The Bear Facts

December 12, 2009

Good morning! I'm Rebeccah Erdman!

And I'm Taylor Brandenburg! A warm welcome from the "Bear Facts" and everyone here at Bishop Garrigan High School.

There's a lot of hardware in the lobby of the school right now, because last weekend was an incredibly successful time for lots of different teams at Garrigan. The biggest trophies belong to the Golden Bear danz squad, who competed at state down in Des Moines last Friday and Saturday. The girls won the state championship in both pom and hip-hop, and they also received the judges' choice award for the best routine of the day in any class. On top of all that the Bears earned a distinguished academic achievement award for having the highest combined grade point average of any dance team in the state.

Barb Stence and Coleen Conway-Schiltz coach this year's Golden Bear danz squad. The dancers include Rachel Molsberry, Kayla Schiltz, Taylor Brandenburg, Tina Berte, Aimee Dahlhauser, and Rebecca Molsberry; as well as Katie Miller, Kristen Berte, Hannah Bode, Laura Richter, Sara Poeppe, and Kim Schiltz. Rounding out the group are Savanna McNertney, Noelle Vitzthum, McKayla Foertsch, Logan Kumm, and Sam Kollasch. Congratulations to the danz squad on winning another state championship!

Last Saturday was also an outstanding day for the Golden Bear quiz bowl team. The Golden Bears won the championship at the Spirit Lake Invitational, one of the oldest and largest tournaments in the area. The team of Jake Rosenmeyer, Brittany Berte, Anna Kollasch, and Rebeccah Erdman was undefeated after the preliminary rounds, with wins over North Sentral Kossuth, North Iowa, Forest City, and MOC-Floyd Valley. By their point total they were seeded third going into playoffs. They edged past the host school from Spirit Lake 325 - 315 and then soundly defeated Unity Christian of Orange City to take the overall championship. The JV team-which included Michael Fakler, Alex Hamilton, Michael Hellman, Drew Magill, and Zachary Scobba-also did well, finishing in fifth place with a 3 - 1 record on the day.

The win is one of several recent successes that qualifies the quiz bowl team to make their eleventh trip to the National Academic Championships. They are planning to head to Washington, D.C., at the beginning of June to compete at nationals. We'll give you more information on that as the time gets closer.

Also last weekend the Golden Bear math team hosted their home tournament in the Great Plains Math League. After spending the day answering questions both individually and in teams the Bears ended up in second place overall. Jeff Broesder, Cassie Reising, Craig Kohlhaas, Allison Frideres, and Jenny Broesder competed for the Bears. Congratulations to them and to Coach Daryl Kohlhaas.

The Garrigan Christmas vocal concert was one of many events that got postponed this past week because of the big blizzard. The concert has been re-scheduled to tomorrow night, Sunday, December 13. It will be at 7pm in the sanctuary of St. Cecelia's Church. You can hear festive carols sung by separate and combined choirs from both the middle and high schools, and everyone is invited to join in the Hallelujah Chorus at the end. Be sure to come to St. Cecelia's tomorrow night at 7:00 for the holiday Christmas concert.

The other big holiday event will be next Wednesday, with the annual band concert and art show. You can hear how talent develops-from the brand new elementary kids who can barely play "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" to the high school band that tackles complex medleys of holiday carols. The band concert is combined with an art show featuring a wide variety of creations by student artists at Garrigan. We encourage you to check out the artwork and enjoy the sounds of the season. It will all be next Wednesday, December 16, at 7pm in Friedmann Auditorium.

Our Senior Spotlight this week shines on Taylor Brandenburg. Here to tell you about him is Cassie Reising.

Taylor Brandenburg is one of the reasons the danz squad did so well at state again this year. Taylor is a life-long dancer who will be performing with the all-Iowa squad this winter. She is also one of the top students in the school, and her high grades certainly helped the danz squad win their academic award. Taylor is a class leader in Christian Leadership, and she's also active in speech, quiz bowl, and a number of other activities. She'll be off to college next year, and we wish her all the best in the future.

Thanks, Cassie! On our Golden Bear calendar today there's quiz bowl at South O'Brien in Paullina. Then this afternoon the varsity Bears will host Clarion-Goldfield in a game that was postponed by the storm last Tuesday.

Tonight is the faculty Christmas party. Tomorrow is the Third Sunday of Advent, and at 7pm the choir will have their re-scheduled concert at St. Cecelia's.

We'll have Advent prayer during homeroom on Monday. That night the varsity Bears will travel to Pocahontas, while the freshmen play at Algona High.

Tuesday the school board meets. The JV and varsity basketball teams host Clear Lake that night, and the softball team will serve a supper during the games. Then on Wednesday there's an early dismissal for staff development.

Wednesday night the art show starts at 6:00, with the band concert beginning at 7pm. Thursday we'll have the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

Thursday night the freshman basketball teams play Pocahontas, with the boys away and the girls at home. Finally next Friday the varsity Bears travel to Webster City.

That's the "Bear Facts" for this week. Thanks for joining us, and be sure to join us again next week for our special Christmas show from Bishop Garrigan High School.

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