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The Grays Harbor College Chokers weren't named for acts of violence or for losing their nerve on the field, the GHC mascot represents the choker-setter, a very strong man with the toughest job among loggers in the woods of western washington.

Charlie ChokerCharlie Choker, in use since the early 1950's, has in recent years become a common entry in "Top 10" lists for weirdest or most unusual mascots in the country. In 2009, Time magazine placed it at #8 in it's top 10 worst team names. In 2012, Chester Cheetah, the iconic spokescat for Frito-Lay, announced that Charlie Choker was at #9 in his official rankings of the Top 25 Cheesiest College Mascots. Drawing from an admittedly unscientific analysis of college mascots nationwide, rankings are based on "cheese factor" and all-around silliness.

So who is this brawny, tough man of great strength, walking from the woods with a massive log on his shoulder? While the traditional, chubby-cheeked Charlie, crew-cut and bare-chested, will forever be near and dear to our hearts, in 2015, it was time to give him an updated look. Current students needed to understand what a choker-setter in the woods really does, how courageous a job that has always been. He now wears a hard hat for safety, along with the work shirt and heavy gloves of today’s logger. The tall trees in the background indicate his workspace. His connection to the College remains steadfast, with the Chokers and Grays Harbor College logos below him.

For information about Choker Athletics, visit: or our Facebook page.

Charlie Choker

Choker Trivia:

The GHC statue, which welcomes students and guests to the campus, was carved by Louis Benanto, Jr. in 1975.
He began with a 15-foot by 8-foot cedar log and used a chain saw to create Charlie.

The choker is actually the hook affixed to the heavy steel cable that the choker setter loops around the log and attaches back onto the cable.

John Madden played football at Grays Harbor College in 1956.

Jack Elway was Head Football Coach of the Grays Harbor Chokers from 1961 - 1966.

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