The Bear Facts
May 18, 2024

Good morning! I’m Thadd Kollasch!

I’m Tate Foertsch!

I’m Brady Galligan! Welcome to our last “Bear Facts” of the 2023-24 school year, where we’re looking forward to summer here at Bishop Garrigan High School.

Last Thursday both the boys and girls track teams competed in the state qualifying meet up at Armstrong, and we’re proud to say that Bishop Garrigan had thirteen events advance to state. On the girls side Abbie Capesius qualified individually in the 100-meter, 200-meter, and 400-meter dash, while Reagan Murphy advanced to state in the 100-meter hurdles, the 100-meter dash, and the 200-meter dash.

The girls sprint medley relay is also running at state. That race features Emmi Bartolo, Zoe Montag, Reagan Murphy, and Abbie Capesius. Alternates for the girls at state are Violet Bode and Molly Peterson.

On the boys side Amaury Thomas advanced to state in the discus, and Justin Bauer made it to state in the 400-meter dash. The boys also qualified four different relays. One of those was the sprint medley with Caden Roethler, Owen Murphy, Trayton Cink, and Justin Bauer; and another was the shuttle hurdle featuring Sam Plathe, Owen Murphy, Kyle Bormann, and Tate Foertsch.

The boys 4 x 200 relay features Sam Plathe, Trayton Cink, Nick Leerar, and Owen Murphy; and the 4 x 400 includes Caden Roethler, Owen Murphy, Andrew Lichter, and Justin Bauer. Besides those in other events, the alternates at state include Ethan Marso, Brady Galligan, Lucas Behounek, Benjy Trainer, and Michael Joyce.

Golfer Ethan Kuper is also headed to state. At the district meet over in LeMars last Monday, Ethan shot a 1 under par 74, which was good enough to qualify him for the state meet next week in Ames. Ben Greteman just missed the cut-off, with a score of 76 at district. Congrats to all the Bears on a good golf season, and good luck to Ethan at state!

Summer sports are here. The Golden Bear baseball team is hoping to defend their Top of Iowa Conference championship this summer, and they’ve got a busy schedule of games on the calendar. The returning seniors on this year’s team are Justin Bauer, Drew Lappe, and Benjy Trainer.

There’s a lot of talent among the younger players as well. Juniors Keaton Helleseth, Drew Muller, Thadd Kollasch, Nick Leerar, Daniel Meis, Brady Galligan, and Scott Bormann will be key to the Bears’ success; as will sophomores Carter Schwab, Tate Foertsch, and Kayden Graves. The baseball team also includes freshmen Eli Casey, Leo Snyder, Karson Sidles, Aidan Deitering,, Nathan Leerar, and Madden Miller.

There are also eleven eighth graders on the baseball team. They include Brad Meister, Hayden Miller, Teague Alesch, Nolan Antoine, Karson Kramer, and Henry Bode; as well as Sean Thilges, Alec Deitering, Gage Meyer, Miles Denker, and Woodrow Wells. Good luck all summer, baseball!

The softball team returns a lot of experience and is looking for a great season. At the core of the team are seniors Ella Schaaf, Abbie Capesius, and Violet Bode; plus juniors Hanna Merron, Zoe Montag, and Molly Peterson. Sophomores Sacha Alesch and Alyssa Haugland and freshmen Bree Ludwig and Shiloh Trainer round out the team.

The softball team also features seven eighth graders. They are Emma Garman, Gabby Buscher, Brooklyn Berte, and Jenna Peterson; as well as Cate Birkey, Jayden Deike, and Lilly Wickman. Good luck all summer long to the Golden Bear softball team!

Next Thursday four of our recent graduates will be leaving to head south for national quiz bowl. They’ll be traveling to New Orleans for the 2024 National Academic Championships. The competition will take place Saturday and Sunday, May 25 and 26 at the New Orleans Convention Center. Ben Greteman, Zach Warren, Brendan Plathe, and Sam Plathe will represent the Bears at nationals.

This is the quiz bowl team’s first trip to nationals since the COVID-19 pandemic, when they competed virtually online. In addition to competing, the team will wander through the French Quarter, check out the southern wildlife, and spend time on the Gulf Coast beaches. They’ll return on Wednesday, May 29. Good luck at nationals to Coach David Burrow and the quiz bowl team!

At graduation last week seniors were awarded more than $448,000 in scholarships, many of which are renewable throughout their years in college. Every single senior earned at least one financial award. Among the new scholarships awarded this year, Gavin Menke won the Armed Service Award, Sam Plathe won the Toni Tucker Cunningham Scholarship, Ava Hough and Brendan Plathe received awards in memory of Colleen Hagerty.

Nick Laubenthal won an award in honor of Terry Buscher, Reagan Murphy got a scholarship remembering Jerry Weydert, Brendan Plathe received the Elijah Gelhaus scholarship, and Caden Roethler won a scholarship in memory of Judith Rosenmeyer. Thanks to these and all the other donors who provide scholarships for our graduates at Bishop Garrigan.

On our Golden Bear calendar, state track wraps up today, and the boys state golf meet is next Monday and Tuesday. Thursday the quiz bowl team leaves for nationals in New Orleans. The band will play at the Algona courthouse on Memorial Day.

There’s baseball and softball games all through May and June. Most nights the girls play varsity first, followed by JV, while the boys play JV and then varsity. The big CYO tournament will be June 1.

Baseball playoffs start Saturday, July 6, while softball starts playoffs on Monday, July 8. Both teams hope to advance to the state tournament the week of July 22.

Fall sports camps are the week of August 5th through 9th, and practices officially begin for volleyball, football, and cross-country on Monday, August 12. Then, before we know it, the calendar will show Friday, August 23rd, and it will be time for school to start again.

That wraps up our 32nd season of the “Bear Facts”. We want to say a special thanks to KLGA and to all the sponsors who have helped keep the show on the air all these years. Thanks to our faculty sponsor David Burrow and to all nineteen of the announcers who have reported the news this year.

We also say a big thank-you to you for tuning in to our show, and we remind you that if you missed any episodes, you can listen to the archive online at We’ll be off through the summer, but we hope to be back again on Saturday, August 31, to bring you more news from Bishop Garrigan High School.