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Best high school mascots in America, championship round: Meet the contenders

Twelve teams survived the grueling bracket round and will compete to reign as supreme ruler of the mascot-verse
Hodags are everywhere in Rhinelander, Wisconsin. (T'xer Zhon Kha/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin)

Hodags are everywhere in Rhinelander, Wisconsin. (T'xer Zhon Kha/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin)

The bracket round is over in our quest to find the fans' favorite mascot in America, and now it's on to the Dandy Dozen championship round.

Here's the field for the championship round, with a link above each contender showing the results of that team's preliminary bracket. Check tomorrow for a poll to vote on your favorite.

Jobs Bracket results

Camas County Mushers (Idaho)

It’s not Alaska, but Fairfield, Idaho (home of Camas County High School) does average over 60 inches of snow per year, and mushing is one efficient way to get around during winter in the rural town of 567 people.

Animals Bracket results

Hutto Hippos (Texas)

Local legend traces the origins of the Hutto hippo to 1915, when a circus train carrying animals stopped to fill up with water. The hippo escaped, walked to Cottonwood Creek and stayed there so long that it delayed the train until its handlers were able to get it out.

Mythical Creatures Bracket results

Rhinelander Hodags (Wisconsin)

The history of the hodag is strongly tied to the city of Rhinelander, where it was claimed to have been discovered. The hodag — a fearsome creature resembling a large bull-horned carnivore with a row of thick curved spines down its back — has figured prominently in early Paul Bunyan stories.

Historical Figures Bracket results

Lincoln Railsplitters (Pennsylvania, Michigan, New York, Iowa, Illinois)

Not as popular as “Honest Abe,” but Abraham Lincoln started being called “the Railsplitter” in 1860 to boost his image as a backwoodsman candidate. After all, he had split rails in his youth. Enough said.

Geography Bracket results

Lanai Pine Lads and Lasses (Hawaii)

There’s just one K-12 school on Lanai, which is colloquially known as the Pineapple Island because of its past as an island-wide pineapple plantation. The Pine Lads and Lasses celebrate that history.

Science Bracket results

Mars Fightin’ Planets (Pennsylvania)

Theories vary on how the north Pittsburgh town of Mars got its name, but it seems pretty obvious why the high school went with Fightin' Planets as its mascot.

Food Bracket results

Shelley Russets (Idaho)

Shelley’s mascot isn’t just any potato — it’s a russet-burbank potato that wears a crown, robe and scepter. Shelley offers a two-week break from school to allow students to assist in the season’s potato harvest.

Action Bracket results

Mount Clemens Battling Bathers (Michigan)

Not to be confused with the Mount Clemens Bathers, a minor league baseball team in the early 1900s, the Battling Bathers of Mount Clemens still press on. Mount Clemens’ bath houses were a hot spot for the rich and famous in the late 1800s and early 1900s in the Detroit area.

Pun Bracket results

Poca Dots (West Virginia)

On Friday nights, you can find a mean-looking red dot with arms and legs patrolling the sidelines for Poca. The school received its fitting nickname nearly a century ago from a local reporter, and it's stuck ever since.

Stuff Bracket results

Roxana Shells (Illinois)

Originally named for the Shell Oil refinery that opened in town in 1918, Roxana is still called the Shells despite Phillips 66’s acquisition of the refinery in the early 2000s.

Class Struggle Bracket results

Muskogee Roughers (Oklahoma)

The Roughers earned their name way back in 1925 because several members of the football team played without helmets due to lack of funding, and they played rough anyway.

Random Bracket results

Lake Forest Academy Caxys (Illinois)

We know you already know this, but “Caxy" is ancient Greek for “ribbit." In the early 1900s, Aristophanes’ comedy “The Frogs” was the subject of a popular Greek literature class at the school. Thus, the Caxys.