ELLENDALE Activities

Cardinal & Thunder Informational Pages




Sports Calendars


Onward Ellendale, Onward Ellendale, You’re the school so grand! You’re the one we love the best, in all this mighty land. Rah! Rah! Rah! Onward Ellendale, Onward Ellendale, Here’s to do or die. Cheer, cheer the gang’s all here, For Ellendale High!



Positive Sport Parenting provides information and resources to help educate you on the importance of proper behavior by parents in school sports and the role you must play to ensure your child has a positive sport experience.

EHS Manual & Policies

I. Policies for Interscholastic Athletics/Activities 
The co-curricular programs sponsored by the Ellendale School District exist for the development of skills, attitudes, principles of leadership, and self-esteem of students and are intended to enhance the physical, social, emotional, artistic, and intellectual growth of participating young people.

All students, regardless of their ability levels, should be encouraged to take part in co-curricular activities while attending school. Care must be taken, however, to ensure that these activities do not take precedence in importance over the subject matter areas, but remain in the position of supplementing the curriculum. All student participation in co-curricular activities shall be voluntary.

The Ellendale Public School promotes the following attitudes in co-curricular activities: 
1. Participation in activities is a privilege that is earned and all involved have a responsibility to conduct themselves as role models within and outside the activity;
2. The academic, emotional and moral well being of the participants must always be placed in the highest regard;
3. The leadership of all programs must ensure that all advisors/coaches understand they are in a position of teaching and are competent in character development techniques, first aid, and principles of effective coaching and mentoring; and
4. Students, staff, parents, and community must work together to promote sportsmanship and foster development of good character by teaching, enforcing, advocating, and modeling the six pillars of character: Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring, and Citizenship.

The Ellendale Public School promotes co-curricular activities and believes they are a valuable complement to the educational process and provide opportunities and experiences that assist students in their personal adjustment and development.

II. Statement of Policies and Procedures 
A. Associations and Conferences 
The rules, principles and spirit of such rules and principles of the North Dakota High School Activities Association and other organizations to which the high school may belong will be considered as minimum, and vigorously subscribed to and enforced.

B. Spectator and Student Relationships
The effect on the morals, spirit and loyalty of students, alumni and other members of the school and community must be recognized. The development and furtherance of loyalty, pride in the school, sportsmanship of participants and spectators, appreciation of skillful performance and realization of the educational aspects of sports and activities will continue to be emphasized, rather than the use of the program as a moneymaking venture or as spectacular advertising of the school, participants, or coaches. Contests and performances will be conducted at the highest possible level, and the students, alumni and other interested citizens will be encouraged to support entire programs in every legitimate way.

C. Code of Conduct: 
All students attending Ellendale Junior/Senior High Schools are expected to conduct themselves in a manner which demonstrates respect, dignity, courtesy and kindness in the classroom, on the entire premises, and at school related activities held at all locations. Appropriate behavior at school related activities is especially important since students, whether participating or attending as spectators, are considered representatives of the school and community.

Displaying behavior deemed inappropriate may result in any or all of the following, depending upon the severity of the behavior:

1. The student(s) will be warned and/or removed from the event.
2. Students’ privileges to attend activities involving Ellendale Public School will be suspended for a defined period of time up to the remainder of the school year. Repeated offenses may result in the loss of these privileges for a year or more.
3. The students will extend an apology, written or verbal whichever is appropriate, to those people offended.
4. The student(s) will be suspended from school.

D. Athletic/Activities Schedules 
The main purpose of interscholastic contests and performances is to furnish equitable competition and reasonable opportunities for the highly skilled and specialized participants.

III. Organizational Chart

The following is the organizational chart as related to athletics and activities at the Ellendale Public School.
Board of Education

Superintendent of Schools
Building Principal
Athletic Director
Head Coach/Advisor

IV. Participant Obligations 
The following rules have been set forth by the Ellendale Public School for each interscholastic activity. These rules are not to punish any student but are made to increase the prestige of the students who are representing the school. These rules shall be enforced by the coaches, directors and advisors.

