South Albany High School students have begun voting on the team name that will replace "Rebels," with voting to close at 6 p.m. Thursday.

Students have five mascots from which to choose: Wolves, Lions, Raptors,  Nighthawks and Wildcats. 

Principal Brent Belveal said students have spent time in the past few weeks learning about how schools select mascots and what kind of are typically considered.

"We offered some ideas from school and community input as ideas to get students thinking," he said. "We then held an open nomination process where they could nominate any mascot that they felt would best represent our school. From those nominations there were five that were the most frequently nominated."

Once a final decision has been made, the school plans an unveiling celebration during the school day. Belveal said this should be no later than May 21.

South Albany is in the process of eliminating its current name of Rebels and all associated imagery, which has ties to the Civil War, following a lengthy school and community research process.

The high school already had taken steps in past years to distance its moniker from its origins. However, racial violence in other parts of the country last year prompted Belveal to begin researching how — or whether — to remove the name and logo entirely.

Tonja Everest, acting superintendent for the district, made the announcement of the elimination April 23.

The change to a new mascot is estimated to cost about $114,200 to replace the logo in the school's most visible areas: the gyms, football field, stadium, wrestling mats, varsity uniforms, office supplies and various signs. Costs went down from initial estimates because some work, such as refinishing of the gym floor, already was scheduled.

Completed in 1971, South Albany has approximately 1,350 students.