve been using since 2012, is actually the Missouri State.


However, last summer Missouri State decided that they no longer wanted high schools to use their logo. This meant that the district had to look into an alternative logo to use for LC.


“They have that right. They have it trademarked. It belongs to them, so they have the right to say, ‘We don’t want you to use that anymore,’ and that is the decision that they had made,” Dana Altemeyer, Lawrence Township Director of Communications, said.


While Kansas State has not yet made the same request, the district decided to redesign LN’s logo while they were going through the process with LC.


“The same legal team represents the school that we use our logo from, so it will be a matter of time before they probably give us the same directive. So, we decided to just get started with the rebranding before that happens,” freshman assistant principal Brian Atkinson said.


In order to prevent future trademarking issues, the district decided to design their own logos for the two schools. They put together a team of administrators, teachers, coaches and parents to create these new logos, and they also hired an agency to assist them in the design process and to help them with their trademarks.


“We want to copyright our own logos so we don’t have any issues in terms of violating anyone’s agreements. In today’s age, we need to be able to have our own copyrighted logo, so that’s the process that we are in right now,” athletic director Mike Penrose said.


Although the logo is changing, the core of LN spirit will stay the same.  


“We knew we didn’t want to change colors. We weren’t changing that you’re the Cats. It was just that representation,” Altemeyer said.


The committee has worked hard to design a logo that will represent LN well. However, they do realize that the change in logos may not be popular among the community at first.


“I think it’s a change, and change can be hard. People get attached, but when you explain to them the rational and the process we went through, I think they’ll be on board, honestly, because this one is ours. We can take ownership of this cat as opposed to knowing that it actually belongs to someone else,” Altemeyer said.


Terry is among those who did not like the change in logos. However, despite his opinion of the logo, he does understand the need for the change.


“I do understand why they had to change it, but I don’t understand why they wouldn’t think about the student body at those schools. With such a drastic change to our logo, it makes me wonder if they even cared about what we thought of it,” Terry said.


Sophomore Larry Harris also understands the need for a new logo. He, however, wishes the logo looked like the interlocking LN that the athletic teams have been using for years.


“I get it. I still don’t like it, but we got to do what we got to do. I don’t like it because of its features. I would rather have an LN because that would look better,” Harris said.


The use of the LN has become more popular in the past few years, and Altemeyer believes that the community is going to continue to see that. However given the school’s mascot, the district still found it necessary to have a logo of the wildcat.


“You might have noticed more of a shift towards the use of the LN, and I think you’re going to continue to see that because that’s who you are. You are LN. That is what we saw by looking in the past. There wasn’t really as much emphasis on the cat. It was the LN, but that said, we still need to have a cat,” Altemeyer said.


Terry is glad that the LN will continued to be seen despite the changes.


“[The LN] is perfect because that’s just the tradition for our school. It’s always been the football helmet logo and a lot of our field sports logo, so that’s perfectly fine,” Terry said.


On Monday, Jan. 28, the school board approved the new logos. Next school year, the redesigned logos will begin to be used. However, the current logo will not disappear instantaneously. It will continue to be around the school for the next few years.


“We will start using that bear and wildcat at the beginning of the 2019-20 school year. That’s not to say that anywhere there is a current wildcat, we’re going to rip it out of the floor or do anything like that. It is going to be staged. Any new apparel that we purchase would have the new one. Our website, our social media, your letterheads, those kinds of things we can switch out right away. But if you look at the athletic building that just went up, those logos just went up, we’re not going to tear down that wildcat,” Altemeyer said.


Atkinson is glad that the new logo was approved by the board. He hopes that the community will be understanding and accepting of the change.


“I’m glad they changed it. I think that [the community] will appreciate that it is now a unique design and that it may be something that we have here at the school forever,” Atkinson said.