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Santa Clara High School Alumni Push to Bring Back Panther Mascot

There’s a new push to bring back an old image back to Santa Clara. An alumnus of Santa Clara High School has started a petition on the Care2 website, asking the school to bring back the old Panthers mascot.

“80 years of Santa Clara tradition was wiped out when Santa Clara High School moved its campus location to its current location at 3000 Benton Street,” said Roman Contreras in his petition. “This is a call to action to get the pulse of the alumni and start the process of bringing back home and reclaiming the Santa Clara High School’s original identity.”

Contreras actually graduated from Santa Clara High School as a Bruin but said on The Santa Clara High School Alumni Club Facebook page that his father was a Panther and he would love to see the original mascot back with the school.

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The name change was part of a compromise made in 1981 when Santa Clara High School moved from its original location to the Buchser High School site on Benton Street. While the new high school was named Santa Clara High School, it was given the Buchser High School mascot, the Bruin.

As of press time, fewer than 20 people have signed the petition, but the ones that have are vocal about their support.

“I graduated from SCHS in 1980,” said Jay B. after signing the petition. “The Panther had been our mascot for years; the Bruin was our crosstown rival’s mascot.”

“It’s a part of Santa Clara,” said Manuel T. “My mother and her family went there and I graduated from SC in ’83.”

Another petition supporter, Bart G. says it’s about more than just a name. “It was the first high school in Santa Clara and has the most years of history.”

Santa Clara High School was founded in 1872 and was the first high school in the City.

While a handful of alumni support the plan, other Santa Clara High School alumni are content to let things be.

On the Facebook page, Leslie George Kloes who graduated as a Bruin in 1987 suggested a different compromise.

“There are now about 35 years worth of Santa Clara Bruin Alums who love their mascot as well,” posted Kloes. “They just passed a huge school bond and will be building a brand new high school that will need a mascot.”

To view or sign the petition, visit www.thepetitionsite.com and search for “Santa Clara High School Panthers.”

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