Eagles rule the roost when it comes to the single most popular nickname in all of B.C. high school sports.
From Kitimat’s Mt. Elizabeth Eagles in the Northwest, to Surrey’s Johnston Heights Eagles in the south, a total of 15 of the 314 B.C. high schools we list nicknames for today, have the majestic winged-wonder installed as its moniker.
Which got us thinking, what if high school tournaments in any number of sports created their invitational fields by name and name only?
What would they look like?
Here’s a few we came up with, beginning with:
FLY LIKE AN EAGLE INVITATIONAL
Agassiz Eagles (girls), Alpha Eagles (Burnaby), Carson Graham Eagles (North Vancouver), Cedars Christian Eagles (Prince George), Chatelech Eagles (Sechelt), Golden Eagles, J.V. Humphries Eagles (Kaslo), Johnston Heights Eagles (Surrey), Kamloops Christian Eagles, MEI Eagles (Abbotsford), Mt. Elizabeth Eagles (Kitimat), Peter Skene Ogden Eagles (100 Mile House), R.E. Mountain Eagles (Langley), Richmond Christian Eagles, St. John’s Eagles (Vancouver).
Notes — Bird-based nicknames were among the most popular with 43. Sitting in a tie for second with 11 schools apiece were Falcons, and Hawks (with variations).
CAT LOVERS CLASSIC
Of course we’re not talking about felines of the domesticated variety.
Predatory cats are the nicknames for at least 52 different senior varsity high school sports programs in B.C. and Cougars lead the way with 11. There are a further 11 schools with some version of Wolves in their name, and 10 more are Lions. There are also eight Panthers, seven Wildcats, two Tigers, as well as one each of Bobcats and Lynx.
The most natural tournament here?
A 12-team tournament consisting of the 11 Cougar programs, plus the Burnaby Mountain Lions (the same as the cougar) making it an even dozen.
Here’s the all-Cougar field: Burnaby Mountain Lions, Barriere Cougars, Campbell River Christian Cougars, Chemainus Cougars, College Heights Cougars (Prince George), Elphinstone Cougars (Gibsons), Enver Creek Cougars (Surrey), Fraser Lake Cougars, Gold River Cougars, Killarney Cougars (Vancouver), Kumsheen Cougars (Lytton), Nakusp Cougars.
OF DEVILS AND DEMONS
High school programs with ‘Devils’ and ‘Demons’ as part of their nickname are definitely on the decline, but we still managed to scare up a half-dozen for a nightmarish six-teamer.
OK, so we had to resurrect a couple of long-defunct classics to make it work!
Our six-team field?
We got quick confirmations from the Dr. Charles Best Blue Devils (Coquitlam), Pemberton Red Devils, South Delta Sun Devils and Kitsilano Blue Demons (Vancouver).
To get to six, we also invited Victoria’s St. Michaels University School Blue Devils (now Blue Jags), and the Kamloops Red Devils (now South Kamloops Titans).
SAINTS… COME MARCHING IN
Whether the name of the school or its nickname, or in some cases both, we’ve invited 12 B.C. high schools to do the march towards a most unique invitational.
The field: Langley Saints, St. Andrew’s Sabres (Victoria), St. Patrick’s Celtics (Vancouver), St. Thomas Aquinas Fighting Saints (North Vancouver), NorKam Saints, St. Thomas More Collegiate Knights (Burnaby), St. Ann’s Academy Crusaders (Kamloops), St. George’s Saints (Vancouver), St. John Brebeuf Bears (Abbotsford), St. John’s Eagles (Vancouver), St. Michael’s University School Blue Jags (Victoria), Heritage Christian Saints (Kelowna).
THE BEAR-CLAW CLASSIC
Nothing says beautiful B.C. like Bears, and our B.C. high schools have long had a fondness for their various varieties.
Hibernation is over with this growl-fest: St. John Brebeuf Bears (Abbotsford), Mt. Boucherie Bears (Kelowna), Bodwell Bruins (West Vancouver), Britannia Bruins (Vancouver), Caledonia Kermodes (Terrace), Prince George Polars, Brockton Grizzlies (North Vancouver), G.W. Graham Grizzlies (Chilliwack), North Peace Grizzlies (Ft. St. John), Sir Alexander Mackenzie Grizzlies (Hagensborg), Credo Christian Kodiaks (Langley), Tumbler Ridge Kodiaks, Heritage Woods Kodiaks (Port Moody).
KINGS AND QUEENS…
When it comes to kings, queen’s, lords, dukes, princes and princesses, there were no shortage of options.
Here’s a Sweet 16 concoction of schools, in both name and nickname, who make the grade!
The field: Queen Elizabeth Royals (Surrey), Queen Margaret’s Royals (Duncan), King David Lions (Vancouver), King George Dragons (Vancouver), King’s Christian Thunder (Salmon Arm), Lord Byng Grey Ghosts (Vancouver), Lord Tweedsmuir Panthers (Surrey), Prince Charles Bulldogs, Prince George Polars, Prince of Wales Walesmen (Vancouver), Princess Margaret Mustangs (Penticton), Princess Margaret Lions (Surrey), Nechako Valley Viqueens (girls), Fraser Valley Adventist Royals (Langley), Handsworth Royals (North Vancouver), Regent Christian Academy Royals (Surrey), Vernon Christian Royals.
MOTHER NATURE INVITATIONAL
Don’t mess with this group of 17 schools because they are all named after violent acts of nature.
Here’s our field: North Island Storm (Port McNeill), Chilliwack Storm, Selkirk Storm, Southridge Storm (Surrey), Whistler Storm, Gudangaay Tlaats’Gaa Nay Thunder (Masset), King’s Christian Thunder (Salmon Arm), Panorama Ridge Thunder (Surrey), Spectrum Community Thunder (Victoria), Thomas Haney Thunder (Maple Ridge), Lillooet Wildfire, Langley Christian Lightning, Logan Lake Lightning, Revelstoke Avalanche, Rick Hansen Hurricanes (Abbotsford).
TOP OF THE HEAP TOURNAMENT
Whether mountain or hill, it’s all about the daily climb. Or something like that.
Here’s a group of 10 who should rise to challenge!
Mountain Christian Rams (Dawson Creek), Mt. Baker Wild (Cranbrook), Mt. Boucherie Bears (Kelowna), Cariboo Hill Chargers (Burnaby), Mt. Douglas Rams (Victoria), R.E. Mountain Eagles (Langley), Mt. Elizabeth Eagles (Kitimat), Burnaby Mountain Lions, Mt. Sentinel Wildcats (South Slocan), University Hill Hawks (Vancouver).
And just like that, quicker than you can say Logan Lake Lightning (that one really rolls off the tongue!), our exercise is over.
There are so many more, including mythical mascots, and 30 or so schools named after the likes of Knights, Raiders, Vikings, Warriors, Crusaders, Gladiators, Marauders, Spartans, Trojans… even the Armada.
But we’re calling it a day.
Remember, we don’t claim to have every name. Two weeks of spring break hindered us in our quest to be absolute completists.
So help us out.
If we have missed a B.C. high school that trots out at least one senior varsity sport (Grade 11-12), give us both their name and nickname.
E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
(For a look at our entire list of 317 B.C. high school nicknames, click here. For the inside story on a B.C. high school with one of the most enduring nicknames click here.)
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