Against unlikely odds, the Carbon Dinos took second place in the national USA TodayвЂ™s вЂњBest MascotвЂќ contest. Voting closed on Wednesday and the Dinos finished with almost 31% of the vote.
The Centralia Orphans from Centralia, Illinois garnered the most votes with a sweeping 60%. The Dinos will get $1,000 for their Athletic Department. In the final hours of voting, Carbon realized it had locked up second place, but would not catch the leaders and shifted their efforts to helping another small mining community in Montana try to secure third place.
The Chinook Sugarbeeters called and asked for the Dino support and Carbon gave it their best effort. But the Sugarbeeter also were edged out in percentage points to the Kingswood Oxford Wyverns. It was 4.16% to 4.2%. A Wyvern is a mythical creature with horns. Carbon HighвЂ™s Carol Chiara was one of the faculty that helped spear head the Dino voting efforts at the school. She said that this was a wonderful thing for Carbon High. It was about much more than the money. вЂњIf you look at the money spent on food and the manpower expended, it was much more than the $1,000 we ended up winning,вЂќChiara stated, вЂњbut the real benefits were in so many of our students working together and really getting to know each other. Kids took part in this that never participate in activities. It has been good for the school. It was about school pride and building friendships.вЂќ
Chiara said that the Orphans sent many e-mails of condolences after learning of FridayвЂ™s mine tragedy in Huntington. Centralia is also a small mining community. She said that sportsmanship has been outstanding among all the schools involved. The Aardvarks congratulated Carbon and remarked about their sportsmanship as well after the regional round.