What’s in a name?

By Todd Fuqua

If you’re the coach of or member of a girls or women’s athletic team, the name can make all the difference.

In case you haven’t noticed, I’ve started referring to the girls teams at the five high schools I’m covering this semester – Corona doesn’t have football or volleyball this fall – using the same mascot name as the boys.

That means, no “Lady” in front of the name.

So, they’re all Warriors, Chiefs, Tigers, Grizzlies and Eagles (and, when basketball rolls around, we hope, Cardinals).

It’s a subtle change, but it makes a big difference.

Actually, it’s a change I’ve been meaning to make for a while, but it took a Facebook message from Capitan volleyball coach Pam Allen to spur me to action.

That message came to me late this past Wednesday (Aug. 23) which is why the Fall preview I published and delivered this past week still refers to all these girls teams as “Lady” whatevers.

Also, the schedules attached to the stories on the web still say “Lady.”

Sorry about that. And I’m sorry I needed some prodding to make the change. But it’s been done now. All the stories you’ll see on this website – and in future season previews – will refer to all players at these schools without the female prefix.

Why have I been thinking of doing this? Maybe it’s because my oldest daughter is now in athletics, and might very well be representing her school on the athletic field in the near future.

Maybe it’s because I’ve always been struck with how belittling putting a female prefix on the mascot can be.

Also, it doesn’t make much sense. If we were going to be literal about it, the Lady Rams of Portales would simply be “Ewes.” The Elkettes of Pojoque would actually be called “Cows,” and the Lady Grizzlies of Carrizozo would be “Sows.”

Seriously, those are the accepted scientific terms for the females of those species. What girl would want to be referred to as a cow or sow?

And don’t even get me started on the Artesia Lady Bulldogs.

It’s the same reason Eastern New Mexico University named its women’s teams the Zias, although now they’ve gone back to the original Greyhounds.

Also, New Mexico State’s women’s teams used to be the Roadrunners, changing back to Aggies several years ago.

So, from now on, if you’re a girl playing sports for – or against – high school teams I cover, I won’t call you “Lady” anything. That’s actually a compliment.

Unless you’re playing Fort Sumner. Admit it, a team named the Vixens is pretty cool and accurate.

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