Urbana High School’s nickname, Hawks, is written in slightly arched, blue capital letters.
And in the background, there’s a huge white U and a gray, menacing looking hawk.
The colors, letters and logo are common sites at Urbana sporting events. But in this case, the item they’re on, a face mask, is a reminder of why no such sporting events are being held these days.
Urbana’s boys lacrosse team has been selling the masks, which add a touch of school spirit to one of the weapons being wielded in the battle against the novel coronavirus, which canceled the entire spring high school sports season.
Since April, Marylanders have been required to wear some sort of face covering in retail establishments or when riding public transportation to help slow the spread of the virus. And many people wear them whenever they leave the house.
Some opt for loud bandannas. Others wear faces masks, either store-bought or homemade. Both are functional because they cover most of a person’s face. Of course, that means they also conceal facial expressions, one of the hallmarks of personality.
At least the Urbana masks allow wearers to express their support for a school, restoring a bit of identity.
Hawks boys lacrosse coach Gavin Donahue will get the masks from his sister, Kerry Donahue, who works for Long Island Athletics, which makes custom products for sports teams.
“She came up with doing custom face masks, so she’s doing those for all of us,” Donahue said. “You’ve got to think outside the box a little bit to stay afloat.”
Donahue put out word about the masks to Urbana High’s boosters and local rec leagues. They sell for $14 and must be ordered by May 30.
Urbana won’t be the only county school to put its colors, nickname and logo on a nose-and-mouth concealing garment that has become ubiquitous over the past two months.
Donahue’s fiancee, Jen Lacy, is Thomas Johnson’s field hockey coach, and she’s been helping to sell custom made TJ face masks.
The letters TJ, bearing stars and stripes colors found on the United States flag, are above the school’s nickname, Patriots, which is written in red, cursive letters. The school’s logo is in the background, featuring a man in a tricorn hat and a waving American flag.
Oakdale also plans to sell custom made face masks. Before coaching boys lacrosse at Urbana, Donahue held that same position at Oakdale, where Chris Krivos is the athletic director.
Krivos has a business relationship with Kerry Donahue at Long Island Athletics, and as of Thursday, he was in the process of trying to arrange for the masks to be made.
“They already have our Oakdale logo, both our bear logo and our O logo,” Krivos said. “Since he’s already doing it for Urbana, we want to do the same thing, and I asked him for permission to kind of steal his idea. He was good with it, so that’s what we’re doing.”
It’s another way for people in the community to let people know about their school ties.
“You’ve got to wear them anyway,” Krivos said. “They look pretty comfortable, and people are making their homemade masks. And then if this gives them something to have a little school pride, then we’re all for it.”