Why the unnecessary commotion? Why change the mascot? Padre Bob. Padre Pride. From the printing press to a vocal announcement, there is something unique and comforting (to a CHS fellow) about hearing these two words together: Carmel Padres. It has a majestic and legendary ring to it.
Why? Well, it’s legacy. Putting aside all the sideline calls about how unfair it is that the balding mascot is a male or the claims that Spanish priests arrived in Carmel with only a greedy and conquer-ready mentality, the Padre mascot does and should continue to act as a realistic symbol of the history of the town upon which Carmel High’s campus stands.
Development and education in the Carmel area started out with the help of Spanish Padres. Spanish influence and the construction of the town’s main architectural masterpiece (Mission San Carlos Borroméo del río Carmelo) are major factors in local history.
As one enters the sleepy, Mediterranean-themed Carmel-by-the-Sea, whether it be from the north along Carpenter Street, from the east at Devendorf Park on Ocean Avenue or from the south on Rio Road past the Carmel Mission, one will come across some form of a Junipero Serra statue. The Spanish missionary welcomes all to Carmel and reminds visitors of the fascinating societal and infrastructural transformations that occurred here.
There’s a reason the San Diego Major League Baseball mascot is also a Padre; it’s historically relevant down south, too. Much of the civil Spanish influence in California that we see daily came from the El Camino Real missions, which were initiated by Padres in San Diego.
Additionally, the religious thematicism of our mascot should not be considered an obstacle to our exceptional school’s status as a non-religious public institution; again, it is a matter of history.
In response to those concerned with the gender of our mascot, I can only wonder how every mascot across the country can be made transgender in order to appease the so-called unrepresented sex. Or do we just change the Sacramento Kings to the Queens?
So, after all, can we just come to terms and change the mascot to match other relevant historical figures in Carmel? I can imagine some cheers: “Let’s go Carmel Ohlones!” or “Come on Carmel Whalers!” or “Win the ball back Carmel Painters!” That just doesn’t sound right. The Padre is a part of local history, and the mascot is essential to Carmel High School’s legacy.
In the grand scheme of things, it’s a lot better than a red and yellow graphic representation of a crashing wave. Go Padres!