DECEMBER 15, 2007

Good morning! I'm Kory Wieland!

I'm Kristina Schiltz!

I'm Megan Hilbert!

And I'm Holly Byrkeland! Welcome once again to the "Bear Facts" Happy Holidays from everyone here at Bishop Garrigan High School.

It's Advent now, the time when we prepare for the coming of Christ. At Garrigan that's always a time for a lot of different service projects, and this year is no different. The faculty and staff had their annual Christmas party last weekend, and they took up a collection that raised $500 to buy gifts for residents at the area care centers. Publications students bought and wrapped those gifts, which should be delivered just in time for Christmas.

There's a lot of other service projects, too. Last Wednesday student council officers went shopping for clothes and toys to make the holidays a happier time for a needy family they adopted from the Kossuth County CARE Team's list. Garrigan's Christian Leadership in Action group is sponsoring two collections. They're taking winter coats for people who need them, and they're also participating in the Toys for Tots program. The collections are going on all through Advent, and the goods will be distributed right before Christmas.

Christian Leadership also holds a variety of prayer services during Advent. Each week they hold a brief service for the student body where we light the candles on our school Advent wreath. Next Monday they'll have a more involved service where they explain the origins of a variety of holiday traditions. At the climax of that service, a large number of Garrigan's seniors will be commissioned as Eucharistic ministers who will distribute the bread and wine both at school liturgies and at masses in their local parishes.

The Golden Bear quiz bowl team continued their winning ways last Saturday. While math team and the ACTs took away a lot of the top quiz bowl talent, that didn't stop a team of three Garrigan freshmen from winning the freshman/sophomore division at the South O'Brien Wolverine Quiz Bowl in Paullina. Jake Rosenmeyer, Michael Fakler, and Mike Hellman had a 3 - 1 record after the preliminary rounds and were only seeded fourth going into playoffs. They managed to defeat top-rated Sioux Central in the semifinals, though, and they obliterated Unity Christian to take home the championship trophy. This is the second time a young Garrigan team has won a quiz bowl tournament this year.

There's more quiz bowl action today, with the Bears heading up to Spirit Lake for a tournament that was postponed by the ice storm two weeks ago. Ethan Dahlhauser, Shane Koob, Brittany Berte, Rebeccah Erdman, and Anna Kollasch will make up Garrigan's varsity team; while Mark Poeppe, Brent Kajewski, Jacob Zittritsch, Michael Falker, and Alex Hamilton will be playing in the JV division. There's more quiz bowl action after Christmas, with January tournaments scheduled at North Kossuth and Aplington-Parkersburg.

Rehearsals are well underway for the Golden Bear large group speech team. This year Garrigan will have varsity and freshman entries in readers' theatre and improvisation, as well as varsity choral reading, one-act play, musical theatre, and mime. Among those participating in speech this year are seniors Amber Broesder, Carrie Courtney, Melanie Myers, Melissa Cruise, Ashli Krieps, Casey Arndorfer, Gina Rasmussen, Becca Kramer, Megan Boever, Michelle Kollasch, and Allison Missal; plus juniors Gui Klein, Jenna Richter, Sam Norland, Joe Straub, Jade Kajewski, Rebecca Brosnan, Amy Rasmussen, and Brian Patterson, Holly Byrkeland, and Alec Boeckholt.

Sophomores in speech are Cassie Reising, Katrina Even, Taylor Brandenburg, Kelly Klein, Beth Broesder, Brittany Berte, and Becky Erdman; and rounding out the team are freshmen Nora Krahenbuhl, Brie Blocker, Becky Jennings, Anna Kollasch, Ryya Kumm, Mike Hellman, Alex Hamilton, and Jake Rosenmyer. The team is coached by Mary McCall and David Burrow, and they're looking forward to district contest January 19 at Spencer. Go, speech!

Our Senior Spotlight this week shines on Ashli Krieps and Andrew Elbert.

Ashli Krieps is the youngest member of a Sexton family who has had kids at Garrigan for many years. Ashli is a very active student who especially likes music. In addition to performing in the holiday music concerts, Ashli is looking forward to being part of the speech team's musical theatre entry next month. She'll be off to college next year, and we wish her all the best in the future.

Andrew Elbert is a Whittemore native who is probably best known for his accomplishments in sports. He was part of the football team that had an undefeated regular season last fall, and this winter he's a starter on the Golden Bear basketball team. Andrew will also be a college man next fall, and we wish him all the best.

On our Golden Bear calendar this week, there's quiz bowl today in Spirit Lake. Monday we'll have the Advent traditions service. That night the freshman basketyball teams host Estherville, and the varsity teams play at Pocahontas.

Tuesday the school board meets. There's a basketball quad at Humboldt that night. Then on Wednesday we'll have the annual Christmas band concert and art show.

Thursday morning we'll have our schoolwide Christmas liturgy at St. Cecelia's. That night the freshman basketball teams play Algona at Burt. Friday we'll have an early dismissal for the holidays.

Friday night there's the traditional Bear-Bulldog crosstown holiday match-up. This year the varsity games are at AHS, with Garrigan hosting the JV.

inally this week we want to give a special get well wish to junior Jack Bradley, who was hospitalized this past week. Everybody misses you, Jack. Get back here, soon.

That's the "Bear Facts" for this week. We'll be back with our special holiday show next Saturday, so be sure to join us then for more news from Bishop Garrigan High School.


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