Dutchmen advance in mascot contest

The St. Marys Area High School Flying Dutchmen mascot is a state champion in a roundabout way winning the first round of the USA TODAY High School Sports' Best Mascot, garnering the top votes out of seven Pennsylvania high school finalists. SMAHS ranked second in the country in total votes with 7,684. The initial field of candidates began with 408 of America's top high school nicknames.Votes may be cast by visiting the contest website at http://contest.usatodayhss.com/. The contest includes America's strangest, most interesting and just plain comical mascots.The Dutchmen mascot now advances on to the regional competition with 51 state winners including Washington, D.C. and five wildcards. Those 56 mascots are split among eight regions, with voting ending on April 17 at 2 p.m. The regional winners advance to the national round. A champion will be crowned April 25 after three rounds of voting.