Two of the oldest rivals in Minnesota high school hockey are merging into what could become a powerhouse.
The merger is part of a bigger picture that includes Eveleth-Gilbert and Virginia high schools consolidating into a new school, called Rock Ridge, that will start with the 2022-23 school year.
In May, Iron Range voters approved the merger and plans include building the new Rock Ridge High School along Hwy. 53 between Eveleth and Virginia, which are separated by approximately seven miles.
Two new elementary schools will also be built, one in Virginia and another in Eveleth.
The big reveal Thursday featured the nickname (Wolverines) and new school colors (green, black and gray). The Mesabi Daily News has a better explanation of what the new school and mascot names mean to the region.
"Rock Ridge, the school name, recognizes the rock development on which the new schools will be built, while Wolverines are known as “devils bears,” a blend of the Blue Devils and Golden Bears mascots of both school districts. The color green is a combination of the blue and yellow of Virginia and E-G."
“I think it’s fantastic that students and parents are coming together tonight, but this is about far more than a hockey game,” Noel Schmidt, Superintendent for Virginia School District told WDIO. “This is a testament to how schools and communities can bury their ancient war axes and come together to improve education for our kids and our grandkids.”