In the fall of 1991, the Pendleton High Rally Club retired the school’s spirit stick after the Buckaroos beat the Hermiston Bulldogs 39-8 at the Homecoming football game. Winston Hill, a PHS senior and member of the rally squad, said the stick was such good luck that the club had decided to retire it and make another for the winter and spring sports seasons.
The stick, an ax handle painted green and gold, first made its appearance during the 1991 volleyball season. Winston recalled that “about 20 guys” from Hermiston said they wanted the stick. Winston told them if the Bulldogs beat the Bucks at football they could have it — but what could they give in exchange? The Hermiston boosters made a rally stick of their own, painted — of course — purple and gold.
Following the close of the Homecoming game, Hermiston High’s student activities coordinator, Darin Creason, met Winston on the field. They shook hands and Darin gave up the Hermiston rally stick. The Bucks’ bounty was enshrined in the Pendleton High School trophy case.
Creason said the Hermiston supporters had plans to win their rally stick back during basketball, swimming or wrestling season. At a good match, he said, they might even capture both sticks. Creason said the new tradition would help maintain “good ties” between the two schools.
Winston agreed. “It sort of made a friendly competition out of the whole deal ... gave you something to look forward to.”