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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 Mathews "Mustangs" was chosen and was eventually symbolized by a mustang horse.  Through pictures from yearbooks and other sources, variations for these logos are seen through time.

Vienna Centralized School was established in 1915 but no records found thus far indicate there was a mascot at the inception of the school, or that organized sports existed that would warrant a mascot.

In the 1929 Annual of the Trumbull County School System there were group photos of the boys basketball team, girls basketball team, and boys baseball team 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, called 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 airport being built during wartime.  The name adopted was the Vienna Flyers.

Unfortunately the next Vienna High School yearbook was not published until 1949.  The 1949 yearbook was a thin edition, likely shortened due to the hardship of the war and also shortages of paper and other materials at that time.  No evidence of the "Flyers" mascot appeared in this annual.

It was not until 1950 when the term "Flyers" 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 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.

Per historian Shirley Wajda, Mathews High School class of 1976, Vienna's school colors were red and white, and Fowler's school colors were orange and black. They took red from Vienna and black from Fowler's previous school colors to create the district's new school colors: red and black.

The 1962 yearbook provides no clear answer as to what the new mascot would be, but an image of a plane appears at the beginning of the yearbook with "MHS" inscribed on it.

The 1962 yearbook still gives a nod to the former "Flyers" mascot.
Source: MHS Showcase 1962

The 1961-1962 school year was the first year 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 the mustang rather quickly.

In the 1963 yearbook, "Mathews Mustangs" was spotted on a spirit banner, but there was no sign of an actual mascot, whether a mustang plane or a mustang horse.

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 following school year the cover of the 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.

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.
In the 1969 yearbook, a mustang plane and horse appear.
Source: The Memory 1969

By 1972, the yearbook showed a photo of the mustang horse on football helmets.

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, the 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.

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 display on the Mathews High School gymnasium floor.
Source: Mustangs' Tales Volume II 1986

By fall of 1985, Mathews High School acquired new marching band uniforms.
The back of the new uniforms displayed a mustang horse.
This style of mustang was prominent through the 1990s.
Photo contributed by Christine Novicky

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

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 uniforms.
A horseshoe appeared on the front of the new uniforms.
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 throwback mustang horse appears on the front.
Source: We Bleed Red & Black 2017

Most often, uniforms say "Mathews" or "Mustangs" and do not contain a logo.
This 2018 cross county jersey is 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 official mustang horse logo per the district's website in 2020.

Contributor: Christine Novicky