I’m going to be honest. I stole this idea from an episode of Friday Night Lights. But since it might be one of the best TV shows ever created, the idea can’t be too terrible, right? In the fifth and final season, the East Dillon Lions (the underdog team those who watched the show came to know and love) played their rival, West Dillon, for the “Oil Well Trophy.”
It got me thinking. Why can’t Dickinson and Williston do the same thing and name it the Bakken Trophy?
Both cities and schools are being greatly impacted by the oil industry, which is, as we all know, centered around the Bakken Formation in western North Dakota.
Without saying too much, these schools need a kick in the pants of what could be a great rivalry. Creating a traveling trophy is a great way to do that.
Creating the trophy and its rules wouldn’t require all that much work. All that is needed is an agreement worked out between the two schools stating what the trophy should be — I envision a normal trophy with a huge oil well (pump or derrick) — and when they should play for it. They could play for the trophy in anything: football, basketball, baseball, volleyball, tennis, whatever floats their boats.
No matter what they did, it would give a little more meaning to a rivalry that could use some between the two western-most schools in Class A.
And, while we’re on the subject, I have a couple more traveling trophy ideas:
The Cannonball: A traveling trophy to the winner of the annual District 13 boys basketball game between Mott-Regent and New England, all of which sit on the banks of the Cannonball River, named because rocks at the bottom of the river are said to represent cannonballs. Much like the Dakota Marker football game between North Dakota State and South Dakota State, this trophy should basically just be a cannonball rock painted or chiseled in a manner that denotes the rivalry.
The Old Red Trophy: Now that the Heart River and Richardton-Taylor-Hebron football teams are in the same class — at least for now — why not spark a little rivalry between the two teams who represent the east and west portions of Stark County and are all on the Old Red Highway (Highway 10).
This one already exists, but it’s a good example of why I think traveling trophies between rivals are a good idea…
The Battle for The Bone: This rivalry trophy between Bowman County vs. Hettinger-Scranton football was brought back when Bowman County dropped down to 9-man this season and Hettinger and Scranton combined, creating an instant restart to the rivalry between the longtime rival schools. The Bulldogs and Hettinger Black Devils had played for The Bone for years until enrollment caused them to fall into separate football divisions. Now that they’re back together, so is The Bone.
Do you have an idea for a traveling trophy between two rivals? Send it my way (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I’ll post it here.