Sunburst Refiners

Industry-related mascots are fairly common in the United States, but are perhaps most common in communities that have an economy dependent upon a specific industry. The Class C Sunburst Refiners are an example of a mascot derived from a once thriving local employer. In the 1920s, oil was discovered in the Kevin-Sunburst oilfield near the small hi-line town, and shortly thereafter, a refinery was built to process the crude oil. Texaco took over the refinery and continued operating in Sunburst until 1961. Environmental hazards caused by the refinery led to the site becoming a Montana Department of Environmental Quality cleanup site. The school maintains the Refiners nickname, though the only operating petroleum refineries in the state as of 2014 are in Billings, Lockwood, Laurel and Great Falls.