CA schools & Indian/Redskin nicknames

With the Washington Redskins of the NFL announcing this week they are no longer going to be called by that name and no longer will display Native American imagery as part of their uniforms or logo, here’s a list of California high schools (beginning more than 30 years ago) that have changed from Indian/Native American nicknames for its sports teams (listed in alphabetical order):


Armijo (Fairfield) – Just last year, the local school board voted to abandon Indians. This school year the new name voted in: Royals.
Birmingham (Lake Balboa) – Three L.A. City schools had to drop nicknames in 1998, including Birmingham, which was the Braves and became the Patriots.
Calaveras (San Andreas) – This was one of four schools that had to drop its Redskins nickname in 2016 due to a state law that prohibited that nickname. This was the only one that voted to go with no new nickname, choosing instead to simply be known by school name.
Chowchilla – Also one of the 2016 schools impacted by new law, the Redskins of Chowchilla became the Tribe.
Colusa – In 2012, this CIF Northern Section school dropped Redskins and became RedHawks.
Encina (Sacramento) – Apaches became the Bulldogs in 1991.
Gardena – L.A. City school was known last season as Panthers when they played in CIF D7-AA state football final. They were the Mohicans until 1998.
Gustine – Another of the 2016 schools that had to switch, the Redskins simply became the Reds.
Jefferson (Daly City) – Alma mater of John Madden and former NFL/USC coach John Robinson went from Indians to Grizzlies in 2015.
John Swett (Crockett) – Switched from Indians to Warriors in 2015, partly as reported at the time due to the success of the nearby Golden State Warriors.
Lowell (San Francisco) – In 1989, Lowell matched a similar move by Stanford University from a few years earlier by changing from Indians to Cardinal.
Mountain Empire (Pine Valley) – CIF San Diego Section school switched from Redskins to Redhawks in 1997.
Napa – Students voted for Grizzlies to replace Indians in 2018 after a school board decision from previous school year.
Salesian (Richmond) – School known mostly for boys & girls hoops went from Chieftains to Pride in 2016.
Sequoia (Redwood City) – This school has always had colors similar to the Baltimore Ravens of the NFL and just two years ago changed from Cherokees to Ravens.
Tamalpais (Mill Valley) – Another Bay Area school that switched more than 30 years ago (1989), Tam went from being the Indians to the Red-tailed Hawks.
Tulare – In the first season for the Tribe in 2017, running back Kazmeir Allen set a national record with 72 TDs. They were the Redskins before that.
University (Los Angeles) – Switched from Warriors to Wildcats as one of three L.A. Unified schools that had to do that in 1996.
Vallejo – Home of legendary 1954 football team was known as Apaches at the time and stayed that way until 2014. They became the RedHawks.

Schools that still use Indians as a nickname include Ripon, Hart of Newhall and Palm Springs. California schools also continue to use Apaches, Braves, Aztecs, Chiefs and Chieftains. Plus, there are many schools known as the Warriors that use Native American images to go with it.


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One Comment

  1. MARK G DE LA MOTTE
    Posted July 13, 2020 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    Gustine actually first changed it’s name from the Reds to the Redskins in the 1950’s because of the Cold War. Later back to the Reds!!!

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