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Aggies in the Heartland

Generations of Aggie sports fans know how bonds can form while cheering on the crimson and white at Aggie Memorial Stadium. Now another community almost 1,000 miles from Las Cruces connects to the Aggie spirit under the Friday night lights. 

In 2015, two rural northwest Missouri football teams, Norborne and Hardin-Central, joined together to continue their gridiron glory. Once rivals just 11 miles apart, the Norborne Pirates and Hardin-Central Bulldogs formed a co-op to play 8-man football and chose Aggies as the team’s mascot. The districts selected a new symbol that highlighted significant aspects of both communities: farming and agriculture. 

In 2022, the Norborne Hardin-Central team debuted a new Aggie look with a familiar Pistol Pete on its helmets, actually NMSU’s version. The helmet design was so popular that it finished in the top four of a Missouri State High School Athletics Association helmet contest that season.

“The Norborne and Hardin-Central school districts are excited to partner with a school at the collegiate level, New Mexico State University,” Norborne Superintendent Jennifer Courtney says. “Our Aggie brand is something we are very proud to use, and we are excited that New Mexico State is working with our athletes to make this possible. Branding is very important to our school districts because in the end, it’s all about making a great experience for our kids.” 

The school districts have entered into a licensing agreement with NMSU that allows the football program to continue to use the logo for the next five years. The practice of licensing existing logos for high school athletics isn’t a new trend; many schools use collegiate or professional logos. 

“Having a new logo, it really has become part of our school,” Courtney says. “It felt like it represented our boys. They’re very motivated. They really, really want to do well, and I think the logo went along with how they felt about it.” 



The Norborne and Hardin-Central football teams formed a co-op in 2015 to play 8-play football. The schools have a licensing agreement with NMSU to use the Pistol Pete logo.