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School Mascot History: The 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.

1929 Vienna High School boys basketball team uniforms
Source: 1929 Annual of the Trumbull County School System

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."

First use of the "Flyers" mascot seen in Society records.
Source: Vi Hi Lights, November 26, 1942 p. 15


Some of the 1943-1944 boys basketball team uniforms read "VI HI
Image courtesy of the Vienna Historical Society

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 a yearbook.  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.

1954 Vienna High School girls softball team uniforms display a Vienna Flyers logo
Source: 1954 Viennese

The Vienna High School boys varsity baseball team also had the Vienna Flyers logo, but it significantly differed from the girls' logo.

1954 Vienna High School boys baseball varsity team with a Vienna Flyers logo
Source: 1954 Viennese


1955 Vienna Flyers patch
Patch from the Vienna Historical Society's collection
Donated by Donald Scott

1955 Vienna Flyers Pennant

Pennant from the Vienna Historical Society's collection
Donated by Donald Scott

1955 Vienna Flyers Pennant
Pennant from the Vienna Historical Society's collection
Donated by Doug & Tim Scott in memory of Ruth Miller

Vienna Flyers pennant circa 1958
Pennant from the Vienna Historical Society's collection
Donated by James Clark

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.

The first page of the 1962 yearbook indicates that a mustang plane was the school mascot.
Source: 1962 MHS Showcase

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."
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The cover of the 1962 MHS Showcase erroneously shows an image of a dog instead of a plane.
Image courtesy of the Pam Klinger

In the 1963 yearbook, "Mathews Mustangs" was spotted on a spirit banner, but there was no sign of a mascot in the yearbook.

The Mathews High School Pep Club holds a "Mathews Mustangs" banner.
Source: The Mathews '63

Mathews Mustangs metal license plate
Plate from the Vienna Historical Society's collection
Donated by Marge (Mealy) Sponcil

The 1963-1964 student handbook had an image of a plane with "Mustangs" written on it.
Image courtesy of the Vienna Historical Society


A member of the Mathews High School girl's softball team wearing a sweater displaying a Mathews mustang plane logo.
Source: The Memory 1965

Sandy Allen Vadas recalls that the mustang plane was still the high school's mascot when she graduated from Mathews High School in 1966.

Maggie (Mealy) Strohm, Mathews High School Class of 1996, 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 shows 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.

Source: Memory 1968

A plane appears on the girls basketball team uniform.
Source: Memory 1968

In the 1969 yearbook, images of a mustang plane and horse appear.

The Mathews High School boys basketball team wearing uniforms displaying a mustang plane logo.
Source: The Memory 1969

Members of the Mathews High School boys basketball run through a paper hoop displaying a mustang horse logo.
This was the first image of a horse mascot in a yearbook.
Source: The Memory 1969

The 1969 class ring was the last ring to have the mustang plane appear on it.
Image courtesy of Pam Clower, Mathews High School Class of 1969

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.

The 1970 class ring was the first ring to have the mustang horse appear on it.
Image courtesy of Marlene (Bohach) Antonchak, Mathews High School Class of 1970

In the 1971 yearbook, the varsity cheerleaders had uniforms on with what appears to be a mustang horse on the upper right corner.

The varsity cheerleader uniforms during the 1970-1971 school year.
Source: '71 Memory

The mustang horse was displayed on football helmets during the 1971-1972 school year.
Source: Memory 1972

L to R: Chris (Hoffman) Cremeans (Class of 1976), Rick Schreckengost (Class of 1975), and Lynne Holly (Lockhart) Robinson (Class of 1976).
This mustang horse mural was painted during 1974-1975 school year.
Source: Memory 1975

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.  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.

Source: Memory 1972

A mustang horse appears on the bass drum of the Mathews High School marching band.
Source: Memory '76

A mustang horse appears on the shirts of these Mathews High School band students.
Source: Memory '77

Mustang horses appear on the marching band's bass drum.
Source: Memory 1980

Mathews Mustangs Pennant.
Per alumni, pennant dates from the late 1970s through the mid 1980s.
Pennant from the Vienna Historical Society's collection
Donated by Barbara Ullom

The mustang horse on the Mathews High School gymnasium floor.
Source: Memory 1981

This banner with a mustang horse head was visible at the Mathews High School Class of 1981 commencement ceremony.
Source: Memory 1981

Mathews High School Pep Band shirts
displayed a mustang horse.
Source: Memory 1981

The cover of the 1983 yearbook displays the mustang horse.
Source: Reflections 1983

New marching band uniforms were purchased for the 1982-1983 school year.
The back of the new uniforms displayed a mustang horse.
This style of mustang was prominent through the 1990s.
Source: Reflections 1983

A mustang horse can be seen on the boys basketball uniform shorts during the 1991-1992 season.
Source: Reflections 1992

Source: Reflections 1993

In the fall of 1995, the press box at Booster Field had the mustang horse on display.
Source: Mathews 1996

The Mathews High School Soccer team shirts displayed a mustang horse during the fall 1997 season.
Source: Mathews 1998

This marching band banner features the mustang horse.
Source: 1999 Mathews Mustangs


This mustang horse costume debuted during the 1999-2000 school year.
Andrea Scisinger, Mathews High School Class of 2000 and cheerleader co-captain, purchased the mustang horse costume for the school.
Lorin Foster, Mathews High School Class of 2000, was the first student to wear the costume.
"Harvey" was the mascots original name, but he is now known as "Mighty."
Source: MHS 2000

New marching band uniforms were purchased for the fall 1998 marching season.
The back of the uniform displayed the mustang horse in the same style as the previous band uniform.
A horseshoe appeared on the front of the new uniform.
Source: Reflections 2003

During the fall 2003 football season a variation of the mustang horse mascot was on players' helmets.
Source: Reflections 2004

Another variation of the mustang horse appeared on softball jerseys in 2010.
Source: Reflections 2009-2010

During the 2013 spring track and field season a variation of the mustang horse could be seen on uniforms.
Source: Seen, Heard, Noted, & Quoted 2012-2013

The 2013 fall football season helmets displayed a galloping mustang.
Source: Mathews High School 2013-2014

The fall 2013 soccer team jerseys displayed an "M" with a mustang horse overlay.
Source: Mathews High School 2013-2014

This banner displays the traditional style mustang horse mascot in the fall of 2015.
Source: Your Year 2015-2016

A tiny mustang horse appeared on the back of the girls basketball team jerseys in the 2015-2016 season.
Source: Your Year 2015-2016

This fall 2016 marching band season photo shows that new band uniforms were worn.
The mustang horse appears on the front.
Source: We Bleed Red & Black 2017

Sports uniforms often display "Mathews" or "Mustangs" in text and do not contain a logo.
These 2018 cross county team jerseys are decorated simply with an "M."
Source: Behind the Scenes 2018

Another variation of the mustang horse appears on fall 2018 football team helmets.
Source: Mathews High School 2018-2019

The mustang horse logo per the district's website in 2020.

Contributor: Christine Novicky
Updated 8/13/2020