published Friday, April 20th, 2012

Roadrunners get new designs

DALTON, Ga. -- Dalton State College has not started any of its new intercollegiate sports or announced any coaches, but it does have a logo.

Actually, it's a combination of logos tying the school's future athletic marketing to its beloved old junior college nickname of Roadrunners from the 1970s, and athletic director Derek Waugh hopes it's a brand slam.

Such a nickname connotes speed, and the project was pulled off in two months by Phoenix Design Works of Maplewood, N.J., and a school committee comprised of student, staff, faculty and foundation representatives.

One key element of the logos Waugh introduced Thursday is a "fierce and intimidating" roadrunner head featuring the bird's long beak. Another is an interlocked "D" and "S," deliberately with no "C" so it will work just as well if the college assumes university status.

And the logo package features a blend of navy and silver -- or "more of a slate gray," Waugh acknowledged -- in which neither color dominates.

"We wanted to modernize everything but also pay homage to tradition," Waugh said, adding that simplicity and versatility were other objectives so the logos can be used easily on a variety of team wear, fields and floors of competition and merchandise for fans.

"We also wanted to feature our location in northwestern Georgia, so one of the logos has the roadrunner rising above mountains," the AD explained.

The three student members of the design committee were present for the unveiling.

Hilary Hicks, a 22-year-old junior from LaFayette majoring in marketing systems, said she was "extremely proud" of the results.

"I was very excited to be part of this," she said. "I plan on going into advertising and marketing anyway, and I love Dalton State so much."

Ryan Hollingsworth, 23, is a business major from Southeast Whitfield High School who said the plan for athletics makes this an "exciting time for our school and the community."

"I think it's going to bring a spirit to the school that hasn't been here since I've been here," added the senior, who played basketball and ran cross country in high school and helps coordinate DSC intramurals.

Asked what it would be like to see designs he helped create connected to the school's teams and fan base for decades to come, he said, "That's pretty cool."

"Extremely cool," Hicks said.

"Beyond cool," said Matt Borgen, a 20-year-old junior and former Northwest Whitfield football player who has been elected as next year's student government president.

"I think this is just the start of a whole new era for Dalton State," Borgen said.

Waugh, who started his job on Feb. 1, said work is on track to have some teams in place for the 2013-14 school year. Application has been made to an NAIA conference.

"The community has been absolutely fantastic in getting behind our effort to start intercollegiate athletics," he said. "Support has been great so far, and I think it will definitely be there as we move ahead."

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