At San Juan Hills we refer to Stallion Stadium as “The Badlands” due to the connection of the school’s name with our nation’s 26th President, Teddy Roosevelt. TR first travelled to North Dakota in 1883. Roosevelt, commented on his experiences in the West by saying, ”I never would have been President if it had not been for my experiences in North Dakota.” He felt his experiences in the Badlands, initially as a sportsman hunter, and later as a rancher “took the snob out of him” and taught him to see people as worthy based on their character and accomplishments, rather than on their economic worth, formal education or social standing. He experienced successes, winning the respect of the locals, strengthening his body, character and soul, and even being selected as a spokesperson for the cattleman. But he also experienced failure in the ravages of a harsh winter and the loss of much of his herd representing a large portion of his investments and net worth. It was here that Roosevelt put into action the principles he later spoke of in an 1899 speech called, The Strenuous Life. He argued that strenuous effort and overcoming hardship were ideals to be embraced by Americans for the betterment of the nation and the world in the 20th century.
At San Juan Hills, we also place value on these ideals and believe they transcend time and apply in the 21st century as well. Our expectation is that an athlete who graduates from San Juan Hills will be a good citizen, a leader with integrity, and will achieve as a scholar in their future education. What Roosevelt called “strenuous effort”, we call “perfect effort” and each individual is responsible to themselves and their teammates to give their personal best in all their endeavors.