The Bear Facts

June 5, 1993


Good morning! I'm Matt Erpelding!

And I'm Dawn Bormann! You're listening to "Bear Facts," the radio show from Bishop Garrigan High School. Welcome to our last edition of the school year.

School's out for summer! The bell rang for the last time on Wednesday, and we've all been sleeping in, hanging out, and enjoying our time off. It's been quite a school year at Garrigan, though, and there are a lot of memories to look back on. It all started off with Homecoming, where a special week celebrating the "Dream Team" led into the big game against West Bend/Mallard. In winter we got to cheer on our real dream team, as the boys' basketball team made their first-ever trip to state and finished in the final four. Prom was another time to celebrate, as couples enjoyed an evening of romance "Under the Sea". Then there was Gala '93, where friends of the school gathered for a riverboat cruise right in the Garrigan gym.

During the year we saw an outstanding show in the fall play "Exit the Body" as well as serious drama in the spring production of "The Crucible". Speech and music students went to all-state, the quiz bowl team took home trophy after trophy, and the holidays came alive with the madrigal dinner. When Garrigan hosted the Catholic Choral Festival, more than 700 students filled the gym with music. Later in the year, Miss America paid a special visit to that same Garrigan gym. Then there were the trips. Art students went to the Renaissance Fair, the ecology class went river-rafting, the health classes visited the Mayo Clinic, the senior science students went to Chicago, and the whole band spent a fun-filled weekend in Kansas City.


Several students tried out new activities this year. Garrigan students explored such diverse areas as mock trial, history fair, and citizen bee. There was success in older areas, too. We saw improvement from the volleyball, cross-country, and girls' basketball teams, and when track season came around, we were all proud when our team produced a state champion and two runners-up. Overall, it was a pretty awesome year--both for those of us just starting out at Garrigan, like I was as a freshman, and for people like Dawn, who graduated this year.

Now that summer's here, it's time for softball season to begin. The Garrigan softball teams have great potential this year. There are two seniors--Donna Arndorfer and Erin Richter--and six juniors, plus lots of sophomores and freshmen, which makes for two large and very substitutable teams. The girls are coached by Father Randy Schon and assistant coach Gary Kinseth, fondly referred to as "Keno" by the players. The girls tried to open their season last Tuesday, but were stopped by rainy weather. We know the sun will shine on their next outing, though. They'll be playing today in the Algona Classic.

A group of about twenty Garrigan students are counting the days until August 10. That's when they'll be leaving for a five-day trip to the World Youth Rally in Denver, Colorado. The group has worked all year with car washes, bake sales, suppers, and jeans days to help raise money for the trip. They'll travel by bus to Colorado, where they hope to stay in churches or schools in the Denver area. The highlight of the trip will be hearing Pope John Paul II speak on young people who will guide the future.


With school over, we'd like to tell you a little bit about what different people will be doing to pass the time during the summer. We did an informal survey, and here's some of the results. A lot of the teachers will be working or going to school themselves. English teacher Sue Ney, for instance, is studying at Drake this summer. Counselor Lynn Miller will be working. Math teacher David Burrow is teaching at Iowa Lakes this summer and will also be taking two classes on the side. Choral director Todd Ulmer is giving voice lessons and also plans on painting his house. Principal Gene Meister will be busy all summer coaching baseball. Only secretary Bonnie Esser mentioned taking a vacation as the main part of her summer plans.

The students had more creative answers. Sophomore Aaron Twait, for instance, said "God only knows"--although we know that both he and Bear Facts reporter Matt Erpelding will be taking a class at Iowa Lakes this summer. Nikki Fickbohm plans on working. Barb Diers says she'll be working, going out, and getting ready to go on the Denver trip. Exchange student Petr Dokoupil will go on a fishing trip to Canada before returning to the Czech Republic. Finally, next year's student council president, Beany Bode, just said "duh" when we asked him, but we know he'll be keeping busy as a star pitcher on the Golden Bear baseball team.