V. Participant Objectives 
The objectives which we hope each participant in each sport or activity will gain by participating are:
1. to develop an appreciation for the sport or activity
2. to condition the participants to meet the demands of the event
3. to formulate desirable health habits.
4. to teach basic skills
5. to develop skills and abilities to the greatest possible capacity
6. to attain the knowledge of rules, techniques and methods
7. to expose participants to a variety of social situations which will enable them to develop sportsmanship, team cooperation, group loyalty, courtesy and self-control
8. to stimulate the desire to uphold scholastic standards
9. to present interesting performances
10. to represent the school in a wholesome manner.

Appearance: All coaches, directors and advisors should encourage their participants to dress and keep their personal appearance as neat as possible. Inform them that they are representing Ellendale High School, its students, the Ellendale community and its citizens, as well as athletes and performers all over the nation and world.

VI. Awards 
A. Athletics 
• Students lettering the first year in a varsity sport shall receive an “E” letter award plus a pin.
• Additional letter awards shall be in the form of a pin for each year lettered.
• The Ellendale QB Club will sponsor additional awards to be selected as determined by the head coach of the varsity sport. These awards are presented at a banquet traditionally held the last Thursday in April.

B. Activities 
• Letters can be earned and awards will be given to students participating in school sponsored activities.

VII. Travel – Lodging – Meals 
Coaches and advisors are to make arrangements for transportation of their teams or participants through the Activities Director’s office. Whenever possible, transportation schedules should be submitted to the office on Thursday morning for the next week.
Coaches and advisors are encouraged to have their participants eat at home prior to trips or take sack lunches with them. Arrangements for overnight trips and for meals when necessary are to be made by the Activities Director.

1. Registration fees shall be paid by the school or club.
2. Same day travel
a. Students will be responsible for their own meals.
b. Additional meals may be purchased at the discretion of the administration.

VIII. Public Relations 
A. News Articles 
All coaches, directors and advisors are responsible for news articles and other publicity concerning their teams, participants and events.

B. Parent and Community Relations 
We encourage all coaches and directors to have as much contact with your participants’ parents as possible. You’re spending a lot of time with their most prized possession and they like to get to know you. Many problems can be averted if the coach/parent relationship is positive.

Activity Rules & Procedures

Activity Rules & Procedures

Expenses: Students are never to charge or order equipment, supplies, materials, etc. without prior approval of the coach/advisor and the principal/activities director. All costs are subject to the approval of the board of education. Students will be assigned school equipment. Students are expected to care for, properly maintain and/or launder this equipment unless otherwise advised. Equipment is to be turned in clean and in good condition or students must be prepared to pay to replace the equipment.

Theft of Property: Persons taking property that does not belong to them while on school property or involved in a school function at another location, will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Those persons involved in extracurricular activities will be subject to a six week suspension from those activities as determined by school administration and/or coaches.

Activity Regulations 
The use and unlawful possession of illicit drugs, alcohol, and tobacco is wrong and harmful. The following policy concerning the use or possession of alcohol, tobacco, and controlled substances and criminal activities shall be enforced twelve months per year.

Any Ellendale School student will be subject to suspension from co-curricular activities or any event where the student represents Ellendale High School for the following:
A. The use or possession of alcohol, tobacco, or any controlled substance as defined by North Dakota law.
B. The use, possession, or sale of non-prescriptive anabolic steroids.
C. Huffing or the intentional misuse of inhalants.
D. Being seen on the premises of an establishment that sells alcohol as its main source of income without the presence of a parent or legal guardian.
E. Attendance at a party, being in a motor vehicle, or elsewhere where alcohol, tobacco, or controlled substances are being used illegally and making no attempt to leave at the first available opportunity.
F. Being in an area where alcohol, tobacco, or controlled substances are being used illegally at a public event, public dance, or wedding dance and making no attempt to leave that area at the first available opportunity.
G. Involvement in any criminal activity (except minor traffic violations) and/or being charged and by an adult or a juvenile court.

The school administrator shall immediately investigate any alleged violation of items A through G above. If the administrator finds reasonable grounds to believe that a rule has been violated, the administrator shall give the student immediate notice of suspension from co-curricular activities in writing. The period of suspension shall begin from the date and time the notification is given to the student.

