Yesterday I drove 90 miles to the northwest for Anika’s 4 month well-check and immunizations with our pediatrician in Bismarck. We left immediately after dropping off E at Lori’s daycare and Hunter at school. As we turned onto Highway 83, I noticed homemade signs tied to every highway sign. Clearly, the Linton Lions volleyball team is headed north to the state tournament in Minot this weekend.
Despite my poor quality from my phone photos, the signs capture true school spirit that is found especially on the rural prairie. Sporting events are social gatherings on the prairie. Local teams are supported by the communities in a manner you do not find anywhere else. No matter if you have child or relative playing or not, people of all ages go to the local games. You know the kids playing. They are your neighbors, sit by you in church, wait on you at the local restaurant or bag your groceries. And when state tournaments roll around rivals put their differences aside and cheer for the team from their region.
As I drove home last night I could not pass a few of my signs without taking pictures with my phone from the Odyssey. The old cattle trailer on the side of the road…with huge signs supporting the team…that is serious school spirit and something you will only find on the prairie. I am sure this could be a redneck joke but instead it made me smile thinking of how proud someone must have been of their team to haul their trailer to the side of the highway and hang signs on it!
For 25 miles north on Highway 83, there are homemade signs wrapped in plastic on wood pallets tied to traffic and highway signs. Truly authentic and original.
The sun in the west and lack of photography quality does not allow you to read the signs but this was also a favorite. The school bus parked in the ditch with the sign “Good Luck Lions Volleyball”.
The thing Nathan and I have missed the most since our move to the prairie two years ago is Hunter’s former school, Park Christian. It is an amazing environment for children that we knew no public school could replicate. While we are huge proponents of public education and our rural school district, we miss the teaching of a Biblical world view education. I have said many times…Park Christian made parenting easier! However seeing this display of school spirit made me thankful for our rural public school on the prairie and grateful for the experience our children will have here. We can work on Christian education in our home. Our schools on the prairie teach great life lessons of their own. I hope our kids feel the sense of support, home and belonging that the girls’ volleyball team from Linton must have felt yesterday as they departed their hometown, state tournament bound. They had to feel a great sense of pride seeing signs, buses and cattle trailers supporting them for a long stretch of highway as they drove north. Small towns and small schools on the prairie equal huge school spirit in a way that is not replicated anywhere else.