Wreck ‘Em, Minutemen!

Skip Lane has a suggestion:

Change the Staples mascot to the Minutemen.

What’s a Wrecker, anyhow?

The Minuteman is much more significant, right?  And what a cool helmet decal.

And, Skip adds:

The Minute Men were all about “defending this house.”  Isn’t that the most popular sports cliché today?

The name Wreckers, he notes, arose decades ago, when the Staples football team beat Norwalk High, and “wrecked” their undefeated season.

“Hardly what you base your ideals on,” he sniffs.

Skip is no random jaboney.  His father Paul — who, Skip says, agrees with him — was Staples’ longtime head football coach.

Skip played for him — and went on to an NFL career, with the New York Jets, Kansas City Chiefs and Washington Redskins.

Though, come to think about it, “Redskins” is not exactly the greatest team name either.

Wrecker/Minuteman fans:  “06880” is all about democracy.  Cast your (non-binding) vote below.

48 responses to “Wreck ‘Em, Minutemen!

  1. My younger son said at breakfast that he thought Staples mascot was Wreckers “because they tear a lot of houses down in Westport”!!!

  2. Elaine–that’s very good! Apparently the football team was also known as the Minutemen when we were in high school–at least according to a Gault mini-football promotion–although I onlly recall our teams being known as the Wreckers.

  3. In these days of Title IX and gender equity, would we therefore have “Minutewomen” for the girl’s teams? I actually like the idea. I never was able to explain Wreckers when I attended Staples.

  4. Wreckers here, Johno. It’s a unique nickname, and it’s origins are fine with me. I learned about those origins in Santella’s barbershop in Saugatuck back when Norwalk was a perennial powerhouse and the Wreckers’ big rival (50s). There are “Minutemen” throughout New England. Fred, I also recall from the dim past that the Minutemen nickname was tried but didn’t stick. Another reason for not changing the name: the modern connotation of “Minuteman”. I can already hear the taunts from the Darien or New Canaan side of the field…

    • For some, a minute would be boasting . . .or perhaps little blue pills/dots on the boys uniforms? Maybe “Four Hours” might be more manly . . . Push ’em back harder, harder.

  5. Name a single man on earth who wants to be known as a, “Minutman!” Even if it’s in their dreams they want to be several minutes man. Stay with Wreckers!!!

  6. I believe there was a very brief period where the nickname “Wrecker Minutemen” was used, when the powers that be wanted to embrace the patriotic implications of Minutemen but didn’t want to abandon the chosen Wreckers. I think this was right before the Bicentennial, so maybe 1975 or so.
    The whole Wreckers thing always made me think of that “Ramblin’ Wreck from Georgia Tech” song, except that we couldn’t claim to be a heck of an engineer.
    To allay some of Tom’s trepidations and also acknowledge the length of a football game (actual running time), why not take the nickname from that Hank Ballard song and call ourselves 60-Minute Men?

  7. I went to Staples for three years and always thought it had something to do with tow trucks.

  8. Hi Dan
    I recall the cheer “Minuteman on the warpath oooo ahhhhhhhhhhh”
    in 1971

    • And — don’t ask me how — I recall, from the same year:
      “We are called the Staples Wreckers and the wrecking that we do
      Teaches all the teams we tackle to respect the white and blue
      So if you want to see a team that’s murder through and through
      The Staples High School Wreckers sure can do!

  9. I always believed that being called “Wreckers” subconsciously effected the students to be destructive and smash mailboxes.
    Maybe the “Pillagers?” “Destroyers” “Mayhem Makers?”

    • And what does being called the Trinity Catholic Crusaders, Stamford Black Knights, Ridgefield Tigers, Norwalk Bears do? Do students at Brien McMahon (Senators) aspire to run for office? And despite their inoffensive nickname, students at Greenwich High School (the Cardinals) have done their share of mischief.

  10. Wreckers are much more intimidating than Minutemen!! Stick with Wreckers!!

    Patty Kondub

  11. Keep “Wreckers”!

    “Minutemen” sounds like a bunch of Pussies!

  12. The Dude Abides

    I believe they tried the “Minutemen” briefly in the ’80’s and then quickly changed it back. The “Wreckers” is as unique as Staples High School. “Westport High School Minutemen” sounds lame and tame. Sort of like New Canaan.

  13. Nothing rhymes with “Minutemen”


  15. What should we call the girls teams…minute women…..pretty stupid idea.

  16. I’d go with whatever Skip says.

  17. Why don’t we just call them the Skippy’s.

  18. Can't Drive at 55

    How about Trojans??

  19. I just checked the poll results, which showed “Wreckers” narrowly ahead. Those results surprised me; I thought for sure “Wreckers” would be the clear favorite. I strongly prefer “Wreckers” in part because I think it is so distinctive. Our soccer team back in the day was always referred to as the Wreckers and, at sports events where I was a spectator, chanting “Let’s Go Wreckers” certainly sounded more natural than a chant of “Let’s Go Minutemen.”

  20. I think “Wreckers” has always been a poor fit, considering the town’s population isn’t too heavy on unionized construction workers. The mascot looked ridiculous. The whole thing comes across as tremendously forced, like Staples is trying to project some “tough guy” or “working class” image that’s completely invalid.

