On Wednesday, Lake George Central School District announced the new nickname as a replacement for the “Warriors,” a name the district has used for decades. “Lakers” itself is in the district’s past, too, having been used from the 1920s to the early ’40s. It was the only contender among a final four to come from the district’s history.
“The transition to the Lakers isn’t only a change in name, it’s part of our history,” said Lake George Superintendent John Luthringer. “It further symbolizes the important relationships that exist between the school district and the community in Lake George, the ‘Queen of American Lakes.’ Moving forward, we are excited to expand upon this unifying nickname and define what it means to be a Laker.”
The change came following a statewide decision late last year, calling for the removal of Native American names and imagery from school districts across New York. In Lake George, a student advisory committee worked hand-in-hand with district faculty to examine the role of Native American figures and imagery in the district – and village – through history.
In the spring, the district and community were asked to vote between donning the names “Lakers” and “Georgians” – which originally succeeded “Lakers” in the 1940s – along with the third option to seek a new name. The Georgians lost that fight, with the other two ending up neck-and-neck. In July, the school was down to four finalists: Falcons, Islanders, Owls, and the ultimately victorious Lakers.
“It was nice to be involved in such a big change for the school and be a part of the advisory group and the process moving forward,” said Oliver Herrick, senior at Lake George High School and member of the advisory committee. The committee gathered 270 name suggestions over the course of the spring.
The transition will be implemented across buildings and sports teams in the coming weeks. Later this fall, the Lakers name will be accompanied by a new logo and fresh branding for the district.
Lake George isn’t the only North Country district to change with the times. The former Glens Falls Indians became the “Black Bears” this summer, announced in June.
The village and town of Lake George sit on Mohawk, Haudenosaunee, Mohican, and Abenaki land, according to native-land.ca.