Pleasant Valley Sinners (Armstrong) power hitter Averi Gill (7) tries to blast the ball through the Kalamalka Lakers double block from Chanelle Wilson (12) and Taylor Francks during the North Zone Senior Girls High School AA Volleyball championships in 2019. After more than 40 years, the Armstrong secondary school will be changing its school sports teams name from Saints (boys) and Sinners (girls). (Morning Star file photo)

Pleasant Valley Sinners (Armstrong) power hitter Averi Gill (7) tries to blast the ball through the Kalamalka Lakers double block from Chanelle Wilson (12) and Taylor Francks during the North Zone Senior Girls High School AA Volleyball championships in 2019. After more than 40 years, the Armstrong secondary school will be changing its school sports teams name from Saints (boys) and Sinners (girls). (Morning Star file photo)

Sinners and Saints no more: Armstrong school rebranding sports names

Pleasant Valley Secondary dropping Saints and Sinners; new name/logo announced after spring break

Watching a high school volleyball game in 2019, newly arrived Pleasant Valley Secondary School principal Chelsea Prince was busy cheering on her Armstrong girls.

She hadn’t given any thought to what her new school’s team names were, but that changed when Prince heard Armstrong parents chanting ‘Go Sinners Go’ for the girls’ team.

“I talked to the vice-principal and was told that the team names were Saints for the boys, Sinners for the girls,” said Prince who has since undergone consultation with staff, students and the communities about possibly changing the school team’s sports name.

That will come to fruition after spring break.

“I have some concerns about the names,” said Prince. “No. 1, we are a public school and both names have religious overtones. No. 2, the boys are Saints, the girls are sinners. It’s offensive toward women.”

The history of the names is a little grey. Prince has talked to teachers who have been at Pleasant Valley Secondary School for years, and some who were students at the school and became teachers, and nobody knows where the names came from.

Longtime boy’s basketball coach Ross Shannon moved from downtown’s old Armstrong Junior Secondary to the newly built Pleasant Valley Secondary in September 1982, and he said the team names were already in place. Shannon also said there was always opposition from some community members to the name Sinners.

“There are lots of team names out there that, in their day, were not offensive,” said Prince. “But we’ve seen over the last year through the Black Lives Matter movement that some pro sports teams are changing their names because they were deemed racist (Washington Redskins of the NFL is now the Washington Football Team, and the Edmonton Eskimos of the CFL have dropped their nickname).

“These are changing times and there are changing attitudes.”

Over the past year, Prince has held consultation and brainstorming sessions with students over potential new names and logos. An artist was hired to draft a composite of the best ideas which has been narrowed to three:

  • Leading the way is the PVSS Torch Bearers, which would feature a bear holding the school’s old torch logo;
  • At No. 2 is Hawks, a tribute to the large number of hawks in the Armstrong area, led by the most common red-tail hawk, with Rose Swanson Mountain in the background;
  • And the third idea for a new name is Mustangs, as the horse is very popular in Armstrong culture. The logo would feature a mustang with a flaming mane, holding a torch.

The winning name will be selected by Prince and vice-principal Patti Lemaire in late March, after kids return from spring break.

All school teams will have the same name, and all will incorporate the school’s familiar black, red and gold colours.

The new logo will be incorporated into a full gym floor replacement at PVSS which the North Okanagan-Shuswap School District board approved. The gym will also receive a new set of bleachers.

READ MORE: Armstrong’s Gill looks to breathe new life into Broncos

READ MORE: Fulton takes Zone hoops title



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

High School Sports

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Penticton bylaw officers tore down a “pretty significantly sized” homeless camp underneath the bridge near Riverside Drive Friday, April 16 morning. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)
Penticton bylaw tears down ‘significantly sized’ homeless camp under bridge

Many residents had made complaints about the camp before it was torn down

Through their Simple Generosity campaign, Valley First has pledged to donate $1 million of community support to British Columbia communities in 2021. (Contributed)
Valley First rewarding Penticton families with innovative way to thrive together

Participants with ‘inspiring ideas’ will receive a surprise for their family, valued at up to $2,500

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
110 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Provincial health officers announced 1,005 new cases throughout B.C.

Ryan Upson’s first BCHL hat-trick propelled the Vees to a 7-1 stomping of the Cranbrook Bucks Thursday April 16) night to improve their record to 7-1-0-0 in this abbreviated pod season. (Cherie Morgan/Cherie Morgan Photography)
Pentiton Vees bounce back with big win over Bucks

Vees score five in under five minutes, win 7-1 over Cranbrook

Black Crow Cannabis is just one of Vernon's many pot shops now open in town. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Kelowna has highest cannabis fees in Okanagan

Vernon’s 14 stores pay second highest business licence fees

Flow Academy is located at 1511 Sutherland Avenue in Kelowna. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Black Press Media Weekly Roundup: Top headlines this week

Here’s a quick roundup of the stories that made headlines across the Okanagan, from April 11 to 16

Vancouver Police Const. Deepak Sood is under review by the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. after making comments to a harm reduction advocate Sunday, April 11. (Screen grab)
VIDEO: Vancouver officer convicted of uttering threats under watchdog review again

Const. Deepak Sood was recorded Sunday saying ‘I’ll smack you’ and ‘go back to selling drugs’ to a harm reduction advocate

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate persists, 1,005 new cases Friday

Hospitalization up to 425, six more virus-related deaths

Ford F-350s have been targeted in the North Okanagan by auto thieves since February 2021, Vernon North Okanagan RCMP data shows. (Gene J. Puskar - The Canadian Press/AP file)
Auto thieves target older Ford F-350s in Vernon: RCMP

Vernon Mounties remind all motorists no vehicle is immune to auto crime

The Nautical Dog Cafe at Skaha marina is getting its patio ready in hopes Mother Nature will provide where provincial restrictions have taken away indoor dining. (Facebook)
‘A lot of instability’: B.C. restaurants in layoff limbo

As COVID-19 cases stay high, restaurants in British Columbia are closed to indoor dining

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks on as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Expectations high as Trudeau Liberals get ready to unveil first pandemic budget

The Liberals will look to thread an economic needle with Monday’s budget

Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops. (Dave Eagles/Kamloops This Week file photo)
RCMP intercept vehicle fleeing with infant taken from Kamloops hospital

The baby was at the hospital receiving life-saving care

Vernon North Okanagan RCMP were present at the McDonalds in Armstrong Thursday, April 15, 2021. (Tomer Joury - Facebook)
Police handle ‘high-risk’ situation at Armstrong residence

A woman was apprehended and taken to hospital under the Mental Health Act; no charges laid

Since April 4, 38 flights with COVID-19 cases have departed from Vancouver International Airport, while 23 arrived. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Vancouver the largest source of domestic flights with COVID-19 cases: data

This month alone, 38 flights with COVID-19 cases have departed from Vancouver International Airport, while 23 arrived

Most Read