Amazons: Madeira community, school district fight to keep mascot

CINCINNATI -- In an effort to rebrand the district, the Madeira superintendent asked Monday how the community felt about making a change to a mascot.

In the community of Madeira, the female athletes are known as the Amazons, the male athletes are the Mustangs. The changes to the district would mean that all athletes become Mustangs, and that the Amazons would be history.

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The Amazons got their name 40 years ago. Basketball player Danielle Lydon, who graduated in 1982, missed the girl's varsity game to attend Monday's meeting and defend her Amazon name.

"I recognize that being a female, that being an Amazon was something special then, and even today, women are still not always equal," she said. "We're not talking about taking the Mustang name away, we're talking about taking the Amazon name away."

Superintendent Steve Kramer already put $13,000 into making the rebrand happen, and feels it simplifies communication.

"We're often asked, 'what is an Amazon,' and, 'what does that mean, why do you have two names?'" Kramer said. "When you think of it in terms of pure branding, you think in terms of simplistic messages, easy to convey."

It seemed Monday that students, parents and graduates were more conservative about a name they hold so highly.

"If the girls want it to stay, I think it should stay," said parent Angie Shilling. "There's no reason to take it away for consistency or standardization."

Another parent, Jim Collier, was also proud of the female athletes and their Amazon representation.

"I can't think of anything more different or better than being the best female athletic program ever," he said. "We should not only keep the legacy, we should flaunt it."

"I am hopeful they will do the right thing," Lydon said. "I am disappointed that it's still up for discussion."

Feedback is what he wanted, and feedback is what he got. Kramer gathered comments and thoughts from the meeting, and said he'd review each concern. He said he would announce the decision in the coming week.

WCPO reporter Amy Wadas contributed to this report.

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