The Bear Facts ... November 19, 2005

Good morning! I'm Shane Koob!

And I'm Jennifer Vaske! Welcome once again to the "Bear Facts". Thanksgiving's coming up, and we've got a lot to be thankful for here at Bishop Garrigan High School.

The logs from the BGHS website this past week showed record numbers of people checking out our school online. We've also gotten cards and e-mails from as far away as Colorado, Arizona, Georgia, and New York. Plus dozens of people have traveled back to Iowa from places like Kansas City and Chicago, all for one reason. All those people are Garrigan alumni who remember what it's like to be a Golden Bear. This past week those faces from the past were offering their support to the athletes who are keeping the tradition alive today.

Yesterday, for just the third time in school history, Bishop Garrigan played in the state football championship. The Bears continued their Cinderella streak last week when they shut out the defending state champions, Council Bluffs St. Albert, to advance to the finals. We had to record this week's "Bear Facts" before the championship game was played, but we're confident we can say that every one of the Bears gave it all they had and played an awesome game at the Dome.

This was the Bear's thirteenth trip to playoffs, and "Lucky 13" depended on the efforts of our senior Golden Bears. There's one, Gavin Freking, who people on the internet say we "recruited". If we did, it was in third grade, when his family moved here from Remsen. The other seniors include Bob Geelan, Matt Kollasch, John Reding, Tim Lind, Jeff Lappe, and Nate Pierson, as well as Adam Elbert, Jude Studer, Jesse Studer, Spenser Rahm, and Joe Rahm. All of them have made a four year commitment to football, and it's great to see their efforts pay off.

Also key members of the Golden Bear team are juniors like Dustin Tindall, Ben Berte, Chris Loebach, and Brian Capesius. Other juniors included Tony Rouse, Alex Bradley, Scott Kollasch, Joe Dailey, Alex Hilbert, and Josh Rahm. The younger players often don't get as much credit, but they've made some key plays on special teams, and they're especially important in practice. This year's sophomores were David Frideres, A.J. Doughan, Chase Reding, D.J. Thompson, Andrew Elbert, John Parrish, and Kent Recker, plus Jake Grein, Nick Berte, Mike Garman, Lee Brashear, Chad Lambert, Shane Koob, Jake Lane, and Jacob Zittritsch. There were also three freshmen who were called up to varsity before playoffs: Joe Straub, Jack Bradley, and Kory Wieland. Congratulations on an outstanding season to all our Golden Bears!

Last Tuesday we inducted twenty new members into the BGHS chapter of the National Honor Society. NHS honors students who excel in scholarship, leadership, service, and character. The new members this year included juniors Kelli Black, Dustin Tindall, Marisa Spain, Chris Scobba, Rachel Byrkeland, and Brian Capesius, as well as Amanda Cruise, JoAnn Kirsch, Brittany Pfeffer, Ben Marso, Maria Kohlhaas, Chris Loebach, Tami Lallier, and Scott Kollasch. Also inducted were seniors Bridget Doughan, Nancy Syharath, Spenser Rahm, Kandice Roethler, Hope Grein, and Courtney Mergen.

The Garrigan NHS chapter also includes seventeen returning senior members. They are Ashley Waller, Tara Trenary, Kelly Schmidt, Andrea Arndorfer, Alison Brandenburg, Samantha Arndorfer, Alison Even, and Monica Schiltz; plus John Reding, Gavin Freking, Amanda Golwitzer, Eric Goodman, Kayla Reding, Lizzie Mayer, Jeff Lappe, Jacob Hellman, and Melissa Hilbert. Congratulations to all these honorees!

Last weekend the Golden Bear quiz bowl team made the playoffs and took home the fourth place trophy from the Third Annual Falcon Invitational Quiz Bowl at Aplington-Parkersburg. Jeff Lappe was captain for the Bears. His teammates included Alison Brandenburg, Joe Dailey, and Jesse Studer. The quiz bowl team is in action again today at MOC-Floyd Valley. Go, quiz bowl!

Our Senior Spotlight this week shines on Matt Kollasch and Nate Pierson. Here to tell you about them is Emily Reising.

Matt Kollasch doesn't call a lot of attention to himself, but he's been one of the most improved and most successful players on the Golden Bear football team. He had one of the key runs that led to the Bears' victory in the state semifinals. Matt was also part of the golf team that took the state runner-up trophy last spring. At school he enjoys computer and business classes. He's planning to go to Kirkwood next year, and we wish him all the best.

Many people have said that Nate Pierson has the ability to be a football kicker at the college level. Nate also did a great job as a receiver this year for the Bears. He has been a varsity basketball player, and we could use his height on the team again this year. Nate loves technology and was responsible for completely re-designing the home page on the Bishop Garrigan website. Nate will also be a college man next year, and we wish him good luck.

Thanks, Emily! Because of the Thanksgiving holiday, we have two weeks to review on our Golden Bear calendar. Today Jacob Hellman and Bridget Doughan are at the All-State Music Festival in Ames. Also freshmen Sam Norland and Chris Kellner and biology teacher Beany Bode are competing in the biggest cross-country run in America at Living History Farms, and the quiz bowl team is competing in Orange City.

Monday the girls basketball team begins their season with a home game against Sentral. Then Wednesday morning we'll have our Thanksgiving, with a special memorial tribute to all the deceased alumni in our Garrigan family.

We'll dismiss at 2:15 Wednesday afternoon. Thursday is Thanksgiving, and there's no school next Friday.

Sunday the 27th is the first Sunday of Advent. We'll have an Advent prayer service at school on Monay, the 28th. That night the boys basketball team plays at Sentral.

Tuesday the 29th the girls basketball team plays at Eagle Grove. Then on Thursday, December 1st the quiz bowl team will compete in the Knowledge Master. Also that night there's freshman basketball versus Emmetsburg.

Friday December 2nd the danz squad leaves for state. That night the Golden Bears host Iowa Falls, and the health occupations group will host a meal at the game. Then on Saturday the 3rd there's quiz bowl at Spirit Lake.

Finally this week we'd like to congratulate two Golden Bears who lettered as part of the Algona Bulldog swim team this fall. Congratulations to Becca Kramer and Caryn Taphorn.

That's the "Bear Facts" for November. We'll be off next week because of the Thanksgiving holiday, but be sure to join us again in two weeks for more news from Bishop Garrigan High School.

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