The students at Victory Christian School, located just over Cowee Mountain in Jackson County, have always wanted to show the public their mascot. For years they have been known as the Victory Cardinals, but only in name, never in physical form.
That all changed last Tuesday. After the girls' basketball team capped off a dominant win, the crowd in attendance was introduced to D.W. Red, the school's very first mascot.
The introduction of D.W. has been a long time coming; The school was first established in 1977 when the founding Pastor of Victory Baptist Church, Duane Woodard, envisioned a school where the members of the church could send their children to receive a Christian education.
The school operated for several years as an A.C.E. (Accelerated Christian Education) school, taught by one teacher with an aide, but in 1985, began to expand its curriculum to include more traditional methods of teaching under the direction of Tammy McMahan Morgan. It was the following year that her brother, Sam McMahan, began to work at the school. From there, the rest is history. He began to organize the athletics department and the VCS Cardinals were born.
Over the years the sports program has included volleyball, cheerleading, basketball, baseball, and golf. According to Arlene Jones, the students have always wanted an actual, physical mascot.
“This year, the yearbook staff decided to go beyond 'wanting' a Cardinal mascot. After meeting very specific goals for the VCS yearbook, the students decided to add additional advertising space in the yearbook and dedicated the income generated from the ads to purchasing a cardinal mascot costume,” she said.
“Within a few short weeks of hard work, the students met that goal and ordered 'the Bird,’ said Jones.” The staff then presented the cardinal, dubbed 'D.W. Red' in memory of Duane and Diane Woodward to the students of VCS.”