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Mitchell announces Mustangs as mascot

Pasco County has Buccaneers, Bulldogs, Cobras, Gators, Pirates, Rams, Royal Knights and Wildcats.

Now there are Mustangs, too.

That will be the mascot of Mitchell High School, which will be the county's ninth high school when it opens in the fall on Little Road in southwestern Pasco County near Seven Springs Middle School.

The monicker was picked by the new school's administration and a committee of eight future students.

Principal Tina Tiede and assistant principal Jim Michaels submitted surveys to all of the school's future students, culled the top suggestions and submitted the top choices to the panel.

They picked Mustangs from a group that included Broncos, Long Horns, Panthers, Tigers and Warriors.

But Mustangs, the committee decided, best summed up the school's past and future.

"We tried to look around the community, tried to draw a name that would tie us into the community," athletic director Ian Mooney said. "We're sitting on ranch land. There's rodeos. And it sounds good, the Mitchell Mustangs."

Jim Mitchell, rancher and scion of one of Pasco County's pioneer families, originally settled the land.

When it is completed, Mitchell will have cost an estimated $20-million to build and draw about 1,500 students from southwestern Pasco County, reducing overcrowding by drawing students from Gulf, Ridgewood and River Ridge.

Mitchell will field varsity teams in every sport but football, which will play a junior varsity schedule in its first season.

Football coach Scott Schmitz said the mascot also was a way to honor the Mitchell family.

"I think it fits the Mitchells," he said.

At least the students had a choice when it came to their nickname. The school district already had assigned the school colors: black and Vegas gold.

Still, no one is complaining.

"How's it feel to be a Mustang?" Schmitz said. "I like the name, and I think it gives us a lot of neat artwork we can pull together for the mascot. And I think it will look sharp with the colors, black and gold."

_ Information from Times files was used in this report.

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