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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Annandale Atoms: 'most unique' high school mascot in the region

The Atoms of Annandale High School came in first in the “most unique mascot” poll sponsored by WUSA News Channel 9. 

The voting was a sweep for AHS, with 2,169 votes for the Atoms. The Maret Frogs came in second with just 285 votes. Other mascots in the running included the Richard Montgomery Rockets (12), Georgetown Prep Little Hoyas (11), Theodore Roosevelt Rough Riders (11), Cardozo Clerks (10), Dunbar Crimson Tide (4), Bethesda Chevy Chase Battlin’ Baron (3), Eastern Ramblers (2), McKinley Trainers (2), and Glen Burnie Gophers (2).

When Annandale opened in 1954 during the Cold War, students were inspired by President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s “Atoms for Peace” speech when they adopted the Atoms mascot, WUSA 9 reports.

In that speech, delivered on Dec. 8, 1953, Eisenhower called upon the nation to “to help solve the fearful atomic dilemma – to devote its entire heart and mind to finding the way by which the miraculous inventiveness of man shall not be dedicated to his death, but consecrated to his life.” In 1945, the United States had dropped the first atomic bombs, killing hundreds of thousands of people in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan.

According to a 2011 article in the A-Blast, Annandale High School’s student newspaper, the school is one of only a few in the nation built with a bomb shelter.

“There’s no other mascot or history like Annandale’s,” said AHS Activities Director Karl Kerns in the WUSA article. The red and white “Atom Pride” is a tradition, passed down from students’ parents and grandparents who are AHS alumni.

New students learn about Atom Pride during freshman orientation, with the goal of igniting energy within the school, Kerns said. Students can join the Atoms Hype Squad and earn points for awards by attending games and tweeting about them.

You can see plenty of Atom Pride on display at the AHS Homecoming game Friday evening when the Atoms take on West Springfield. The Atoms football team is having a great season; they’ve won five of seven games played so far.


  1. Speaking on behalf of the Up/Down/Top/Bottom/Charm/Strange Quark community, I find this team logo culturally offensive .

    1. Go back to playing in your sandbox. Another words pound sand