“Everyone has been enchanted with the Everly Cattlefeeders over the years. ESPN, the sports channel on cable TV, has rated it one of America’s 10 best high school nicknames.” – Chuck Offenberger (”Iowa Boy”) • Des Moines Register – Sep. 28, 1989 (read full article)
The “enchantment” that Iowa Boy referred to sums up the decades-long widespread fascination with the Everly Cattlefeeders, former mascot of a small town school in the midst of corn and soybean fields in Northwest Iowa that created so many “Cindarella teams” that eventually people realized that this Cinderella was much more than just “lucky”. The Cattlefeeders were determined, tough and talented.
The Everly Cattlefeeders left a rich legacy of sports triumphs, comebacks, defying odds and pulling together as not only teammates, but as a community. Local businesses would often close for a big game and everyone had something red and white to wear for Cattlefeeder events.
Everly, Iowa, with its modest population of around 600, had a local fan base that was small in numbers, but huge in “heart”. For several decades, Everly fans loved their Cattlefeeders and Cattlefeederettes, and would go to the ends of the Earth (well, at least Iowa) to show their support for their hometown teams – teams that were very often formidable and, at the very least, scrappy. In some cases, two or three generations of kids from the same family would play on Cattlefeeder teams, and quite often cousins and siblings ended up on the same rosters. Since the school population was so small, many athletes played more than one sport, as well as participated in various other extracurricular activities. School spirit was a big deal, and an unusually large percentage of students and citizens felt it deeply.
The Cattlefeeder years were unique for various reasons. The main goal of this website is to catalog as much information as possible and document this somewhat unusual history of a school’s teams named for a farming occupation and sporting a mascot called “Smokey The Bull” who was actually smoking a pipe and wearing a Fedora. Yes, the mascot was politically incorrect by today’s standards, but he was ours. Over the years, the pipe gradually disappeared in the numerous reinterpretations of the “Smokey” logo, as did the name, Smokey itself. But the Cattlefeeder teams remained as bull-like in determination as ever while being good sports on the court, field and diamond. Grandstanding or bad behavior were never tolerated by any Everly coach or fan, so they just didn’t happen as a matter of course. A true Cattlefeeder always kept his/her cool in the heat of the game.