The Bear Facts
December 1, 2018

Good morning! I’m Bryce Capesius!

I’m Meredith Tigges!

And I’m John Meis! Thanks for joining us for the “Bear Facts”. Happy December from everyone here at Bishop Garrigan High School.

We just got back from Thanksgiving vacation, and now it’s just three weeks until Christmas. There’s always lots of special events during the holiday festivities, and one of those is coming up this week. It’s the annual band concert and art show. Art teachers Christina Newton and Deb Specht have been working to bring out students’ creativity, and there should be a nice variety of artwork on display.

At the Christmas concert band director Katherine Wiemers will show how much progress her students have made through the years. She’ll start with the upper elementary kids who have just been practicing since the beginning of the school year. Then the junior high and high school bands will play increasingly more complex pieces. The concert will start at 7:00 Wednesday night, and we know it will be an enjoyable evening.

Another special musical event will be next Saturday, when the a cappella group Tonic Sol Fa will be performing in Algona. On a tour that includes major cities throughout the Midwest, Algona is by far the smallest town they’re visiting. Tonic Sol Fa will be coming to town because Algona is the home of the group’s lead vocalist, Bishop Garrigan graduate Shaun Johnson. Shaun organized his own quartet back when he was in high school, and that led to a formal a cappella group when he was in college.

Tonic Sol Fa went on to sing professionally, and in the past twenty-five years they have sold millions of CDs and was part of the best-selling holiday DVD at Wal-Mart. They have starred in their own Christmas specials and appeared as guests on many other TV shows. The group has won Grammy and Emmy awards and toured five continents, but next Saturday you can see them performing right here in Algona. Tickets are still available for the performance, which will be at 7:00 Saturday at the Wilcox Center by Algona High. It’s a great way to begin the Christmas season.

The Golden Bear danz squad competed at state this past Thursday, and they kept up a long tradition of success in dance at Garrigan, with entries in the kick and pom divisions. This year’s danz squad inclues Bella Capesius, Laurel Degen, Tabi Kollasch, Olivia Morey, Halle Menke, and Cora Ricke; as well as Grace DeLange, Ella Nelson, Meredith Illg, Lillee Deike, Riley Rosenmeyer, Katelyn Cink, and Molly Bormann. Former Garrigan dancers Ashley Meyer and Katie Miller coach dance at BGHS. Congratulations, danz squad!

This is a busy time of year for the Golden Bear quiz bowl team. After missing a tournament two weeks ago because of snow, this past week they competed in the nationwide 3—2—1 quiz, and today they’re up in Spirit Lake for another regional tournament. Competing for the Bears today are seniors Logan Heying and Bryce Capesius, junior Grant Bormann, and sophomores Aric Laubenthal, Amanda Thilges, and Noah Bronk. Good luck, quiz bowl!

This year Garrigan is celebrating our diamond anniversary. The school opened in 1959, and over the years it’s been home to more than 4,000 Golden Bears. The official sixtieth anniversary celebration will begin with Catholic Schools Week at the end of January, and it will go through Homecoming next fall. The main focus will be a reunion weekend next summer, including a big mass on the new track. Mark your calendar for June 28 and 29, when we’ll be celebrating sixty years here at Garrigan.

Our senior spotlight this week shines on Tristan Furgeson. Tristan is an Algona native who towers above most of his classmates. His height is one of the reasons he’s successful as the “sixth man” on the Golden Bear basketball team. Tristan tied a record for the longest punt return in football, and he’s been to state in track. Tristan is also part of the crew that maintains the student website—, and he’s one of the behind the scenes people who brings the “Bear Facts” CD to KLGA each week. Tristan will be off to college next year, and we wish him all the best in the future.

On our Golden Bear calendar this week, there’s quiz bowl this morning in Spirit Lake. This afternoon the basketball teams hope to continue their winning ways as they host Mason City Newman.

Tomorrow is the first Sunday of Advent. We’ll have an Advent prayer service on Monday, and that night the JJV basketball teams are in action—with the boys hosting Humboldt and the girls hosting Lake Mills.

There’s a JV/varsity boy/girl basketball quad on Tuesday, with the Bears traveling to Lake Mills. We’ll have mass and an early dismissal on Wednesday, and that night there’s the Christmas band concert and art show.

Friday the Bears host Eagle Grove in a basketball quad. Saturday is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. There’s quiz bowl at South O’Brien that day, and that night is the Tonic Sol Fa concert.

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

LB 11/29/18