The Bethel Bees????

Kayla Dell, Staff Writer

Did you know that up until 1951, Bethel Park’s sport teams were known as the Bees, not the Hawks? It’s true!!

This originally started when the community continually referred to them as the “B’s” (for Bethel), but the football uniforms in the late 1940s were colored with orange and black stripes, which apparently made the athletes look like bees, hence the change in spelling to “Bees.”

It’s rumored that the male athletes never liked B’s or Bees, thinking the name did not sound “tough” enough or intimidating. But, regardless of their complaints, the school principals refused to change the name.

 So how did we end up being called the Bethel Park Black Hawks? The ole Bethel Park legend says that in 1950, the school wanted to start a girls’ basketball team, but there was no money available to purchase new uniforms. The team’s coach went to a sporting goods store to buy whatever jerseys could be found in black and orange to match the school’s existing colors. The only jerseys available were the jerseys worn by the National Hockey League’s Chicago Blackhawks, which at the time used orange and black as well. He bought them.
The team then cut the jerseys to fit the girls, and they took the court as the Bethel Hawkettes. When asked to develop an original logo for the school’s new nickname, the High School Art Department–unaware that the Blackhawks (when spelled as one word) were actually a tribe of Native Americans–produced a logo featuring a bird of prey. The nickname was spelled as one word until the mid-1990s, when it was changed to two words—Black Hawk—so as not to offend any Native Americans.
To this day, Bethel Park’s athletic teams are still referred to as the Black Hawks! Who would have known they started as Bees. At least now the sports teams intimidate more people than just the few who are allergic to bee stings.
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