LA VETA — "When the Washington Redskins change their name, we'll look at it, and here we are," La Veta School Board President Eleanor Foley said.
For the first time in nearly 70 years, La Veta, Colorado will no longer be known as "Redskins Country."
"A lot of pride in the history of that but times have changed and we need to move forward," Foley said.
Following a tight school board vote (3-2) and the difficult conversations which followed. The town is set to officially retire the controversial nickname and mascot at the end of this academic year. The high school program will go by the RedHawks starting in 2021-22.
"They put their thoughts aside and started to think about what they wanted to represent us," Foley said. "It was overwhelmingly the RedHawks."
"Kind of the next phase, we already have a football field installed and it's artificial turf," La Veta Athletic Director Chris Locke said. "With "LV" in the middle and "La Veta" in both end zones. Next up will be working on the uniforms."
Since the December decision, the community has created a branding committee to help usher in a fresh start when the new high school opens next Fall.
"I've seen the stuff they're coming up with and it looks cool," Locke said.
"There's a place in the new school for a huge hawk mural and I can just envision what it's going to be," Foley said.
However, in a way of preserving their past and appeasing many disappointed by the change, the town won't modify the current gymnasium in order to pay homage.
"Knowing who we once were and just moving on and becoming something our entire town can get behind, without the controversy," Locke said.
At a time when inclusion is the key to progress, La Veta is showing those around Colorado how small communities can play a big part in a better tomorrow.
"After 2020, let's move forward, be more inclusive," Foley said.