There are many high-school athletes, but very few leave a lasting legacy. Ellie Stafford is one of those athletes that will always be remembered after she etched her name in the record books by scoring her 1000th-career point versus Hazen.
By Chris Slone
The Bowman County senior said it was a major goal of hers this year.
“It was one of my personal goals at the beginning of the season and being able to get that was exciting,” Stafford said. “It was something that I wanted to do, especially in my last year playing basketball here.”
Stafford didn’t begin her freshman campaign thinking about joining the 1000-point club. But in the middle of her junior year, once she realized the points were piling up, Stafford knew she had a shot.
“I was like, ‘Oh, if I really get going this season, I think I can get it,’” Stafford said.
While Stafford wasn’t eyeing the milestone has a freshman, Bowman County Head Coach Jaden Schoch saw something special.
“This is my fourth year and I had this senior group as freshman. We’ve had some pretty special freshman and I knew coming in that we had a pretty special group,” Schoch said. “I had a hunch she might be able to do it as a freshman.”
Schoch recalled a game against Beach during Stafford’s first season when she lit the scoreboard with 20 points.
“I thought, ‘OK, maybe this kid has a chance to do something like this and be special,’” Schoch said. “She had a pretty good year her freshman year and then she improved every single year. She’s earned everything that has come to her. It hasn’t been given to her. She’s definitely earned everything. She deserves all the credit.
“Ellie, personally, she’s been a kid that I just knew was a competitor. She competes at everything she does. She hates to lose. She cares about every single thing she does. She comes from an excellent family, where priorities, morals and values are at the top of their list of things.”
Stafford said she’s thrilled with the achievement, but she’s happy to have the milestone behind her as regionals are just around the corner.
“It’s really good because it’s not something that’s going to be in the back of my mind in regionals, especially because there’s bigger things to focus on there and bigger team aspects to look at,” Stafford said.
Stafford is playing college volleyball and basketball at Valley City next year.