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Vote for best high school mascot in America, Round 1: Fordyce Redbugs vs. Clinton Dark Horses

Fordyce (Arkansas) is the 4 seed and Clinton (North Carolina) is the 13 seed in the Midwest region

The bracket is set for SBLive Sports' 2024 NCAA Tournament-style contest to determine the best high school mascot in America, and Round 1 is underway.

Vote below for the No. 4-seeded Fordyce Redbugs (Arkansas) or the No. 13-seeded Clinton Dark Horses (North Carolina) to advance to the second round, where the winner will face either the Corbin Redhounds (Kentucky) or Carlsbad Cavemen (New Mexico).

The Redbugs earned a 4 seed by amassing 998 votes in last fall's Arkansas contest, while the Dark Horses won North Carolina with five votes to earn a 13 seed.

Follow along: National Mascot Tournament 2024 Bracket

Voting for this matchup will conclude Wednesday, March 20, at 11:59 p.m. Eastern time.

4. Fordyce Redbugs (Arkansas)

Workers clearing the land to build a new football field in the 1920s were tormented by chiggers, aka redbugs. The name stuck for a Fordyce football program rich in history — future Alabama coaching legend Paul “Bear” Bryant played there. 

13. Clinton Dark Horses (North Carolina)

Nicknamed Clinton U because of its Indianapolis Colts-like horseshoe logo, the Dark Horses have been anything but dark horses on the football field. The program’s five state championships help make its mascot one of the most ironic in the nation. 

-- Mike Swanson | | @sblivesports