The Eyes of the Bluecat are Always on You

The Story of Our Mascot  .....

The Bluecat

Coleman High School - Coleman, Texas

CHS Bluecat - 1960 - 1988
(Recreation of the 1960 Bluecat
by Mary Alice Terry Larson - 2000)

CHS Bluecat - 1988 - 2009
(Used on the Coleman High School websites
and the new CHS gym floor)

(actual photograph to be added.)

Bluecat "Bronzed"

The Bluecat bronze sculpture was recently completed at the Hoka Hey foundry in Dublin, Texas and members of the Bluecat Booster Club, sculptor and foundry representatives posed for a photo afterwards.  From left ot right are:  Judia Terry, who helped with the design; David Huff, who will devise the base for the sculpture; Dale Stewart, sculptor; Richard Cowan, Bronze finisher; Stan Brudney, Booster CLub president; and Pat Cowan, wife of the owner of the foundry.  The sculpture was presented to the Coleman High School student body at last Friday's pep rally and is being displayed in the principal's office until base work is completed.  Ralph Terry snapped the pictue and was involved int the desing work as well.

(Chronicle and Democrat-Voice, Coleman, Texas, October 11, 1988.)


By Ralph Terry

(This article appeared in the Chronicle and Democrat-Voice newspaper about September 24, 2001.)

With CHS Homecoming weekend coming up, I have been asked to answer a question that is asked me from time to time, “Did the CHS Bluecat mascot originally mean a cat or a fish?”  Sorry, you fisherman of Coleman, but once again, “The Bluecat was always a cat!”

The first graduating class of Coleman High School was in the year of 1894.  Coleman High School’s first football team was in 1910.  They were called “Coleman High” or the “Blue and White” until 1923.  Apparently there was little need to have a mascot in those early years.  In those days, pictures or graphic images were little used in publishing, but gained usage as printing methods became more advanced.  So, our printed history does not give us a picture to show what the students of CHS had in mind, but we have to figure out what they all knew, by reading articles in the early school newspaper, The Round-Up.

According to an article appearing in the November 23, 1923 Round-Up, “The third meeting of the committee to select a mascot for the high school resulted in the selection of blue cat.  The committee composed of the presidents of each class, the football captain, and three teachers, selected three names out of a number of one hundred or more, which were submitted by the students.  The remaining three suggestions were carefully considered, and after a discussion in the last meeting a majority in a ballot vote, gave the name of blue cat.  We feel sure that the decision will meet with approval as the entire football team, and many individuals indorsed the name, as well as the majority of the vote representing the approval of the committee.”  In later articles, Sim Gideon, a student and football player at CHS, was given credit for submitting the blue cat name.

But this article does not say if the mascot was a cat or a fish.  The name bluecat was selected as mascot after the 1923 football season, so the name was not put into effect until the 1924 football season.  During the 1924 - 1928 years, Round-Up various articles state, “Cats Remain Undefeated … the cats did some of their best scratching.”  “Coleman Defeats Brady … the azure kittens of Coleman … ”  “Cross Plains came to the Blue Cats den.”  “Bluecats Outscratch Richland Springs.”  “Pep Squad Sweaters Have Arrived … Soon everyone will be familiar with the sight of the girls wearing the white sweaters with the Fighting Bluecat as the emblem of our fighting spirit.”  I have been told that cat’s heads were painted on tire covers on the back of cars in the 1920’s and 1930’s by local artists.  I have found no mention of the characteristics of the Bluecat being fishy, rather than feline.

In December 1928, a Round-Up article states, “The Senior Class Adopts Standard Ring.  …  The Senior Class of ’28 and ’29 have carried out one of Mr. Hufford’s principle visions of Coleman High School, that was to adopt a standard class ring.  The three lower classes voted in favor of the selected ring as their future class ring.  The in center of the ring will be the Coleman High School seal.  This seal is an open book with a burning torch beside it.  The face of a bluecat, representing the athletics of the school, will be placed on one shank of the ring; and a horseman roping a steer, in honor of the school paper, the Round-Up on the other shank.  (Note: No annuals were produced at Coleman High School from 1924 thru 1946.  The “Mesquite” yearbooks were printed in some years prior to 1924 and the “Corral” yearbook was originated in 1947.  This was the reason the yearbook was not represented on the ring.)  In an attractive arrangement the phrase Coleman High School, 1928 will be made on the ring.”  This same basic ring design was still in use in the 1960’s, when I attended CHS, but I am not sure about the rings today.  A cat’s head has been used on CHS Senior rings since 1928.

