Schools change mascots from Panthers to Broncos

They spend all year long proud to be Panthers but this week they are Broncos. 9NEWS at 6 p.m. 2/5/16.

DENVER - The problem for Lily Fischer and all her classmates -- how they can cheer for the Broncos when they are all Escuela Valdez Panthers.

"We want to support our local team instead of supporting the team that we're trying to beat," Lily said.

She is a fourth grader at Valdez in northwest Denver. She had a plan.

"I just thought of the idea at dinner and my mom emailed the principal," Lily said. "First, we just changed the name for the week to the Valdez Broncos."

The school community embraced the idea of officially changing the school's mascot for a week. 

"Escuela Valdez loves being called the Valdez Panthers," Selena Silva, family liaison at Valdez, said. "This week we said, get rid of the Panthers, we need to be the Valdez Broncos especially since we're located a mile away from Mile High Stadium."

But, it didn't stop there. Parents and students decided to change the logo and make more than 400 Valdez Broncos T-shirts because at this school many kids can't afford a Broncos jersey.

"We wanted to make sure that every kid could celebrate the Broncos going to the Super Bowl," Kirsten Stolz, parent, said.

The Denver Broncos organization even sent Valdez banners and decorations to make the transformation complete.

"It just bring together the magic," Silva said. "It makes that magic of the Broncos come alive for us."

In Brighton, Pennock Elementary School also officially changed from the Pennock Panthers to the Pennock Broncos. The school threw a Super Bowl pep rally Friday afternoon. 

If Denver wins, Silva says Valdez will remain the Broncos for another week.

"It's incredible that it spread like wildfire and this idea of community is so important and we want to leave our kids with this beautiful Broncos tradition of coming together as a school," Silva said.


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