Good morning! I’m Danielle Plathe!

I’m Logan Capesius!

And I’m Andrew Thilges! Thanks for tuning in to the “Bear Facts”. Happy Thanksgiving from all of us here at Bishop Garrigan High School.

We originally weren’t planning to have a show this week, because of the holiday weekend. However, due to technical difficulties, last week’s show didn’t air on KLGA—though, as always, the script and an .mp3 recording of the show were archived on the school website. At any rate, we thought it was important to catch everybody up on all the stuff that’s been going on with the Golden Bears.

This is Thanksgiving weekend, and we’ve definitely got a lot to be thankful here at Garrigan. We’re thankful for how well our volleyball teams did in playoffs, and we’re thankful to have had two cross-country runners make it to state. We’re thankful for our danz squad, who did awesome in solos and will be competing for another state title next weekend. We’re also thankful for our musicians, who put on a great musical and had three all-state choir selections.

One of the things we’re thankful for is that while most schools in Iowa were done playing football a month ago, the Golden Bears were still on the gridiron last week. The 1-A championship game was the closest in any class, and while the Bears came one point short of the state championship, we’re still grateful for the wonderful year they’ve had.

While Garrigan is always a contending football team, this was the first time the Bears made it to the Dome since 2005. No one expected much of the team at the start of the season, but they took the motto “Why not us” to heart and played beyond everyone’s expectations. The Bears led all through the semi-final game against Council Bluffs St. Albert a week ago, and that advanced them to the state championship game. It was a hard-fought game, and the Bears gave it everything they had. They came up just short, falling to Gladbrook—Reinbeck 20 – 19.

At the end of the championship game, Garrigan’s thirteen senior football players walked off the field proudly. This has been a great year for Gibson Behr, Mat Thul, Max Patkins, Grant Buscherfeld, Grant Arndorfer, Andrew Meister, Levi Capesius, Nick Mergen, Chase winkel, Andrew Thilges, Mark Mather, Chase Hatten, and Joel Vaske. Congratulations to them, to Coach Marty Wadle, and to the whole Golden Bear football team.

There was also good news recently for the Golden Bear quiz bowl team. Garrigan hosted the Top of Iowa Conference quiz bowl tournament two weeks ago, and for the second straight year the Bears ended up taking the conference championship. The team of Ben Degen, Logan Heying, Levi Capesius, and Sam Trainer finished the day with a perfect 7 – 0 record. In preliminary matches they beat Nashua—Plainfield, North Union, Lake Mills, and North Iowa. They advanced through playoffs and defeated Forest City to take the overall championship.

A second Garrigan team also made playoffs. Logan Capesius, Andrew Thilges, Ben Fogarty, and Josh Hamilton were also undefeated in preliminary games. They fell to the championship Garrigan team in playoffs to take fourth place overall. The Golden Bear win qualifies Garrigan to make its 18th trip to the National Academic Championship, and we’re tentatively planning to head to nationals in New Orleans over Memorial Day weekend. Congratulations, quiz bowl!

Last Wednesday we celebrated our annual memorial mass for deceased alumni. This is one of the biggest traditions we have at Garrigan, and each year we welcome families of more and more of our Garrigan graduates who have passed away. In addition to our graduates, this year we also thought of the Garrigan staff who have died, particularly longtime president Gene Meister. Thanksgiving is an appropriate time to remember those who have died, and we’re thankful for all they’ve done for our school.

State dance will be next week, and the Golden Bear danz squad is looking to again do well. They’ll be competing in both the pom and kick competitions. The kick routine is to “Wizards of Winter” by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, while the pom routine is a mix called “Boom Boom, Shake Shake”. The team will be competing next Thursday at Wells Fargo Center in Des Moines. Good luck, danz squad!

Our Senior Spotlight this week shines on Chase Hatten. Chase is a Bancroft native who was an important part of the state football team. He has also run at the state track meet, he’s won all-conference honors in baseball, he’s lettered in basketball, and he’s part of the target shooting team. Chase would like to go to UNI next year, where he plans to major in construction management. We wish Chase all the best in the future.

On this week’s Golden Bear calendar, tomorrow is the first Sunday of Advent. The football team will have their award potluck tomorrow afternoon.

We’ll have a candle-lighting service at school on Monday morning. That night the JJV basketball teams play at Belmond, while the varsity boys play at St. Edmond.

Tuesday the 29th there’s a basketball quad, with the Bears hosting Belmond—Klemme. Then on Thursday and Friday the danz squad will be in Des Moines hoping to win another state championship.

That’s the “Bear Facts” for November. We hope everyone enjoys the holiday weekend, and we hope you’ll join us next Saturday for more news from Bishop Garrigan High School.