The Hide! The Hide! The great Cowhide! How did the Cowhide start? Why is it so important?
In 1955, the first Cowhide tradition was born. The population of Visalia was 13,850 with one high school. At the time, Redwood was actually called Visalia Union High School. Their mascot was the Pioneer, and their colors were maroon and white.
In 1954, VUHS students got split. The 11th and 12th graders went to the new school, Mount Whitney High School. While the 9th and 10th graders went to the old school. In the fall that year, VUHS was renamed Redwood High School. The students chose the Ranger as their mascot, and they selected navy, blue, and white for their colors.
Sid Hoskings, from the Visalia Times Delta, and a photographer named Do Brown were talking about how it would be a good idea if the two Visalia schools played for a trophy. This is how the Cowhide started. Half of the hide would be dedicated to Mount Whitney and the other half to Redwood. The winner of the game would get the year they won engraved on their half of the hide.
There are traditions that we do to kick off Cowhide week because the rivalry was started so long ago.
Mr. Shin, Redwood High School principal, participates in the hot dog eating contest at Taylor’s Hot Dogs every year. Mr. Shin said,“This whole week is to remind students and staff members that we are one team, one family, and all about having that school spirit.” Shin says that Redwood students have a really good spirit and culture and that it all starts with our ASB students to set the tone. Mr. Shin also said, “The history of Cowhide means to bring the community closer together and get them involved as well.”
Mrs. Aguilar, the ASB Advisor, said that ASB tries to help pump up the biggest game of the season by giving out pom-poms and tattoos to students. They also try to announce the game to everyone they can get a hold of. “We are coming from a long line of rivalry but the community helps keep the rivalry alive” Aguilar said. Then, Aguilar shared her favorite part about Cowhide. “The game is my favorite part. I think thing in the world is to stand on that track and see the students and how excited the kids are and the expressions on their faces of excitement and craziness for cheering on their school is what it is all about.”
Mrs. Bettencourt was also a student here at Redwood. “My Cowhide experience is definitely different because as a student, you are more engaged but as a teacher you watching over the kids and enjoying them having fun. But I don’t remember doing any dress up days,” Bettencourt said. Bettencourt said a favorite tradition of hers is when the football players would wear tux all day and they would ask someone to escort them, and did not have to be just the cheerleaders. Lastly, Bettencourt said that she is thankful that Redwood has a long line of winning Cowhide and a lot of student spirit.
Alyssa Abasto, ‘21, said “To me, Cowhide is the biggest football game of the year. So, we play to win, then we get to basically have bragging rights and stay better that Mount Whitney.” Abasto, also said that she is participating by dressing up for the dress up days and she is also in the drumline and she is looking forward to performing with Mount Whitney for the biggest game of the season. Abasto says that she expects the game to go all out, super loud, but mainly having fun. “I am planning on going to all four games. Not just because I am in band, but to create many memories during my high school experience,” Abasto said.
Patrick Todd, ‘18, said that the Cowhide has not changed all the four years that he has attended the games. Todd beloved that the school boosts the spirit by putting up posters and big assembly’s to make kids aware of what is going on. Todd shares his favorite thing about cowhide “I really like cowhide. Because all the students are excited, the student don’t seem to care too much for the other school events, but Cowhide brings everyone together.” Lastly, Todd said that his favorite memory from Cowhide was that last year, him and his friend painted themselves blue and ran around everywhere.