Parkers Prairie native's logo is a winnerFerley's submission was unanimously selected as the new logo for the Menomonie Mustangs
By: Eric Morken, Alexandria Echo Press
Parkers Prairie native Mark Ferley was recently afforded an opportunity that he missed out on growing up.
Ferley graduated from Parkers Prairie High School in 1997 and has always had a passion for sports but couldn’t take part in them himself. The 32-year-old graphic designer suffers from spina bifida, a congenital defect of the spine that has paralyzed him from the waist down.
Ferley’s disability kept him from actively participating in athletics but it didn’t affect his passion for them. That’s what made the opportunity to design a mascot logo for a Wisconsin high school so unique for him.
“I wasn’t able to participate in sports,” he said. “So for me, it was an honor to actually have something to do with sports.”
Ferley’s sister, Theresa Boettcher, lives in rural Colfax, Wisconsin and has children in the Menomonie school district. When the district decided to change its nickname from the Indians to the Mustangs, they opened up a competition to see who could design the school’s new mascot logo.
The two siblings took on the project together, with Ferley’s graphic design experience leading the way. Now 32, Ferley graduated from the Alexandria Technical College in 2006 after studying communication art and design.
Ferley studied other Mustang logos online to help him get started. In the end, he submitted a concept that was comprised of more than 40 images. Members of the Menomonie School Board unanimously chose him as the winner out of 101 entries.
“I was pretty excited,” Ferley said. “I was actually more stunned than anything.”
Ferley will get a $100 prize for his efforts. More importantly, he’ll be a part of the school’s history for the foreseeable future.
“Doing a mascot logo, it’s not an opportunity that comes along too often,” he said. “It’s kind of a neat experience to win the contest, and one of the coolest parts is knowing you don’t get an opportunity to do this very often.”
The school board has yet to determine which of Ferley’s logos they will use on the gymnasium floor and walls. Once they do, Ferley said he will definitely make a trip to Wisconsin to see his work on display.