The Bear Facts
October 17, 2015

Good morning! I’m James Quinlin!

I’m Devin Degen! 

And I’m Michael Condoleon! You’re listening to the “Bear Facts”, the weekly radio show from Bishop Garrigan High School.

Did you know that the Crab Nebula was a remnant of a supernova? Or that Apple’s digital assistant Siri gives really creative answers to the question “Do you have a boyfriend?” Or that the Izaak Walton League was named after the author of the book The Compleat Angler? If facts like those come easily to you, then you should be in quiz bowl. For twenty-five years now Garrigan has hosted Iowa’s largest academic competition, and today forty-two teams from twenty-one different schools will be on hand for the event. 

Four different teams will represent Garrigan today in the tournament. They include veterans of national competition like Devin Degen, Joseph Espinosa, Noah Buscher, and Ben Degen. They’ll join almost twenty other Golden Bears in four preliminary games and hopefully four more rounds of playoffs. The top four teams will receive trophies for their efforts, and we’d like to keep at least one of those at home.

Last Saturday the Solid Gold Marching Band competed at the state marching band festival in Fort Dodge. A Division One rating is the highest award bands can receive at this contest, and Garrigan was one of just seven bands statewide in Class 1-A that received that honor. Congratulations to directors Ken Ferjak and Katherine Simpson and the band!

Much of this fall we’ve been participating in archery in our P.E. classes at Garrgian. We capped that off last Friday with a schoolwide tournament among the top archers in the school. The definite crowd favorite was Scott Berte, but when all the arrows had been shot, senior Johanna Vaske had racked up more points than anyone else. She narrowly beat out junior Joel Vaske, who was the top boys’ shooter. Congratulations to the top archers!

The annual Garrigan calendar drive recently wrapped up, and we held the award for the top sellers last week. This year’s top seller was freshman Bryce Capesius, who turned in 98 sales. Second place went to seventh grader Reese Rosenmeyer, with 88 calendars sold. Sixteen different students turned in at least thirty calendars each, and we’re proud to say we once again met our overall goal.

Money from the calendar drive goes to support the school’s transportation budget. In the two decades we’ve been selling calendars, we’ve managed to update several buses and suburbans. This year even after expenses we’ll have more than $40,000 to help out with transportation expenses. Thanks to everyone who helped out the school by buying Garrigan calendars.

Another way you can help the school is through the student council’s magazine drive. Starting last year all our magazine sales have been online. There’s a link at the bottom of the “What’s New” page on that takes you directly to our fundraising page. In addition to magazines, a wide variety of holiday gifts are available. You can designate any student you want to get credit for your purchases. Forty percent of what you buy helps the student council support activities and provide service projects.

Last Sunday thirteen Garrigan students and staff members gathered over at the Congregational Church for the annual CROP Walk. The CROP Walk helps raise money to fight hunger. One-fourth of the money stays right here in Algona to aid organizations like the food pantry, while the rest helps development in Third World countries. For more than a decade Garrigan’s Christian Leadership in Action group has been the single largest group participating in the CROP Walk, and we were pleased to join together with several area churches in raising more than $4,000 this year to help out those in need.

Our senior spotlight this week shines on Devin David Degen – a.k.a. the Magic Man, a.k.a. Degz. Here to tell you about him is Andrew Lallier.

You probably saw Big Daddy Degen in the sports section of the Algona paper last summer, since there were lots of pictures of him as the starting third baseman on the baseball team. Devin is also a two-way starter on the Golden Bear football team, and he helped set a new school record while running at state track last spring. He’s a regular announcer here on the “Bear Facts”, and his other big activity is quiz bowl, where he was part of the first Golden Bear team to make playoffs at nationals. Devin plans to major in science at college, and we wish him good luck in the future.

Thanks, Andrew! On our Golden Bear calendar this week there’s the big home quiz bowl tournament today at Garrigan. The opening meeting is at 9:40, and competition begins at 10am.

Also today there’s the “Real Men Sing” event at Wartburg College in Waverly. Monday the JV football team plays at Sioux Central. Then Tuesday the volleyball team begins regional play, as they host CAL of Latimer.

We’ll have a student mass on Wednesday morning. Then on Thursday the cross-country team will run in the state qualifying meet at West Sioux in Hawarden. Finally next Friday the football team wraps up their regular season with a big match-up against Britt West Hancock.

That’s the “Bear Facts” for another week. Thanks for joining us, and be sure to catch the show again next week for more news from Bishop Garrigan High School.