Flying High

SMALL in size but mighty regarding its mascot could describe the Shenandoah Zeps.

And, what’s more their name is meaningful with history on their side.

It was the mascot name that earned a No. 1 spot in Ohio for the Zeps who outdistanced all other Buckeye State contenders in the USA Today’s Best Mascot Name contest. Now, the competition is tougher as the Zeps are in regional competition, contending with mascots from eight other states.

The Shenandoah Zeps’ name is taken from USS Shenandoah, a Zeppelin airship which crashed near Ava in Noble County in 1925. Many area residents went to the site of the crash. Twenty-two men survived the crash, but 14 died.

The history of the name goes back even further as it is traced to the Algonquins, and its meaning sometimes is defined as “The Daughter of the Stars.”

WHILE in state competition, the Zeps encountered other unusual names including the Norwalk Truckers, Crooksville Ceramics, Philo Electrics and Glenville Tarblooders.

In the 1900s, the Glenville area was home to many railroad workers, known as tarblooders. They used stakes and tar to get the railroad tracks to stay on the ground. The tar often splashed on their faces and arms causing them to bleed. Many say it looked as if they were sweating blood. Today, Glenville High School is home to the Tarblooders. This mascot is half man and half robot, symbolizing fearlessness and ethics.

Norwalk High School had various mascots until a decision was reached about the Truckers, because the town was headquarters for two trucking companies.

Potteries in Crooksville led to the nickname, “Potterytown USA.” The Ceramics became name for the school’s mascot.

Electrics was an apt selection at Philo, once home to one of the most technologically advanced power plants in the world.

NOW competing in the region, the Zeps need help from others in Eastern Ohio to advance to national competition. The national winner will receive $2,000 for its athletic department.

To vote for the Zeps, details are available at under the “Contests” menu/”Best Mascot.”

It’ll help a school with approximately 1,000 students to “reach for the stars.”