When Nancy and I were seniors at Gettysburg High School in 1948-49, we were involved in what was the most durable decision made by the student body at that time.
The high school colors were, and still are maroon and white, and prior to February 10, 1949, sports writers referred to our football, basketball, baseball and track teams as the “Maroons.” Before 1945, teams were occasionally referred to as Little Bullets, a nod to Gettysburg College teams called the Bullets.
Early in 1949, members of the high school student council decided it was time to select a name for our teams chosen by the students and not the sports writers. The student body was canvassed for suggestions, and among the names mentioned were Warriors, Little Bullets, Picketeers, Lancers, Owls, Rams, Minute Men and Buccaneers.
The names suggested most often were placed on a ballot and on Thursday, February 10 during club period, the name Warriors won by a student body vote of 257 over the Cannoneers which was second with 178 votes. The new name was used by the media for the first time when the Gettysburg Times reported our win over the Mechanicsburg basketball team on February 15: Warriors Lace Mechanicsburg 44-26 in South Penn Contest.
In 1949, four Gettysburg High School teams were referred to as Warriors. Today there are six boys teams and six girls teams. That’s progress, but the name remains the same.