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I grew up with this Northfield Raider mascot on everything. It was on the basketball courts, painted through out the schools, on our jerseys, etc. It wasn’t until I was a junior or senior in high school did I think to question what it was or what it symbolized. I actually didn’t put two and two together about a “Raider” referring to the Jesse James Gang that raided our town in 1876. But why is he depicted of Asian decent? Who came up with this guy? There’s got to be some history out there about this. Please let me know if you have any guesses or historical background.

I could only find this version of the Raider. I believe the school decided a few years ago to remove his sword. I’ve drawn it back in here. Of course, the original version didn’t included a basketball either.

Note: The original Raider-Swordsman has both hands up at shoulder level, holding the huge sword over his right shoulder. Without my little drawing example, and the addition of the basketball, it would be hard to envision the original Raider emblem with sword.

Dick Hackerson's 1956 Winning Raider Emblem

UPDATE: I was at the Northfield Public Library with Kathy Ness yesterday and we went looking for the origin of this mascot.  It didn’t take long until I pulled out the 1956 Norhian and opened up to the VERY page we were looking for.  As it turns out, this is a “Pirate” and was decided by a contest held at the school.

In this photo you see the winner, Dick Hackerson, holding up a cutout emblem of his entry.  There he is!  Dicks little piece of art was copied into that odd looking Northfield Raider character that we see everywhere.  Who knew?!

I’m submitting these two photos from the 1968 Norhian following Ellen’s telling of the “legend” below. This has GOT to be the choir teacher that the Raider is modeled after.

Is Yosh Murakami the inspiration for the Raider mascot?

Leif Knecht dressed as the Raider during the Homecoming Parade