Messmer/Shorewood football coach Drake Zortman said new helmet decals to be debuted Friday night will celebrate the success the co-op football team has realized this season.
"A 6-1 record currently, and locking up a playoff berth," Zortman said, detailing the successes.
Shorewood district officials removed the student-designed logo that was used this year — a greyhound and a bishop’s hat with a religious cross, which represent both schools — after a parent emailed the district and expressed concern over its religious symbolism.
On Wednesday afternoon during a press conference, Zortman unveiled the team's new logo: a football with the words "2012 Playoffs" on it.
"I think we're going to be the only school celebrating on their helmets the fact that we are in the playoffs," Principal Matt Joynt said.
Zortman said the freshman and varsity team will practice Wednesday and Thursday with the current logos still on the helmets, and wear the new decals on Friday. Messwood takes on Living Word Lutheran in its final regular season game Friday night.
Messwood tight end Jonathan Carson said the logo depicts how successful the team has been this season, how hard work has paid off and how the team expects to respond in the coming weeks.
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Running back Alec Grimmer said, "Sure we lost a little bit of personality but it's about this season now ... we're going to the playoffs and that is what we are focused on."
Messmer, a private, Roman Catholic high school, and Shorewood High School, a publicly funded school, formed a football co-op in 2000.
Zortman said the team celebrates and embraces its diversity.
"Every day these guys on our football team deal with diversity and we celebrate it and we are one unit always striving for a common goal," he said.
After reaching the postseason for the first time last year, the team looked to start the 2012 season with a new logo.
Students in a graphic design class designed the current logo last year. The class submitted over 20 logo proofs to Zortman, who vetted them through the administration at both schools before the final logo was selected.
Zortman said next year officials hope to get Messmer and Shorewood High School graphic art students together on a new logo.
However, Messmer President Br. Bob Smith said he hopes a new logo would include some symbol of God, but he's not going to put up a fight if students and officials aren't able to find a way.
"Part of the co-op was knowing we were co-oping with a public school, which has its own guidelines," he said. "There are things we do at Messmer schools that other schools don't do. And, we don't say, you've got to do that or you should do that.
"You won't see me on the battle line trying to change something that institutionally is probably not going to change," he said.