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Following Cleveland Indians name change, Estelline reflects on transition to “Redhawks”

Published: Jul. 23, 2021 at 6:02 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - From 1904 to 2018 those graduating from Estelline High School were known as “Redmen” but from 2018 on they have been known as “Redhawks.”

The change was made over concerns that the “Redmen” name was disrespectful to Native Americans.

“We just wanted to get ahead of the curve and get it done before we were forced to, so we could do it on our own terms the right way,” Jeremy Bachman said, the Estelline schools athletic director.

There was some concern from the community that the school was trying to erase history.

“The community has pretty much accepted it, but I was proud wearing a Redmen uniform,” Russ Schwartz said, who graduated from Estelline in 1975.

Erasing history was not the school’s intent.

“Somebody that graduated in 1990 as an Estelline Redmen, they’re still a Redmen. We’re not trying to take that away from them, but it was time for a change,” Bachman said.

While some were hesitant about the change a lot of the community has come around.

“When they decorate windows they all say go Redhawks, I think they’ve really kind of accepted it,” Schwartz said.

“Just to be able at to be at a basketball game and cheer go Redhawks, whereas before it was a lot of go Estelline,” Bachman said.

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