The student shall have the right to a hearing within three school days after such notification. The superintendent shall be the hearing officer. The student shall have the right to be present at the hearing, to present testimony and evidence, and to confront the person(s) who filed the complaint.

If a student denies the allegation and is later found to have been in violation, an additional four weeks will be added to the suspension. An admission by the student must be made before the hearing.

Suspensions from co-curricular activities are six weeks for a student’s first violation and eighteen weeks for each subsequent violation during his/her high school career. A student who has not completed a suspension at the end of the school year will remain suspended during the summer vacation. A student shall be credited with one week of suspension for each month of summer vacation.

A student who is suspended from co-curricular activities during summer vacation will be credited with one week of suspension for each month of summer vacation and the remainder of the suspension will be served when school begins in the fall.

If the suspension is due to alcohol, tobacco, controlled substances, or inhalants, the student must complete a minimum of 6 hours of prevention education or chemical abuse counseling for the second offense and a minimum of 18 hours of prevention education or chemical abuse counseling for the third offenses before being allowed to participate in activities. In cases where the courts require a student to complete a first offender’s course, an evaluation, or a similar requirement and that requirement will not be completed until after the 6- or 18-week suspension period has passed, the administration may allow a student to resume activities following the suspension period. The fourth offense and all subsequent offenses will require the completion of a rehabilitation program prior to being allowed to participate in activities.

The athletic coach or activity advisor shall determine whether or not a suspended student may practice with the group during the suspension. The coach or advisor shall also set all other rules for the sport or activity including but not restricted to the following: curfew, dress code, team discipline, and travel rules.
Remember: if you don’t violate the chemical rule, you don’t have to be concerned with the punishment.
A student may be reinstated for competition upon completion of an inpatient alcohol or drug treatment program, provided the student provides a signed completion report from said treatment center.

Hazing Defined: Hazing occurs when an act is committed against a student, or a student is coerced into committing an act that creates a substantial risk of harm to the student or any third party in order for the student to be initiated into, or affiliated with any school group, club, athletic team or grade level. Hazing might include, but is not limited to the following:

  • Any activity involving an unreasonable risk or physical harm, including paddling, beating, whipping, branding, electrical shock, sleep deprivation, exposure to weather, placement of harmful substances on the body and participation in physically dangerous activities.
  • Any activity involving the consumption of alcohol, drugs, tobacco products, or any food, liquid or other substance that subjects the student to an unreasonable risk of physical harm.
  • Any activity involving actions of a sexual nature or the simulation of a sexual nature.
  • Any activity that subjects a student to an extreme and unreasonable level of embarrassment, shame, or humiliation that creates a hostile, abusive, and intimidating environment for the student.
  • Any activity involving a violation of federal, state or local law, or violation of school district policies and regulations.

The District urges students to avoid being either a perpetrator of such acts or a “willing” participant in such behaviors. Alleged hazing, when substantiated by facts obtained through the due process procedure, will result in disciplinary action being taken against the participants.

Extra Curriculars Are A Privilege
Extra curricular activities include all sports, music, drama activities, all clubs and organizations, and any other area of activity that is not a part of the normal class work. As the school is a member of the North Dakota High School Activities Association, other rules found in the NDHSAA Constitution and By-laws Handbook will also apply concerning eligibility.

The parents of a student participating in school-sponsored trips or events will be contacted and the student will be sent home early from the trip or event at parental expense for reasons of poor conduct, or possession or use of alcohol, tobacco, or other illegal substances. Additional rules concerning different events and sports may be set by the advisor.

*Contests are defined as regular season competitions (where scores, ratings, or awards are given) that are not a part of the normal class work. Scrimmages and preseason jamboree’s do not count they are considered practices.

A student who receives in-school suspension may be ineligible for participation in school activities. Participation will be decided by the administration and coach/sponsor of the activity affected based upon the severity and circumstances leading to the in-school suspension.

Academic Eligibility

Ellendale High School has a bi-weekly eligibility policy. Students who wish to participate, compete, or travel with a team or an activity listed in the activities section of this handbook must be passing all classes to be eligible. Grades will be checked the end of the third week of the semester and every two weeks
thereafter. The grade to be used to determine eligibility will be the grade computed from the opening of the semester (NDHSAA ByLaws Article XIV Section V). A student who is not all classes will be ineligible, beginning the start of the next calendar week, for the following two weeks. An ineligible student may become eligible after one week by asking the principal to be reinstated if they are passing all classes.

