Golden Throne gives to local charities


As the 2023 Golden Throne games kick off, the fierce rivalry between the Clarkston Bantams and the Lewiston Bengals reignites, with the schools’ basketball teams facing off in this legendary annual battle. It is agreed among students and staff that the each school’s mascot plays a unique and pivotal role in inspiring school spirit and uniting those on either side of the rivalry.
“The mascots represent the schools and help people get in the spirit of a friendly rivalry, plus they make for the best promotion videos,” said Rachel Sheppard, a senior at Lewiston High School.
However, despite the popularity of these esteemed mascots, their impressive history remains widely unknown.
Before diving into the history of the local mascots, it’s essential to understand how the concept of school mascots originally developed. The word mascot comes from the French word “mascotte,” meaning “lucky charm.” According to The Culture Crush, the earliest mascots were often associated with good luck. Instead of the costumed mascots we typically see today, live animals were brought to the field to attract a larger audience and frighten opponents.
Fun fact: The Lewiston and Clarkston mascots were actually banned from attending the 2015 Golden Throne due to disputes between LHS and CHS.

The bengal tiger has served as the beloved Lewiston High School mascot for the past 99 years. Over the decades, many students have proudly represented both its name and stripes. Despite many developments at the school, the title “Bengals” has remained a constant reminder of the fighting spirit of Lewiston’s students and athletes.
The bengal was officially adopted as the LHS mascot on Dec. 31, 1924. The bengal tiger was selected over the ordinary tiger as its name is much less common, and leaders sought a mascot that would represent the unique spirit of all Lewiston High School athletes. A December 1924 issue of the Lewiston Tribune (provided by local historian, Steven Branting) states: “In the animal kingdom, the Bengal is the most ferocious and most feared of all animals, and in athletics, it is hoped Lewiston’s teams will live up to the reputation of its name.”
On Sept. 9, 1945, the term “Golden Bengals” first appeared in a sports article from the Lewiston Tribune. This new expression took the place of the original title for the next 45 years, both within and outside the Lewiston-Clarkston valley. The term made its last appearance in a December 1990 issue of the Lewiston Tribune. However, the name continues to appear in newspapers outside the valley. For example, an article published by the Hermiston Sports Page in 2011 states, “The Lewiston Idaho Golden Bengals defeated the Hermiston Bulldogs 27-22 on Friday, September 23, 2011.” [sic]
But the Lewiston Bengal was not the only mascot to rise to prominence during this time.

According to Deborah Lynch, an English teacher and ASB adviser at Clarkston High School, the CHS mascot was originally the Sandpiper from 1914 to 1937. However, outside sources, such as the Lewiston Tribune, began using the term “Fighting Bantams” circa 1921 to describe the mascot of Clarkston High School.
It was in the 1937-38 school year that CHS officially adopted the bantam as its mascot. The reason for the switch remains unknown. In the 1937 yearbook, bantam-related terms, such as “chicks” and “banty” began to be used. Even the yearbook itself came to be known as The Bantam during this time.
The 1938 edition of The Bantam included this inspiring message for all CHS students: “…we challenge you as a member of CHS to do your best in making this a better school. The Bantam is full of challenges— accept those that are meant for you, and in doing so, fulfill our desire that this book shall have a personal meaning to each of you.”
The students and staff of Clarkston High School have lived up to these words over the years and continue to uphold the legacy of their mascot to this day.

So whether a Bengal or a Bantam, remember to cheer for the mascot and show them the support they deserve this Golden Throne.