The Bear Facts

December 16, 2017

Good morning! I’m Ashlyn Harrington! 

I’m Gabe Trainer!

And I’m Laurel Degen! Thanks for joining us for the “Bear Facts”, the show where each week we keep you up to date on all the news from Bishop Garrigan High School.

Last week we mentioned that the Golden Bear quiz bowl team had competed in the online 3—2—1 contest. The results came back this past week, and Garrigan did very well in the competition. The team’s score of 286 ranked them in the top third of all schools nationwide. They were the #3 school in Iowa, behind Iowa City West and Ballard, and they scored more than 100 points higher than area rival Mason City Newman.

The success in 3—2—1 is just the latest success in what had been a very good year for Golden Bear quiz bowl. Garrigan has won two tournament championships this fall, and they made playoffs in three other contests. That success has qualified the Bears to make their 19th trip to the National Academic Championships. The Bears are tentatively planning to compete at nationals in Orlando in June 2018.

Today the Bishop Garrigan math team is hosting a Great Plains Math League competition. Students are coming from Waverly—Shell Rock for the event. Among those competing for the Bears today are seniors Ben Degen, Caitlin Thilges, and Tommy Kollasch; junior Gabe Trainer; and freshmen Amanda Thilges and Joey Trainer.

In math competition students work both on their own and in teams to solve problems. The competition is divided into target, team, sprint, and relay rounds—each of which has its own unique rules. Most math team questions are very hard. In fact, they make the most difficult tests in school seem easy. The challenge can be fun, though, and we wish the math team good luck today in competition.

The BGHS speech team has begun rehearsals for the year. We’ve got more people out for speech this year than we’ve had in almost twenty years. There’s fifty-three students on the large-group speech team. At the core of the team are seniors Alisa Altman, Caitlin Thilges, Emory Miller, Gigi Byrkeland, and Isabelle Davis; as well as Jenna Boelter, Kat Wille, Megan Wadle, Olivia Hart, John Zeimet, Sam Trainer, and Tommy Kollasch.

There’s also a big group of juniors in speech. They include Ashlyn Harrington, Caroline Bradley, Emma Thul, Laurel Degen, Lauren Kenyon, and Layah DeLange; plus Madison Illg, Megan Bronk, Aidan Koob, Bryce Capesius, Gabe Trainer, Logan Heying, Sam Vaske, and John Meis. Sophomores on the speech team are Amanda Miller, Andrea Pacheco, Jenna Heinen, Jordan Hansen, Katie Noonan, Mackenzie Meister, and Maddie Meister. 

The speech team also features twenty freshmen. They include Abbi Heying, Amanda Thilges, Anna Berke, Bailey Meister, Cora Ricke, Emily Lappe, Grace DeLange, Gracie Elsbecker, and Halle Menke; and also Katie McIntire, Kelle Bormann, Kelly Baade, Reese Rosenmeyer, Tara Kron, Aric Laubenthal, and Austin VonBank. Rounding out the group are Isaiah Byrkeland, Joey Trainer, Kale Kramer, and Noah Bronk. Best wishes all season long to directors Jake Rosenmeyer and David Burrow and all the speech team!

Christmas is coming, and that’s always a time for service projects and helping out our neighbors. This past Tuesday the seniors on student council went over to Mason City to work with the Top of Iowa Conference holiday service project. They spent the day at the Salvation Army service center. They packaged more than a thousand boxes of food and also organized toys that we hope will make this a merrier Christmas for some of the neediest people in northern Iowa.

There was good news this past week for two Golden Bear football players. Senior Drake Buscherfeld was named a first-team defensive lineman on the Des Moines Register’s all-state team. Junior T.J. Schnurr also earned all-state honors. He was a second team honoree in the Iowa Newspaper Association’s all-state team. Congratulations, Drake and T.J.!

Our Senior Spotlight this week shines on Megan Wadle. Here to tell you about her is John Meis!

Megan Wadle was one of the student council members who was working on the conference service project Tuesday. She’s a hard-working athlete who keeps busy with basketball, volleyball, and track. Megan also enjoys speech, and she been on the tech crew for many drama productions over the years. Megan would like a healthcare career in the future, and we wish her all the best in college.

Thanks, John! On our Golden Bear calendar this week, the math team is hosting a contest this morning. Also today there’s a benefit at Garrigan for the family of Kristin Bacha, who is recovering from cancer.

Tomorrow is the third Sunday of Advent. We’ll have our final Advent prayer service of the year first thing Monday morning.

Tuesday we’ll have a basketball quad, with the Bears hosting North Iowa. Wednesday night the high school and junior high choirs will hold their Christmas concert at St. Cecelia’s.

Thursday we’ll have an out of uniform day to benefit our sister parish in Haiti. The quiz bowl team will play a demonstration game for the Kiwanis that noon, and we’ll be dismissing for the holidays Thursday afternoon.

Thursday night the Bears will host Algona High in the annual cross-town Christmas match-up. The danz squad will perform their holiday show at halftime, and we’re expecting a visit from Santa Claus at the game. 

That’s the “Bear Facts” for this week. Thanks for joining us, and be sure to tune in again next week when we’ll have a special show as we prepare for the holidays at Bishop Garrigan High School.