By John Higgins
Beacon Journal staff writer
The voters have spoken and the Akron school board agreed Monday: Akron's East High School athletes shall be known as the Dragons, beginning next fall.
Voters in the East High School Alumni Association's renaming contest overwhelmingly chose the Dragons as the new nickname to replace the Orientals.
The association sponsored the contest on its website to raise money for its scholarship fund.
Board member Lisa Mansfield, who attended the Alumni Association's annual reverse raffle on Feb. 17, reported the vote totals in the contest at Monday's meeting.
Dragons garnered 374 votes, followed by Red Dragons with 164, Scarlet Knights with 115 and Corsairs with 22 votes.
When association officials presented the finalists to the school board in November, they noted that while 20 to 30 people had suggested new nicknames, at least twice as many wanted to keep the old name.
However, the school board rejected the Orientals nickname last April because the term is an antiquated reference to people of Asian descent that now is considered offensive.
The school owed its nickname to Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. co-founder F.A. Seiberling's fascination with the lands of the Middle East, according to longtime East High School booster Clarence Berry.