Hansel Hinckle is congratulated by coach Randy Quinto following his interception return for a touchdown last Saturday. (Michael Dineen | For the Juneau Empire)

Hansel Hinckle is congratulated by coach Randy Quinto following his interception return for a touchdown last Saturday. (Michael Dineen | For the Juneau Empire)

‘Juneau United’ gains steam as unified football team name

Football players reportedly vote on name

Students on the Juneau unified football team, Juneau Football, are reportedly adopting the name “Juneau United” for their team.

Gretchen Kriegmont is on the president of the Juneau Football Board. She said the name “Juneau United” started out as a fundraising theme for the booster club but caught on with the players. Kriegmont said the team put up the name to a team vote in the last two weeks and the majority of players voted for it.

“It kind of started as a theme and then the boys really liked it and it grew into an unofficial team name,” Kriegmont said.

Juneau School District Chief of Staff Kristin Bartlett said Friday the student body will have the final say in whether or not to officially adopt the name.

The team was originally dubbed the “Thunder Bears” in February after the school district put three mascot options — the Thunder Bears, Orcas and Capital City Senators — to a student vote. It wouldn’t be long though before a derogatory online definition of the mascot drew the ire of some and led to student representatives voting 5-4 in favor of selecting a new mascot.

The name United isn’t completely foreign to the sports world. Manchester United, a professional soccer team in England, is one of the most renowned franchises in sports, and other soccer clubs have taken the moniker.

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