Additionally, upon entering the ninth grade, students must earn at least four half units per semester of academic credit to be eligible. Article XIV Section VIII of the NDHSAA By-laws states that failure to acquire four half-units at the end of a semester will make students ineligible for a period of four weeks the following semester.

Non-Activity Night: Wednesday night is non-activity night. With this in mind, all EPS student activities shall be concluded and out of the building by 6:15 PM. No school activities shall be sanctioned on Wednesday night or on Sunday.

Transportation to School Sponsored Events
All students involved in school activities are expected to ride to the scheduled event with the group and return with the group. The only exceptions to this rule would be taking of the student off the bus by the parent through personal contact with the activity advisor or prior arrangement made with the principal or superintendent.

If the group is involved in an overnight situation, all members of the group will be staying in one location under the supervision of the activity advisor or school representative in charge.

Students who represent Ellendale High School are required to dress in good taste and to conduct themselves properly at all times.

Suspensions: Students who are serving a suspension or are ineligible due to failing grades will not be permitted to travel to any school sponsored extra-curricular event with the team.

Training Hours or Practice Attendance
Guidelines for training hours, curfews, and practice attendance shall be set by the coaching staff with the expectation that these are clearly communicated with students and parents. Consequences for violations are also determined by the coaches.

School Attendance – Extra-Curricular Participation
Students must be present by the start of period 4 the day of an event such as a practice, ball game, cheerleading, concert, play, etc. to participate in that event. A student who is too ill to be in school will be considered too ill to take part in the event. A written medical excuse from a health professional would be the only exception.

An absence the morning after an event may be considered unexcused. Co-curricular activities should be limited to those students with the physical stamina to handle both school attendance and activities.
Exceptions may be granted for medical appointments or family emergencies with approval of the activity advisor and principal.

We feel that your son/daughter is receiving an opportunity that many students would like to have but are not able to take advantage of. Therefore, we feel that he/she should be willing to conduct himself/herself in a manner which reflects good attitude, school citizenship and sportsmanship. Actions which involve poor citizenship could result in a one to six week suspension. Poor citizenship will include, but is not limited to the following: Vandalism, false fire alarms, bomb scares, abusive language, indecent exposure, fighting and severe misconduct on bus trips.

Injury and Risk
Participation in athletic events and practices present some risks of injury which can cause serious crippling, or even death. It is important that you as athletes and parents of athletes be aware that such risks are assumed by your participation in athletics.

It is each parent’s responsibility to see that their child is covered for accidents or injuries that may occur at school or in school sponsored activities.

Participation Fees
A fee for students in grades 7-12 will be assessed for an activity ticket which covers participation in all athletics and activities. A discount is available for prompt and early payment. Families qualifying for lunch benefits may also qualify for assistance with activity fees. Please contact the office. All fees must be paid prior to student’s participation in any competitive contests.

Emergency School Closure Due to Weather 
The Ellendale Public School District has an obligation to our students to provide safety first and foremost. In the event of severe weather and a decision made by the superintendent to close the school early, decisions as to activities will be decided by the superintendent.


The Ellendale School District believes that sportsmanship is a primary goal of athletic programs and that sports programs serve educational purposes in the lives of the districts students. One of these purposes is the development of good sportsmanship. The primary focus of the challenge of achieving good sportsmanship is on the student, but others are involved.

The School Board believes that administrators must insist that good sportsmanship is the goal. The activities directors must realize the value of sportsmanship and set the tone for the implementation of its good practice. Both administrators and the activities directors shall inform coaches, students, and parents of district expectations. Parental cooperation will be sought in maintaining good sportsmanship.

The coaches must accept the responsibility of making each athletic contest a showcase for education. They are expected to be models of self control and dignity for players and spectators. Instances of failure to do so will result in disciplinary actions such as oral and written reprimands. Failure to correct negative behavior could result in suspension from extra-duty activities. Coaches and other adult supervisors shall use appropriate positive incentives to encourage good sportsmanship and when necessary use appropriate disciplinary measures; such as loss of playing time and possible removal from the team, as a deterrent to poor sportsmanship.