There's two places where our staff spotlight hasn't shined yet. This week we're feat8uring two people who really make things work at Garrigan. Here's Nikki Fickbohm to tell you about them.

Walking through the halls of BGHS, you're sure to see Randy Pierson pushing his broom, or more likely talking on his walkie-talkie. Randy is one of our janitors, and he's responsible for keeping Garrigan as neat and tidy as he can. This spring he's also been driving the Whittemore bus route every morning and night. And when he's done with a day's work, Randy finally gets home to his wife and three kids. We're sorry to say that this will be Randy's last year at Garrigan. He's moving on to a new position at the Kossuth County Court House. Good luck, Randy!


Father Gerald Feierfeil is probably the best-known person in all of Garrigan. Father Feierfeil is a Sioux City native, who is still proud of his alma mater, Heelan High School. He was on the Garrigan staff a long time ago, and he returned to our school six years ago as a counselor. He replaced long-time superintendent Cecil Friedmann, and today, with the title of "president" Father Feierfeil is at the head of the school. Together with academic principal Gene Meister, Dean of Students Mike Stence, and the elementary staff--including Sr. Hermann, Mrs. Froehlich, and Sr. Renee--Fr. Feierfeil is in charge of a thousand students in the area Catholic schools. We're proud to salute him on our final show this year.

If we went through every event on the summer calendar, we'd have an endless list of baseball and softball games. Including all the various levels, there are 98 baseball games and 46 softball games on the schedule this summer. Important events include the CYO baseball tournament, which is this weekend in Carroll and the CYO softball tournament, which Garrigan will host next weekend--June 12 and 13.

Baseball play-offs start July 12. Last year the Bears went as far as substate, and we're crossing our fingers that another Garrigan "dream team" will go all the way this year. The softball team will start their play-offs the week of July 18.

Also on the summer calendar, Father Tim Johnson, a Garrigan graduate, will be ordained next weekend. Fr. Johnson will return to his native Wesley to say his first mass on June 13.

The Bike Ride Across Kossuth County will be June 19. Students involved in the Denver trip will help out by serving breakfast to the bikers. Then on June 20 there will be a farewell party for exchange student Petr Dokoupil.


Many students will be taking driver's ed this summer. Others are working, playing, or just relaxing. Whatever we're doing, we know it won't be long before that dreaded date--August 30--when school starts up again.

Finally, after listening to "The Bear Facts" all year long, we thought you might be interested in just what goes into making our broadcast each week. We start with a list of story ideas--based on activities and events in the school, as well as lists of seniors and staff members we can feature. Students volunteer to write the stories. Ideally they're written way ahead of time, but most often we end up dong them at the last minute. We turn the stories in to our faculty sponsor, Mr. David Burrow, who does a bit of editing and typs them up into a final script. He also finds announcers for each week's show, which can be tough when you have to work around everybody's busy schedule. Finally, on Wednesday or Thursday afternoon, we come out to KLGA to tape the show. We usually rehearse once to get the flow of the script and get the laughs out of our system. Then we zap a tape with the electromagnet to erase it, and try things out for real. If we goof things up badly, or if the sound volume of the announcers doesn't match well, we sometimes have to make two or three takes before we're done.

Some shows are easier to tape than others. Over the course of the year, some of the easiest and most fun include last week's graduation episode and our special Halloween feature. Among the hardest were our Homecoming show last fall--when Dawn just couldn't stop laughing--and the show two weeks ago--when I had a serious coughing attack and we ended up taping things three times. We've sometimes thought about making a "bloopers" tape of all our worst efforts, but overall it's probably best that all the mistakes are lost to the zapping of the electromagnet.

That's "The Bear Facts" for this year. We'd like to thank our regular contributers, who include Jean Lappe, Matt Erpelding, Jenny Nord, and Dawn Bormann--as well as me, Nikki Fickbohm. We also thank about sixty other students who contributed to our show at one time or another. And we thank the good people at KLGA for making us welcome and for airing our broadcast throughout the year. Finally, thanks to you for listening. Have a good summer. We hope to return next fall with more news from Bishop Garrigan High School.


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