We are the Wildcats, and it should stay that way


Owen Krucoff, Editor-in-Chief

In recent months, as concerns over overcrowding at WJ have grown more serious, so have discussions to reopen Charles W. Woodward High School on Old Georgetown Road. Woodward and WJ existed separately until 1987, when the schools merged due to sinking enrollment. Before then, WJ’s sports teams were known as the Spartans, but the school adopted Woodward’s Wildcats mascot as part of the merge. The green and white color scheme and Mad Cows moniker have always been unique to WJ. Now, with Woodward’s return looming in the near future, it is important that the Wildcat tradition remains in its adopted home.

While it is true that Woodward was the original home of the Wildcat, the school only lasted 19 years before being closed, and the nickname has resided at WJ for 30 years since. This means that WJ has a significantly longer history with the Wildcat name than Woodward. Additionally, since WJ’s Wildcat period is more recent than Woodward’s, a greater portion of the community associates the nickname with our school than with Woodward. There are far more t-shirts, trophies and, more importantly, memories of the Walter Johnson Wildcats than the Woodward Wildcats.
So, if Woodward cannot reclaim the Wildcat name, what should its replacement be? Two possible options include the Phoenix and the Judge. The former represents the rebirth of the school from its own ashes, while the latter honors the life of the school’s namesake, Charles W. Woodward, a Maryland circuit court judge in the early to mid-1900s. But no matter what becomes of Woodward’s new nickname, it is most important that the Wildcat stays right where it has been for the past three decades.