The players must be taught to handle themselves in a sportsmanlike way and are expected to project good sportsmanship. Demonstrating poor sportsmanship may result in disciplinary measures, such as loss of playing time or removal from the team. Students must be reminded that their conduct reflects on their school, and that poor sportsmanship will not be tolerated. Students will be held to the same standard as players. Students may be barred from attendance at further events if poor sportsmanship is displayed. In addition misconduct at an extracurricular event will bear the same consequences as misconduct during school.

Adult spectators must realize that they also must exhibit good sportsmanship at athletic events. Spectators serve as a model for their own children and for other young people in the community. Spectators also need to demonstrate self control and dignity while participating in athletic events. Failure to do so is cause for security personnel and administration to suggest that they are not serving as a good role model and if negative behaviors persist or are particularly offensive, they will be asked to leave.

The Ellendale School District expects good sportsmanship to be practiced by administrators, coaches, students, and spectators. The School Board will support staff and administrators who enforce sportsmanship rules at athletic and other competitive events, including evicting students or adults who violate district policy.
The activities handbook will provide an outline to instruct and positively promote good sportsmanship, and provide for enforcement of these expectations.

SPORTSMANSHIP EXPECTATIONS of Parents, Students, and other fans or audience participants. 

  • Realize that a ticket is a privilege to observe a contest and support high school activities, not license to verbally assault others or to be generally obnoxious.
  • Respect decisions made by contest officials.
  • Respect fans, coaches, directors and participants.


Examples of Acceptable Behaviors at Ellendale High School Activities 

  • Applause during introduction of players, coaches and officials.
  • Accept all decisions of the officials.
  • Treat competition as a game, not a war.
  • Coaches, players, search out opposing participants to recognize them for outstanding performances or coaching.
  • Applause at end of contest for performance of all participants.
  • Encourage surrounding people to display only sportsmanlike conduct.
  • During the National Anthem, students, participants and fans, should remove any hats, face the flag, not talk, place hand on heart and remain still until the end of the anthem.
  • During the playing of school songs, standing, clapping in rhythm to the song, and singing along with our school song.

Examples of Unacceptable Behaviors at Ellendale High School Activities

  • Disrespectful or derogatory yells, chants, songs, or gestures.
  • Criticizing officials in any way, displays of temper, booing or heckling.
  • Refuse to shake hands or give recognition for good performances.
  • Blaming losses on officials, judges, coaches or participants.
  • Use of profanity or displays of anger that draw attention away from the game or activity.

Coming to an activity without proper clothing, to distract opponents or draw attention to yourself, will not be allowed.

PLAYERS/PARTICIPANTS: A very important lesson we learn through interscholastic athletics and activities is that by hard work and dedication we can improve. In America we recognize we can take the ability that has been given us and through hard work and dedication become anything we want to be. No one can tell us what we must be. If you are willing to take the ability given you and work hard, you can achieve success in athletics.
The athlete/participant has the responsibility for exhibiting good sportsmanship at all times. The moment he/she puts on that school uniform, he/she becomes a representative of his fellow student, the school, the community and himself. The student should receive the ingredients of good sportsmanship through teaching, coaching and examples of the coaching staff.

Attitude is one of the principle requisites in becoming a champion in any sport, and of course that is best defined by how you act, feel and think in showing one’s ability in participation.

Talking with Coach: Public Concerns About Activity Programs

Step One: 
Individuals with concerns must first address their concerns with the coach or director of the activity. This should be done no sooner than a day after an activity. Individuals should contact the coach or director and set up an appointment.

Step Two: 
If the concern relates to an athletic or academic co-curricular program and if the concern cannot be resolved between the individual(s) and the coach/director, then the individual(s) with the concern shall contact the activity director and/or the principal to request a review of the situation. Upon receipt of the request, the activity director and/or the principal shall proceed by involving all parties to resolve the concern as the activity director and/or principal deem appropriate. After review, the activity director and/or principal shall (in writing) inform all parties involved of their decision no later than 15 calendar days following the receipt of the request for review.

