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

Members of the Okanagan Screen Arts Society received a cheque for $1,500 Thursday, April 15, 2021. The funds are to help the society’s efforts as they prepare take over operation of the Vernon Towne Cinema at the end of July. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
Vernon dealership gives Towne Cinema a lift

Vernon Watkin Motor Ford, in business for more than 100 years, donated to the theatre with nearly as long a history

Interior Health’s overdose prevention site in Vernon is saving lives. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Vernon’s controversial overdose prevention site saving lives

Site sees fewer problems than expected, but some still want it moved

Vernon Jubilee Hospital. (File photo)
COVID-19 outbreak declared over at Vernon Jubilee Hospital

The outbreak affected four staff, 10 patients and led to three deaths in just over two weeks

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

Vernon Girl Guide Mabel Smith sells cookies to staff at Watkin Motors Ford prior to the suspension of sales. (Facebook Photo)
Vernon Ford dealership shines with diamond award, again

Watkin Motors earns Ford of Canada president’s award for superior customer service

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

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

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

Premier John Horgan receives a dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at the pharmacy in James Bay Thrifty’s Foods in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, April 16, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. Premier John Horgan gets AstraZeneca shot, encourages others

27% of residents in B.C. have now been vaccinated against COVID-19

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

The towns of Osoyoos and Oliver and the Osoyoos Indian Band are beginning to look into the feasibility of a regional aquatic centre. (Metro Creative Graphics)
South Okanagan leaders team up to get ball rolling on regional aquatic centre

Oliver and Osoyoos have long expressed desire for a year-round indoor aquatic centre

Most Read