    That being said, the Minutemen moniker would be such an easy target for infantile jokes. It would never end. We need a new idea. Also, while we’re on the topic, what about changing “Staples” to Westport High? The reason we are the Wreckers, to some extent, is because Horace Staples was an early industrialist, builder (of the high school, among other things) and trader. Telling people you went to “Staples High School” is awkward and consistently leads to stupid office supply jokes.

    • Disagree totally with Westport High. Bland. We were/are suppose to be known for our creativity and sense of history in this town. Ole Horace exemplifies that and I believe the ole man played a mean wrecking guard on the Naugatuck Navajo leatherneck team.

    • Michael……….

      It’s pretty obvious you never went to “Staples” High School…..

  21. Horace Staples High School

  22. Westportersince1970

    Though “Wreckers” still leaves Staples vulnerable to the visual field prank played by New Canaan some years ago when some vandals spray-painted out the “WR” and replaced it with… well, you know… Staples teams are destined to be known as “Wreckers,” thwarters, if you will, of others’ aspirations and dreams forever.

    • Can't Drive 55

      It was indeed after the 19-18 loss to New Canaan at home (which also provoked a real anti-semitic rage after the game) but it is questionable on who did the deed you mention along with driving all over the soccer field. I believe they found it to be Westport kids.

  23. Dennis Jackson

    It’s all about winning. Not to mention tradition and history. Wreckers take no prisoners. ‘Twas ever thus. In Wilton where we live now, we have the Warriors. Our teams make war on the fields; we do not make love. Minutemen don’t play offense, they play D. That’s not how you win. Recommended reading: The Book Of Five Rings by Miyamoto Musashi.

  24. What field does Wilton make war on??? The bridge field?

  25. Also anonymous....

    ” Wrecking in the Florida Keys was conducted from sailing vessels. Numerous vessels would patrol along the Florida Reef looking for wrecks. The wreckers would normally anchor at night in protected anchorages along the Keys, and then sail out in the morning to see if any ships had wrecked during the night. As a result, a ship that ran on the reef during the night might attract a dozen wreckers by the afternoon of the next day. The first wrecking captain to reach a stranded ship became the wreck master, determining how many wreckers he needed to help salvage the ship, and directing the operation. Wreckers had an obligation to save passengers and crew of the wrecked ship (for which they received no compensation), and to salvage as much of the cargo as possible, and the ship, as well. If the judge in Federal court decided that a wrecking crew had not done everything possible to salvage cargo and ship, he would reduce the award.”


  26. For those of you who don’t know the origin of the wrecker:

    The Wrecker is the mascot for Staples High School. He is a caricature of a construction worker wearing a hard hat, who has arms as big a tree, and a chin to match! He holds a wrecking bar in his left hand and a sledgehammer in his right. He was designed by Staples graduate Tom Wall in 1980.

    Prior to the 1920’s, Staples High School teams were known as the Minutemen. A logical name for a town known for it’s part in the Revolutionary War. However all of that changed in the 1920’s.

    At that time, Norwalk High School was having a great undefeated season on the gridiron. They specifically chose Staples to play during their Homecoming game, knowing that Staples was an ‘easy’ win. Unfortunately for Norwalk, the Staples football team came in and crushed the ‘undefeated’ team. Headlines the following day read, “Staples High Wrecks Norwalk’s Homecoming!”

    Since that time, Staples High School teams have been known as THE WRECKERS!

    As I attended Staples during its most recent renovation, and was in fact a member of the last class to use the old, decrepit Staples (what up ’08!), the mascot always made perfect sense to me!

    • So, Dana, did Staples convert to the “Minutemen” at any time in their history cuz it is mentioned here several times and I seem to recall the transition for a brief period???

  27. Hey All,
    I was a Staples Minuteman in the late 60’s, we actually had the Minuteman logo on our helmets, interesting though, at every home game, there was always a navy blue tow truck (wrecker) down on the old cinder track, (and how many of you remember Tony’s Gulf on Riverside Ave) they provided the tow truck. The 70’s came and went, the “Block S” was the prominent logo, but we were known as the “Wreckers”. Late ’70s, early ’80’s new construction at Staples, new coaches for the football team, transition, transition, but yet we were the “Wreckers”. Hence the birth of the Wrecker in 1980. With approvals of Principal Cohen and AD Byiteck, he was born!! He was later turned into a living mascot!! Thank you Jerry Lubarski!! He has gone through many changes since 1980, however one thing that hasn’t changed; the name “WRECKER” is unique to Staples, it is unique to Westport, it is our very own!! No one else has a mascot by that name!!
    I am proud of my Staples heritage, I am proud of my families Staples heritage, I am proud to have been the one that created “The Wrecker”, may he live on forever!!
    Remember, weren’t the “Red Coats” plans “WRECKED” by the “MINUTEMEN” on that April day in 1777.
    May be we dress our “Wrecker” up in “Minuteman” garb and give him his sledge hammer and wrecking bar. Now we will really be crossing the multiple generations of Stapleites!!!
    Whatta ya think you “Wreckers” and “Wreckerettes”??

    All my best to the Class of ’70

  28. Also anonymous....

    Did you know…

    That the Wreckers have a namesake in The Florida Keys? That’s right, there’s another school known as “The ‘Wreckers.”


  29. i vote minutemen

  30. The Minuteman would be a perfect “mascot” for Longshore Golf. A minuteman holding a golf pin instead of a musket. You’d have a hard time keeping those golf shirts on the shelf. The current Longshore emblem is as boring as it gets.

  31. Westport Snooze

    No need to name Staples after a failed newspaper! Bad idea!