Step Three: 
If a satisfactory solution is not reached between parties in the steps above, either party may make written request for review to the superintendent. The written request for review shall state the specific concerns and must document that steps 1 and 2 were followed. The superintendent shall review previous work and written decisions, along with making his/her own investigation if deemed appropriate. The superintendent shall issue, within 15 calendar days of receipt, a written decision to all parties involved.

Step Four: 
If a satisfactory solution is not reached after a review and decision by the superintendent, any of the parties now involved may make a written request for review to the School Board. The written request for review shall state the specific concerns and must document that steps 1, 2, and 3 have been followed. The School Board shall issue a written decision regarding the matter to all parties involved no later than 15 days following the request for review. The decision of the Board shall be final.

If the activity director, an administrator, or a Board member is approached by a constituent(s) with a concern about any activity program, the constituent(s) shall be informed of the procedures in this policy and shall be advised to contact the appropriate coach/director. I. Policies for Interscholastic Athletics/Activities




As told over the phone by John Kootiskas and from the Echo-
Volume 19, Page 12 on March 9, 1946

Throughout the season of 1945-46 a couple of girls from Ellendale would bring a bell that they rang at all of the Ellendale games.  The bell appeared to irritate several people and during the district tournament in Lisbon, the story of the cowbell started.  Oakes played and defeated Sheldon for the right to play Ellendale in the District finals.  That evening the team was eating in a restaurant in Lisbon, when the two girls that had the bell came in for supper.  John Kootiskas saw the bell in a bag and seized the opportunity to take the bell, which he did.  They painted one side orange and in black placed OHS on it.  They had planned to return it to the girls that evening, but the paint was not dry.  They agreed to meet and give it back the next week.  The District game was played and Ellendale won, advancing to the regional at Edgeley.

  A group of Oakes players decided to have Jim Siefert of Oakes write and type up a proclamation which will state that the “ye cow bell” will become a rivalry between the two school.  The captains, John Kootiskas, Oakes, and Barton Slemmons, Ellendale; agreed to meet in a restaurant in Edgeley to return the bell to Ellendale and to sign the proclamation.  The proclamation was signed by the Captains, Coaches, and Superintendents of each school.
The first year of the “ye cow bell” will go to Ellendale until next year when the first game in basketball is played.  Who ever wins this game will have possession of it for the rest of the year to ring at the rest of the games.  The bell is to be kept in the trophy case when not in use.  This tradition has continued every year without interruption for 50 years.





