Teams split up at Homecoming game because of effigy incident

LINTON, N.D. - A video of Linton High School students burning an effigy of an Oakes football player sparked a lot of conversation on social media.

Since the video and photos were posted online, the Linton Superintendent, who also happens to be the high school football team coach, sent out an apology letter to the boy whose number was used and to the Oakes school district.

KFYR-TV received a copy of those letters Friday. The Oakes school district accepted the apology but with a bit of a caveat.

The Oakes superintendent asked the two teams be put on opposite sides of the field due to heightened sensitivity and emotions from the homecoming festivities.

We spoke to some fans at the game Friday evening and they said they had never seen the Linton football team be put on different sides of the field from their opponents.

Many viewers reached out to us saying the effigy is a Linton homecoming tradition.

Linton superintendent, Paul Keeney, said Thursday after images surfaced, “We used to have small bonfire in the past. Things like this where you have a straw filled person depicting the other teams mascot or something like that."

Keeney told us the concern this time is the numbers 55 and 69 on the dummy. He says they didn’t mean to depict anyone specifically. But Keeney did send the player an apology letter too.

In the end, both teams shook hands, including Oakes player 55 and played it North Dakota nice.