The Bear Facts
August 25, 2018

Good morning! I’m Jordan Hansen!

I'm Abbi Heying!

And I’m Amanda Miller! Welcome to another year of the “Bear Facts”, where today we’re stating our twenty-seventh year on KLGA, bringing you all the news from Bishop Garrigan High School.

A lot has happened since we signed off for the year last spring. Both the boys and girls Golden Bear golf teams qualified for state, Both teams finished in seventh place statewide, and on the boys side Andrew Arndorfer ended up third in the state as an individual. Competing for the girls were Bella Capesius, Lexi Berte, Grace Menke, Madison Illg, Anna Berke, and Kelly Baade; while the boys team included Andrew Arndorfer, Tommy Kollasch, Parker Schiltz, Kyle Schaaf, Grayson Rowlet, and Adyn Rowlet. Congratulations, golfers!

The Golden Bears also had both boys and girls competing at state track. The best showing was by recent graduate Caitlin Thilges, who took third place in the discus. Others competing at state were Drake Buscherfeld, John Meis, Tristan Furgeson, Joe Meis, Brad Capesius, T.J. Schnurr, Alisa Altman, Laurel Degen, Livia Miller, Isabelle Davis, Aubrey McEnroe, Olivia Hall, Maddie Meister, and Jenna Boelter. Nice job, state track qualifiers!

Both the baseball and softball teams had good seasons and advanced in playoffs. In softball Gigi Byrkeland, Maddie Meister, and Mackenzie Meister all won all-state honors. In addition to them, Jenna Boelter, Amanda Miller, Emma Fogarty, and Alisa Altman were all-conference honorees, and Caitlin Thilges earned academic all-state honors.

Gigi Byrkeland was named the team’s Most Valuable Player. Amanda Miller was Pitcher of the Year, Emma Fogarty and Aubree Altman were Infielders of the Year, and Maddie Meister was Outfielder of the Year. Jenna Boelter won the Golden Glove award, Mackenzie Meister was Big Hitter, Bailey Meister was Rookie of the Year, and Katie Noonan was the Most Improved Player. Caitlin Thilges won the Bear Pride Award, Alisa Altman received the Coach’s Award, and Jenna Boelter earned the Chuck and Eileen Bell “Fight Like a Champion” Award.

There were three new entries in the record book for 2018. Gigi Byrkeland tied the season home run record, with 5. Maddie Meister had 31 stolen bases, to tie the season record, and Maddie Meister had a perfect 1.000 fielding record to tie that season record. Congratulations on a great season to the softball team!

In baseball Drake Buscherfeld was an all-state honoree. He also earned all-conference honors, as did Drew Bacha, Brad Capesius, Alex Mammen, Luke Bormann, John Meis, and John Joyce. Drew Bacha and Drake Buscherfeld were this year’s MVPs., Isaiah Byrkeland was Rookie of the Year, and Drake Buscherfeld and Luke Bormann received the Cy Young pitching award.

Colby Graves and Marcus Plathe were the Bears’ Most Improved Players. Luke Bormann and John Joyce earned the Gold Glove Award, and Brad Capesius and Alex Mammen earned Silver Slugger Honors. The Golden Bear Pride Award was split between Logan Heying, Drew Merron, and John Meis. Nice job, baseball!

This past June the Golden Bear quiz bowl team made their 19th trip to the National Academic Championships. This year they went to Florida, and in addition to competition they toured the Kennedy Space Center and visited Universal Studios—Orlando. The games were the main reason for the trip, though, and the Bears did very well in competition. They won four games at nationals and made playoffs for just the second time in school history.

Garrigan beat teams from New Jersey, Texas, Arkansas, and Oklahoma at nationals, and they ended up with the number six seed going into playoffs. They fell in the quarterfinals to Plano West High School, a team from the Dallas area that would go on to win the national championship. Team members included recent graduates Ben Degen, Tommy Kollasch, Sam Trainer, and Trevor Darling and seniors Logan Heying and Gabe Trainer. Congratulations on an impressive showing at nationals, quiz bowl!

For the past twenty-six years we’ve started begun our weekly Senior Spotlights by highlighting our student council presidents. This week we’re shining the spotlight on Eric Thul. Here to tell you about him is Meredith Tigges.

Eric Thul has grown up in both Whittemore and Algona. You probably know him best from football, where he plays running back and linebacker. He also runs track, and he’s very talented in the performing arts. Eric has won both individual and group awards in choir, and he’s been active in drama and large-group speech events all through school. Eric is also in Christian Leadership in Action, and he’s one of this year’s student council co-presidents. We wish Eric all the best in his senior year and in college!

Thanks, Meredith. On our Golden Bear calendar this week, there’s a volleyball tournament today at Ft. Dodge St. Edmond. Then on Monday the JV football team travels to Garner.

Tuesday is school picture day at Garrigan. That night the cross-country team runs at Mason City Newman. Then on Wednesday there’s confirmation orientation.

Thursday the volleyball team will play at Lake Mills. Next Friday we’ll have the kick-off for the annual calendar drive, and there’s an early dismissal that afternoon. Friday night the Golden Bear football team will be hosting Newman.

That’s our first “Bear Facts” for this year. Thanks for joining us, and be sure to tune in every Saturday to hear all the news from Bishop Garrigan High School.