The first athletic squads to prowl the fields of Carroll Community College will be known as the Lynx, thanks to a suggestion from a 2014 Winters Mill High School graduate taking classes at the college.
Ryan Barron, of Westminster, was the only person to submit Lynx as part of the 339 original suggestions that came from students, faculty, staff and the community at large, according to Trish McCarthy Carroll, the college’s public and corporate relations officer.
Lynx is a genus of medium-sized wild cats, including the North American bobcat, which can be found in Carroll County. The lynx symbolizes truth, honor, good luck and vision, according to the college.
“When I was asked about joining the mascot selection committee, the first animal I thought of was the Lynx,” Barron said. “It seemed like an animal that was relatable, and ferocious at the same time, which seems to perfectly reflect the college. It’s a small school, yet the knowledge is powerful.”
Lynx won’t just be used for the names of teams on the field. Kristie Crumley, the dean of student affairs and student life at Carroll, said officials are “enthusiastic about integrating the Lynx mascot into all aspects of the college.”
“Throughout my tenure within Student Affairs, I have been approached by numerous student groups about creating a mascot for our college,” Crumley said. “I am thrilled that we took on this project and have come to such a satisfying conclusion.
“The fact that the winning mascot came from one of the students on our committee makes this choice even more special,” she said.
So why a Lynx? For inspiration, Barron looked to the stars.
“I’ve been an astronomy buff since I was in elementary school, so I knew the Lynx was a constellation. But I didn’t know its origin or if there was a tie to Carroll County,” said Barron, who is pursuing a cybersecurity degree at the college.
“The whole picture slowly formed as parts were revealed over the weeks of voting. First was the idea, then the constellation came next, then the play on words like linking the community, then the species being in the area, then the meaning — light — from lunx in Greek and lux in Latin, and then finally the mythology,” he said.
According to constellationofworlds.com, a website exploring the etymology and symbolism of constellations, “The Lynx has often played an important role in mythology, because it is such an elusive, ghost-like animal that sees without being seen. Because of its qualities of silence and watching, the Lynx has also been associated with scientists, and the search for knowledge.”
“The reason many people attend college is to increase their knowledge, wisdom and understanding,” Barron said.
Lynx being a constellation, located just north of more commonly known Gemini and Cancer, and east of the Big Dipper, Barron also thought about the phrase shooting for the stars.
“To shoot for the stars is like aiming for all one can achieve, which also captures an individual’s academic pursuits,” he said. “I thought shooting for the stars is the embodiment of what Carroll is all about.”
Barron’s research into the idea and presentation to the mascot committee struck a chord.
“Ryan gave such a thoughtful and passionate plea for his idea that moved so many people including me,” Ball said. “We are thrilled by the selection of Lynx for our mascot, and even more pleased that it came from one of our students.”
Crumley said Barron’s suggestion encompassed the chosen criteria for the mascot that included community support, uniqueness, competitiveness and inclusion.
Next up is creating a mascot logo for the Lynx using the college’s blue and white color scheme, while continuing to take steps to bring intercollegiate athletics to Carroll.
Over the next few months, the college plans to submit its official application to join the Maryland Junior College Athletic Conference, and prepare for a site visit in the fall, a requirement of the application approval process.
“I have every confidence that we will receive authorization and that our students will be participating in intercollegiate sports in 2019,” Ball said.
Upon membership approval from the National Junior College Athletic Association and MD JUCO, Carroll plans to offer men and women’s cross-country and men’s and women’s soccer beginning in fall 2019. Other programs under consideration for future phases may include lacrosse, baseball and softball.
Barron, who played football and wrestled for Winters Mill, is thrilled the Lynx won over the committee.