Laurel Hill School is gunning for what could be the biggest win in school history. The school's Hoboes mascot has been nominated for the USA Today High School Sports Best High School Mascot 2013.


Laurel Hill School is gunning for what could be the biggest win in school history.



The school's Hoboes mascot has been nominated for the USA Today High School Sports Best High School Mascot 2013.



"The railroad came through Laurel Hill decades ago, likely inspiring the school's mascot name, the hobo," USA Today High School Sports states. "One of the dictionary definitions of a hobo is a migratory worker. Laurel Hill is the only school in America to use the Hoboes as its mascot."



With 134 high school students, Laurel Hill is easily the smallest school of Florida's five nominees.



Orlando-based Cornerstone Charter Academy, the Fighting Ducks, is the second smallest school from Florida, with 242 students.



The other Florida schools nominated are the Key West Conchs, 1,209 students; the Lakeland Dreadnaughts, 2,011 students; and the Tarpon Springs Spongers, 1,503 students.



Laurel Hill School's athletic history is a source of pride for the school and the community. The school has seven state championship girls basketball teams and numerous district championships in other sports.



Laurel Hill also has helped launch the careers of a number of coaches and players.



But now the Hoboes are in a battle that the tiny school can't win by itself.



Yes, Laurel Hill School, Okaloosa County's version of David, needs everyone to join in as the school takes on the Goliaths across the state and around the country.



Five schools from each state, as well as Washington D.C., are battling for the top prize of $2,000. Second prize is $1,000; third prize, $500; and fourth prize, $250.



State voting runs through March 5, with 51 winners moving to the regional round, where voting will take place from March 6-14. The six regional winners will then battle it out for the top prize in the national round March 15-25.



"We are trying to get the word out," Laurel Hill athletic director and boys basketball coach Kent Zessin said. "We have been voted the most unique mascot in the country by other organizations. A few years ago, ESPN the magazine had us as one of the top 10 mascots.



"Our students and staff take great pride in our mascot and it would be great to get the support of the rest of the area for this.  The $2,000 would really help us a lot."



You can vote multiple times. Go to http://contest.usatodayhss.com/ to cast your vote.



Randy Dickson is the Crestview News Bulletinís sports editor. Email him at randyd@crestviewbulletin.com, tweet him @BigRandle, or call 682-6524