After hibernating for about a half-century, the Bears are making a comeback in Delaware County.
The Olentangy Local School District announced Aug. 22 that Olentangy Berlin High School's sports teams will be known as the Bears. The school, which will open for the 2018-19 school year, is adopting the moniker of Berlin Township School, which operated from 1915-73.
Berlin Principal Todd Spinner said the tie to local history and the rarity of the nickname "Bears" in Ohio led to its selection.
The high school's colors will be blue and light blue, a combination Spinner said future students love.
"It's unique and it pops," he said. "We were cognizant of the (Olentangy) middle schools' colors, and none of them are blue and light blue."
Olentangy officials chose the mascot and colors after consultation with district residents and future Berlin students.
The district received about 2,500 replies to a survey aimed at residents earlier this summer. Spinner and Berlin Athletics Director John Betz on Aug. 12 conducted two sessions with future students to collect feedback before the final decisions were made.
Spinner said he was impressed by how much thought the students put into their responses.
"A lot of great things were said by our students," he said. "Our parents were so excited. I asked them about nine times to not speak during the presentation because it was for the students, but they couldn't help themselves."
While Betz and Spinner unfurled a banner featuring a logo at a school board meeting Aug. 22, Spinner advised the image of a growling bear was just a "rough draft."
Spinner said a professional firm likely would design the official logo for T-shirts, uniforms and other items. He said a design contest likely would be held among district students to choose an emblem to be painted inside the high school.
District officials said no deadline has been set for the debut of the official logo.
Spinner said he would like to have the logo selected as soon as possible.