As to the growth and aging of our mascot, the Bluecat, in 1960, Mary Alice Terry (yes … my sister) won a contest to paint the head of the Bluecat on the gym floor and on the press box at Hufford field.  Many drawings, based on the painting Mary Alice had painted, were later used at pep rallies, football games and in the CHS annual, The Corral in the 1960’s, 1970’s, 1980’s, 1990’s and today in this century.  After the high school changed homes in the 1970’s, the Bluecat paintings were painted over, but we still have photographs.  In 1988, it was felt that CHS needed a more tangible, three-dimensional Bluecat, so local artist, Judia Terry made drawings from various angles.  Dale Stewart, based on Judia’s drawing, did a bronze sculpture.  A committee composed of members of the CHS Booster Club and CHS Alumni Organization approved the final sculpture.  This sculpture stands in the lobby of Coleman High School today.  Today some drawings and t-shirts use Judia’s drawings and this sculpture as the basis for their productions.

Now the real question is, “Why, when and how did Coleman High School select Blue and White as their colors?”  See you next time!

Following is an article from the Coleman Democrat-Voice newspaper in 1969 about the Bluecat.  From the older articles about our mascot, found after this was written, we know the following information is not entirely correct, as Sim Gideon submitted the "Bluecat" name as his entry in the Coleman High School mascot contest.  The following article could explain how Sim came up with the name "Bluecats."

Bluecat Name Case Reopened

Some time back we explored the origin of the name “Bluecat” as used by Coleman High School athletic teams.  The various ideas were reported, and finally, a summation was given which credited the name with having been derived from combining the word “cat” with the color “blue” and crediting Supt. C. H. Hufford with having something to do with it.  Now, the case is re-opened.  We have word from a man “who was there.”  He asks that we not use his name, so we will say only that he is a Coleman business man, who obviously has lived here a long time, and is well known.

We were correct in the prior summation that the name Bluecat came from combining the word blue and cat ... as there is no such animal as bluecat ... and that conclusion was an easy one to make; however, the rest of the story is different and Supt. Hufford did not have anything to do with it.  Although he was an outstanding school man, it appears that Supt. Hufford was not much interested in athletics.

Anyway, back in 1919, or 1920, Coleman High School had a football team ... a volunteer outfit on which the members furnished their own uniforms.  They bought their own football shoes, or had cleats nailed to the bottoms of some hightop models, bought their jerseys, football pants and any and all other equipment which they might use.  Well, with the boys furnishing their own uniforms, there wasn’t much uniformity.  The jerseys were mostly turtle neck style … until they got stretched, that is, and then the turtle neck became a big loose collar.  Anyway, they looked good when they were new.  As for color and design, they were assorted.  Most had stripes on the arms, for that was in fashion, but here again the stripes were not uniform.  One day one of the players turned up with something that was really different.  He had a jersey, or sweater, which had a cat’s head on the front.  Now that caused a stir.  The other football players gave him a big kidding, and had a lot of fun over that jersey with the cat’s head.

Fun or not, when the thought turned to a name for the team the jersey with the cat’s head stuck.  Most of the other jerseys were blue, or had a lot of blue on them, so, the blue color was joined with the cat for Bluecat.  It’s too far back to remember who suggested the name, or whether the team voted on it, or whether it was used jokingly a year or so before formal adoption.  Anyway, the name came from that jersey bearing the cat’s head and the color blue from most of the uniforms, and was originated by members of that football team.

The Coleman High School Bluecats of 50 years ago were pretty much on their own, and many of the games were played on Saturday, as the fields were not lighted and school was not let out for the football games.  Fact is, eligibility rules were not a point of concern, and several times the Coleman team actually played “outlaw” ball as they used players who were out of school.  Of course the opponents didn’t know about this, but just the same it happened.  It is quite likely that other teams didn’t pay too much attention to eligibility rules either … if there was a set of rules to follow.

("Across the Editor’s Desk," by Milton Autry, The Coleman Democrat-Voice, Coleman, Texas, January 28, 1969, page 1.)

Please send comments, suggestions or other class pages you would like to see added to:

The CHS Historian

CHS Alumni Directory CHS Reunion Page

This page last updated May 4, 2018                          © 1982 - 2018 Ralph Terry.  All rights reserved.