The Story of Walt the Wolf
After being hunted to near-extinction and listed on the endangered species list, the grey wolf made a comeback in May of 2008 when Okanogan County officials confirmed the presence of the first wolf pack in Washington State since the 1930’s.
The Wenatchee Wild Hockey organization was formed that same month – coincidence? We don’t think so… Well, maybe a little. Nonetheless, the parallelisms don’t end there.
To fully appreciate why the grey wolf was chosen as a symbol and subsequently the Wild Mascot, you must first understand the characteristics and behaviors of the Grey Wolf itself.
Wolves have marvelous stamina and endurance and can travel for hours without apparent fatigue. Wenatchee Wild players, too, have marvelous stamina and endurance.
Wolves are rare in the State of Washington. There isn’t another BCHL team in the entire country!
The alpha males are the pack leaders that track and hunt prey, choose den sites, and establish the packs territory. We suppose that means you could consider Head Coach / GM Bliss Littler the alpha male!
Wolves develop close relationships and strong social bonds. They often demonstrate deep affection for their family and may even sacrifice themselves to protect a family unit. The Wild players establish a bond that will last a lifetime, and they have been known to rise up when called upon to defend a teammate.
Wolves have a complex communication system ranging from barks and whines to growls and howls. We think by now, you get the point!
Given all the similarities between the Wenatchee Wild and that fascinating creature called the Grey Wolf, it’s no wonder the Wild have chosen one of nature’s most resilient creatures to symbolize the team.
What about the mascot’s name?
Organized hockey came to the Wenatchee Valley in January of 1931. A gentleman named Walt Schultz arranged four teams who competed on a boardless, flooded, and frozen Recreation Park until weather rendered the ice unusable, shortening that inaugural season. The Columbia Valley Hockey League returned in 1932, and struggled through a few seasons, yet managed to complete a regulation outdoor rink complete with boards and lights. However, another shortened season due to weather rendered great frustration and spelled the end of the game here for almost 30 years. In 1964, the Wenatchee Amateur Hockey Association was formed, skating outdoors on the converted old Hughes Memorial Swimming Pool until the enclosed Riverfront Ice Arena was constructed in 1984, about 100 yards away. A second sheet was later added, paid for entirely by WAHA.
The founding father of Wenatchee’s long hockey tradition is now permanently honored in fur, and our mascot shall be forever known as our beloved “Walt”.