By Tom Nader
Publisher and Editor
An alien has landed in Portage County.
“Hubie” is in Streetsboro.
The district’s new mascot was unveiled last weekend during Homecoming festivities.
The story of Hubie’s creation is an interesting one.
And dates back more than a year when intervention specialist and coach Ira Campbell introduced the idea of a school mascot to administration.
The idea immediately gained support and the process was underway.
“I knew that we didn’t want to just do a random suit,” said Campbell, who has a depth of experience with mascots, as he has served as in-game entertainment for Cleveland professional teams for many years. “We wanted to create a character. Something that was exciting and could have longevity. We knew we wanted something tied to our Rockets nickname and to space, but we wanted it to be unique.”
Campbell began working with a company called Engineer to Entertain, which mocked up four different mascot ideas.
“One of them was a space rocketeer or space ranger, another was a Rocket rabbit, there was one that was a space sloth and then the alien,” Campbell said.
The four designs were then presented to the student body for a vote.
That top vote-getter was kept a secret and was not revealed until seven months later when Hubie was first introduced at last Friday’s Homecoming pep rally.
When it came time to give the mascot a name, Campbell said that “Hubie” was selected to honor Gary Huber and Joe Huber.
Two names synonymous with Streetsboro, but ironically not related to each other.
Both are beloved by the school and community for their profound and decades-long impact.
Gary Huber spent 33 years at Streetsboro as a teacher, coach and administrator. He died in 2021 at the age of 79.
Joe Huber , who retired last year, spent 52 years teaching at Streetsboro and most recently had been in a role leading the district’s School to Work program, as well as being a business teacher.
Hubie is neon blue in color, features a tuft of hair on the top of his head, has black, but almost iridescent eyes that are either purple or blue depending on what angle you look at them. The antennae on top of Hubie’s head are spring-loaded and move.
“I will be honest, there are some minor league baseball teams that don’t have a mascot the quality of ours,” Campbell said. “The suit is really well made and it was designed to be that way, because we wanted to make an investment into something that was really professional.”
The mascot was funded through student council, with the support and guidance of advisor Tracey Schneeman.
So who will be inside performing as Hubie?
If it was up to Campbell, it will forever be a mystery. He appreciates the allure of anonymity, but did not hold back in saying that the full intention is to have a collection of students that are not only interested in the role, but also willing to learn about the performance art aspect of the responsibility.
“There will be a small group of students that will play Hubie,” Campbell said. “We are going to work through an application process for those that are interested and sign up, then we will work with them about how to play the part, because we want the performance to be on a certain level to make it exciting.”
As for Hubie’s neon blue color, Campbell said that was very much strategic.
“First of all, we wanted something that would stand out. Something that was unique in color, but did not pull too far away from our navy school color,” he said. “Also, though, Hubie will be able to wear navy jerseys, gold jerseys, all different kinds of shirts, and we thought that if we made Hubie navy blue to match our school color perfectly, when it wore a navy jersey, it would just all blend in together. The way the colors can pop now will be great.”
Two other questions that have been frequently asked?
“Evrerything about it is just really exciting,” Campbell said. “The unveiling exceeded expectations and a lot of credit for that goes to the administration and building operations personnel for helping make it fun. They really supported the idea of turning it into an event. Now the goal is that wherever Hubie goes, everyone knows Hubie.”