35-28 Oakes-1
1947-48 Oakes 30-13 Ellendale-1
1948-49 Ellendale 30-29 Ellendale-2
1949-50 Oakes 41-39 Ellendale-3
1950-51 Ellendale 57-39 Ellendale-4
1951-52 Oakes 57-31 Ellendale-5
1952-53 Ellendale 53-48 Oakes-2
1953-54 Oakes 65-42 Ellendale-6
1954-55 Ellendale 56-47 Oakes-3
1955-56 Oakes 62-50 Ellendale-7
1956-57 Ellendale 54-48 Ellendale-8
1957-58 Oakes 57-36 Ellendale-9
1958-59 Ellendale 52-41 Ellendale -10
1959-60 Oakes 85-52 Ellendale-11
1960-61 Ellendale 66-35 Ellendale-12
1961-62 Oakes 60-54 Ellendale-13
1962-63 Ellendale 60-51 Oakes-4
1963-64 Oakes 52-39 Oakes-5
1964-65 Ellendale 62-60 Oakes-6
1965-66 Oakes 56-55 Oakes-7
1966-67 Ellendale 78-44 Ellendale-14
1967-68 Oakes 69-56 Ellendale 15
1968-69 Ellendale 67-55 Ellendale-16
1969-70 Oakes 68-59   Oakes-8
1970-71 Ellendale 57-51 Oakes-9
1971-72 Oakes 71-54 Oakes-10
1972-73 Ellendale 64-63 Oakes-11
1973-74 Oakes 55-41 Ellendale-17
1974-75 Ellendale 59-50 Ellendale-18
1975-76 Oakes 50-44 Oakes-12
1976-77 Ellendale 53-45 Oakes-13
1977-78 Oakes 48-21 Ellendale-19
1978-79 Ellendale 51-40 Ellendale-20
1979-80 Oakes 79-46 Oakes-14
1980-81 Ellendale 55-43 Oakes15
1981-82 Oakes 57-55 Oakes-16
1982-83 Ellendale 35-33 Oakes-17
1983-84 Oakes 71-66  3OT Ellendale-21
1984-85 Ellendale 50-35 Ellendale-22
1985-86 Oakes 57-48 Oakes-18
1986-87 Ellendale 54-47 Oakes-19
1987-88 Oakes 67-54 Oakes-20
1988-89 Ellendale 58-44 Oakes-21
1989-90 Oakes 61-56  OT Oakes-22
1990-91 Ellendale 60-57  OT Ellendale-23
1991-92 Oakes 67-52 Oakes-23
1992-93 Ellendale 70-31 Oakes-24
1993-94 Oakes 73-59 Oakes-25
1994-95 Ellendale 76-50 Oakes-26
1995-96 Oakes 62-57 Ellendale-24
1996-97 Ellendale 71-54 Oakes-27
1997-98 Oakes 70-50 Oakes-28
1998-99 Ellendale 67-59 Ellendale-25
1999-00 Oakes 58-41 Oakes-29
2000-01 Ellendale 52-46 Ellendale-26
2001-02 Oakes 40-51 Oakes – 30
2002-03 Ellendale 59-54 Ellendale – 27
2003-04 Oakes 78-45 Ellendale – 28
2004-05 Ellendale 57-43 Ellendale – 29
2005-06 Oakes 57-46 Ellendale – 30
2006-07 Ellendale 71-66  2OT Ellendale – 31
2007-08 Oakes 36-52 Oakes – 31
2008-09 Ellendale 70-46 Ellendale – 32
2009-10 Oakes 65-63 Ellendale – 33
2010-11 Ellendale 75-49 Ellendale – 34
2011-12 Oakes 51-52 OT Oakes 32
2012-13 Ellendale 54-51 Ellendale – 35
2013-14 Oakes 62-49 Ellendale – 36
2014-15 Ellendale 57-56 Ellendale – 37
2015-16 Oakes 64-38 Ellendale – 38
2016-17 Ellendale 66-46 Ellendale – 39
2017-18 Oakes 53-51 Ellendale – 40
2018-19 Ellendale 68-54 Ellendale – 41
2019-20 Oakes 56-47 Ellendale – 42
2020-2021 Ellendale 58-53 Ellendale – 43
2021-22 Oakes 64-38 Ellendale – 44
2022-23 Ellendale 58-44 Ellendale – 45
2023-24 Oakes

Article I
That the first basketball game of each yearly basketball season, played between Oakes State High School and Ellendale High School, shall be known as the COWBELL GAME.
That the winner of this basketball game, be it Oakes or Ellendale shall take possession for 1 year, or until the next annual cowbell game is held; “Ye Oakes-Ellendale Cowbell”—(as described in Article II).
That this tradition shall start with the first Oakes-Ellendale basketball game held during the 1946-47 basketball season, and will continue with each Oakes-Ellendale Cowbell game thereafter.
That this tradition shall not terminate until the world and its inhabitants have been reduced to dust.

Article II
   That “Ye Oakes-Ellendale Cowbell” shall be respected and honored by each school, in keeping with the tradition.
That “Ye Oakes-Ellendale Cowbell” shall be kept at all times in the trophy case of the respective school having possession of it, except when it is carried to basketball and football games to assist in the pep-squad proceedings of that respective school.
That “Ye Oakes-Ellendale Cowbell” shall be placed in safekeeping of the cheerleaders when it is not in the trophy case of the school having possession of it.
That these cheerleaders shall be sacredly responsible for the care, honor and appearance of the Cowbell.

Article III
    That “Ye Oakes-Ellendale Cowbell” shall not be changed or altered or substituted.
That “Ye Oakes-Ellendale Cowbell” is the cowbell witnessed by the undersigned Signees.
That “Ye Oakes-Ellendale Cowbell” shall be orange with black letters O.H.S. on the one side; and on the other side black with red letters E.H.S.

