Shorewood School Board unveils new logo for "Messwood" football team

SHOREWOOD -- Shorewood School Board officials unveiled a new logo to adorn the helmets and uniforms of the "Messwood" football team on Wednesday, October 10th. This, after at least one Shorewood parent and some students took issue with a student-designed logo -- claiming it violates the separation of church and state.

The "Messwood" football team is made up of students from private, Catholic school Messmer High School and public school Shorewood High School.

Shorewood school officials asked that the team's logo be removed from helmets and uniforms, and a new logo developed.

"Sure, we lost a little bit of personality but if anything -- it's about this season now. It's this season and going to the playoffs. That's what we're focused on," Messmer football player Alec Grimmer said.

The old logo, designed by a Shorewood High School graphic design student during a contest last year featured both a greyhound (Shorewood High School's logo) and a bishop's hat featuring a cross (Messmer High School's logo).

The logo created controversy due to its featuring of the cross -- a religious symbol some say is a violation of the separation of church and state.

The new logo involves a simple design lacking the identity of either school -- focusing on the playoffs, which is the only competition left this season.

FOX6's media partners at the Shorewood Patch reported Shorewood Superintendent Martin Lexmond said the fact that the logo included a cross didn't occur to anyone involved as potentially problematic due to the longstanding relationship between Messmer and Shorewood schools.

Messmer High School Principal Br. Bob Smith has said he was disappointed by the decision to do away with the old logo.

"Personally, I would like to see God in some way in the logo, but at the end of the day, are you going to be able to figure out a way to do it without someone objecting or being offended? Probably not," Br. Smith said.

Officials say the new logo is only temporary, with the goal of repeating the original process of having students design a logo for next season.

"We're going to get the Messmer kids with the Shorewood kids and it's going to be a teachable moment. We're going to try to put something together again. It's going to be a tough contest. They have some really nice players. We're looking forward to it and we're also looking forward to celebrating the many successes that this program has had this year," Shorewood football coach Drake Zortman said.

Messmer and Shorewood high schools joined forces on the football field in 2000.

CLICK HERE for more on this story via the Shorewood Patch.