Construction on the 172,000-square foot, 48-classroom building to be known as Tascosa High School began in 1957 at a cost of nearly $2 million. It was expected to accommodate more than 1,000 students.
THS, Amarillo’s fourth high school, was built to aid the growing student population and to lessen overcrowding at Amarillo and Palo Duro high schools.
During the construction phase in February 1958, an original letter penned by Jim East, sheriff of the old Texas Panhandle town of Tascosa, was sent to the school in hopes that it might inspire the name of the athletics teams to be called The Sheriffs. Going along with this idea, the future students of the school suggested that the second team of athletes be known as The Deputies and the pep squad be named The Sheriff’s Posse.
However, on March 20, 1958, an Amarillo Globe article stated that The Rebel mascot and the colors of scarlet and black were selected for THS.
Color combinations of black and white, red and white, green and white, gold and white, gray and gold, and orange and white were also considered. Other mascot ideas were Raiders, Texans, Tigers, Tornadoes, Trojans and Wildcats.
Tascosa High opened in September 1958 with 58 teachers and 1,200 students.
In Tascosa’s early days, the Rebel mascot was indeed a kid, but not in a human form as we know it today. The Rebel was actually an 8-month-old goat, which was donated by a THS senior.
Tascosa’s mascot has undergone changes throughout the school’s 59-year history. In the early 1960s, General Reb, a student dressed as a Confederate soldier, became the school’s mascot until 1974, when The Rebel Kid dressed in cowboy attire debuted and remains to this day.