School Mascot History: Vienna Flyers & Mathews Mustangs
The mascot for Vienna Centralized School came to be known as the "Flyers" and was symbolized by an airplane. After the consolidation of Fowler and Vienna schools in 1961, the mascot for the newly named Mathews High School was the "Mustangs." This was initially represented by the P-51 Mustang plane but gradually became the mustang horse. Through pictures from yearbooks and other sources, variations for these logos have been seen through the years.
Vienna Centralized School was established in 1915 but no records found thus far indicate there was a mascot at the school's inception.
In the 1929 Annual of the Trumbull County School System, there were photos of several sports teams at Vienna School. The photograph of the boys basketball team, below, shows uniforms with "VHS" on them.
No mention of a mascot can be found in the first Vienna High School yearbook in 1936, the Vi-Hi, which was a nickname for Vienna High School.
The school newsletter, Vi Hi Lights, contained a headline in 1942 that read "Flyers Crush Fowler High." This was the first mention of the Flyers mascot in the Vienna Historical Society's archives. The article below refers to the boys basketball team as the "Flyers."
Per Helen Clower, Vienna High School Class of 1944, a plane was adopted as the mascot while she was in school, a homage to the airport being built during wartime. The name adopted was the Vienna Flyers.
There were no yearbooks published from 1937 through 1948. The next known publication for a Vienna High School yearbook did not occur until 1949. The Gold Dust annual, published in 1949, was a thin edition. No evidence of the "Flyers" mascot appeared in this yearbook.
It was not until 1950 when the "Flyers" mascot was mentioned in an annual. Several paragraphs describing the boys baseball season mention the Vienna Flyers. The boys basketball team was also referred to as the Vienna Flyers.
It was not until the 1953-1954 school year that the Vienna Flyers logo appeared on sports uniforms in a yearbook. The girls track team and girls softball team donned the logo of the plane with the words "Vienna Flyers" included.
The Vienna High School boys varsity baseball team also had the Vienna Flyers logo, but it significantly differed from the girls' logo.
The consolidation of Vienna and Fowler schools in 1961 formed the Fowler-Vienna School District. At that time, Vienna Centralized School was renamed Mathews High School after former teacher, Ithel F. Mathews. The "Vienna Flyers" and the "Fowler Wolverines" mascots were thus retired. Vienna's school colors were red and white, and Fowler's school colors were orange and black. The color red from the former Vienna School ande black from the former Fowler School were chosen to create the district's new school colors: red and black.
The 1961-1962 school year was the first year of classes after the student merge. Barbara (Haun) Mazzella, Mathews High School Class of 1962, recalls that a "trojan" was initially selected to be the school mascot. It was not popular with students so it was changed to a "mustang" plane rather quickly. Jule (Andus) Fowler, Mathews High School Class of 1965, also recalls the "trojan" as the short-lived school mascot.
The 1962 yearbook hints that the mascot was still a plane.
Ron Butler, Mathews High School Class of 1962, served on the yearbook committee during the 1961-1962 school year. In June of 2020 Ron recalls, "what I do remember most vividly being a member of the yearbook committee was my terrible disappointment when we received the delivery of printed yearbooks and found that the wrong logo was placed on the cover. It should have been a mustang plane, but it was a dog head. Somehow, we were told that the code numbers for the images had changed without our knowing or that somehow the number was misread at the print shop. But in spite of that fiasco, the MHS Showcase contains lots of really important memories for our class of 1962."
In the 1963 yearbook, "Mathews Mustangs" was spotted on a spirit banner, but there was no sign of a mascot in the yearbook.
Sandy Allen Vadas, Mathews High School Class of 1966, recalls that the mustang plane was still the high school's mascot when she graduated.
Maggie (Mealy) Strohm, Mathews High School Class of 1966, recalls "when we first consolidated, the high school adopted the mustang plane as the mascot, but the junior high adopted the horse as the mascot."
The 1968 yearbook provides no evidence of a mustang horse mascot. The boys basketball team jerseys only had numbers on them, and the boys varsity baseball team had "Mustangs" written in script. The 1967-1968 girls basketball team jerseys had a plane on them.
In the 1969 yearbook, images of a mustang plane and horse appear.
There was no sign of a mascot in the 1970 yearbook, and it did not appear on any sports uniforms, but the 1970 class ring had a mustang horse engraved on it.
In the 1971 yearbook, the varsity cheerleaders had uniforms on with what appears to be a mustang horse on the upper right corner.
After it was painted, this mustang horse mural was placed on the gymnasium wall at Mathews High School. Some years later it was hung on the wall at Neal Middle School. After the closing of the Neal building, the mural was put on the wall in the multi-purpose room at Baker Elementary School.
The first Mathews High School marching band was established during the 1970-1971 school year under new band director, Bruce Docherty. At that time Marching students wore white dress shirts with ties and black suit jackets with black pants as their uniform.
Marching band uniforms were purchased for the fall 1971 marching season. A letter "M" for Mathews was prominently displayed on the uniform.
Contributor: Christine Novicky