We the undersigned, Do here-by solemnly pledge our respective schools to the faithful keeping of this contract and tradition:

Oakes                                       Ellendale
E.A. Quam, Supt.                     E.C. Ingvalson, Supt.
N.W. Cummings, Coach        C. M. Pickens, Coach
John Kootsikas                       Barton Slemmons

Plains Folk: An account of the unaccountably absent cowbell

©1998 Plains Folk

Principal Don Warren of Oakes High School rang up Principal Matt Herman of Ellendale High School and said, “We have a little situation here.  We cannot find the cowbell.”  And this was the week of the 53rd Annual Cowbell Game–Oakes Tornadoes vs. Ellendale Cardinals in boys’ basketball–one of the great high school rivalries on the northern plains.

The deal with the cowbell started back in 1946.  There were these girls from Ellendale who brought a noisy cowbell to every game, which proved an irritant to opposing fans.  Ellendale was to play Oakes in Lisbon for the district championship.  The night of the game the girls were eating in a restaurant in Lisbon when some boys from Oakes filched the bell. Ellendale won the district, and the Oakes boys agreed to give back the bell the next week at Edgeley, where Ellendale was playing in the regional.  In the meantime they painted it: one side orange with “OHS” in black letters, the other side black with “EHS” in red letters.  Jim Seifert of Oakes also drew up a set of laws and by-laws establishing the “Cowbell Tradition.”  Coaches and captains from each town signed this document.

The final clause of Article I provided, “That this tradition shall not be terminate until the world and its inhabitants have been reduced to dust.”

The deal was simple: The first meeting of the two teams each season was to be designated the Cowbell Game, with the winner gaining possession of the cowbell for the year.  The cowbell became a traveling trophy.

So it went for 52 years.  Ellendale dominated the early (often low-scoring) years in the series, but going into this season, Oakes had won 11 of the last 13 contests.  The overall count was Oakes 28, Ellendale 24.  The barnburner of the series was on Jan. 4, 1991.  Coming in, each team had won 22 games.  Ellendale won in double overtime, 60 to 57.

About three weeks before this season’s game, Principal Warren noticed that the cowbell, kept in the Oakes High School trophy case since the Tornado victory of Feb. 3, 1998, was missing.  He was calm.  He figured the kids were just emulating the tradition between NDSU and UND involving the Nickel Trophy, which provides for ritual thievery with the trophy always turning up again at the game.

The Cowbell Game this year was in Ellendale, played in the Trinity Bible College gym.  A thousand or more people packed into a typical northern plains gym rainbows of steel girders, padding on the concave ceiling to soak up sound and about 18 inches of stopping space at end of court before a fast-breaking player hits the concrete-block wall.

Ellendale was ranked and favored and clearly had the better athletes, but they took bad shots and played flat.  Oakes was both inspired and focused and led (with the help of a 3-point buzzer-beater) by 10 at half. Good Class B ballno man taller than 6 feet 3 inches on the court, man-to-man defense both ways, well-schooled teams.

Late in the third quarter the Ellendale coach took a time-out and made some pointed remarks about the basicsblock out, run the pattern, take the ball inside and use your strength.  The Cardinals crept back, took a slim lead, made the free throws and won the victory 67 to 59.

The Oakes team, cheerleaders and fans cleared out.  The home fans stayed around, milled about the court, and started and stopped a series of chants, “We want the cowbell!  Give us our bell!”  There were a couple of personal incidents down in the throng.

Finally a spokesperson for Oakes got on the public address system and apologized–the cowbell had been stolen, and he was sorry.  So everybody walked out through the starry slush to their cars, started up and drove home.


Tom Isern, Professor of History

Minard Hall 412C, NDSU, Fargo ND 58105-5075

Telephone 701-799-2942

WebMasters Note – Later that spring the missing Cowbell was found in a storage area at the Oakes school and presented to EHS officials at a conference meeting. It is missing no longer.


Phone: 701-349-3232

Address: 321 N 1st St, Ellendale, ND 58436
Mailing: PO Box 400, Ellendale, ND 58436


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