The Bear Facts
September 26, 2020

 Good morning! I’m Abbi Heying!

 I’m Joseph Trainer!

 And I’m Meredith Tigges! Thanks for joining us for the “Bear Facts”, the radio show where each week we bring you all the news from Bishop Garrigan High School.

 A week ago we held Homecoming here at Garrigan, and on last week’s “Bear Facts” we gave you partial results from the week. When we recorded last week’s show, we had not yet crowned the King and Queen, and we’re pleased to announce that our Homecoming royalty for 2020 are Gracie Elsbecker and Mitch Buscherfeld. Congratulations, Mitch and Gracie!

 The class competition also continued after we finished last week’s show. In the parade banner contest, there was a three-way tie for first place between the freshmen, juniors, and seniors, with the sophomores bringing up the rear. The freshmen unanimously won the spirit square competition, with the seniors, sophomores, and juniors following behind.

 We collected donations for the Kossuth County Food Pantry and took in 649 non-perishable food items. The juniors were the easy winners, followed by the sophomores, freshmen, and seniors. There was also a “Nickels for Novels” collection that raised $625 for the library. The juniors also won that contest, with the seniors, freshmen, and sophomores behind. When all the events were added together, it was a pretty traditional Homecoming class competition, with the Class of 2021 taking first place overall. Congratulations, seniors!

 COVID-19 has changed a lot of school activities this year. In addition to cancelling pretty much everything last spring, it’s also affecting a lot of fall events. There will be no Algona Band Day this year, and also no state marching contest. However, Garrigan’s Solid Gold Marching Band has been preparing a show this fall based on the music of Bon Jovi. They will be presenting a special showcase next Wednesday at 8pm, and everyone is welcome to see their hard work on display.

 Another activity that will be different this year is quiz bowl. With many schools limiting transportation for school activities, most of this year’s quiz bowl tournaments will be online events. The first of the season will be the traditional Bishop Garrigan Quiz Bowl, which will be held online in mid-October. Garrigan competed online at nationals last summer, and they’re hoping their home tournament will be successful, too.

 COVID-19 has affected sports all over Iowa. This past week Garrigan was supposed to play North Iowa in volleyball. There was no game on Tuesday, though, because North Iowa had suspended their fall sports program. Garrigan has also been affected by the coronavirus, with athletes in all our sports having to quarantine at different points during the season. Fortunately other players stepped up, and our teams were able to keep playing.

 In school the biggest change because of the pandemic is probably that desks are spaced wide apart in every room. Health department guidelines say people should stay at least six feet apart to be safe, so the desks throughout the school are spaced six feet apart. We’re also spaced out in the gym and at lunch. It isn’t perfect—and even with the best efforts, people have tested positive for the virus. We’re trying to do our best to keep everybody safe, though.

 This fall there are a couple of new faces at the high school, though they really aren’t all that new. Last spring long-time social studies teacher Ron Patterson retired. Taking his place was his son, Brian Patterson, a Garrigan graduate who had already helped out as a baseball coach. Also new this fall at Garrigan is resource teacher Jennifer Kirsch. We know her because she’s the mother of senior Derrick Kirsch. Welcome to Mrs. Kirsch and Mr. Patterson. We’re glad to have them here at Garrigan.

 Our Senior Spotlight this week shines on Mitch Buscherfeld. Here to tell you about him is Jack Snyder.

 Mitch Buscherfeld comes from a family of football players, and he’s a stand-out lineman for the Golden Bears. He also participates in track, and away from school he works at G.D.M. Woodworking. He likes playing ping pong, and he enjoys grilling, and of course last week he was elected Homecoming king. Congratulations, and best witches in the future, Mitch!

 Thanks, Jack. On this week’s Golden Bear calendar, the volleyball team is hosting a tournament this morning. Then tomorrow there’s a confirmation retreat for the sophomores.

 Monday the cross-country team runs in the Algona Invitational at River Road, the closest thing they have to a home meet. There’s also JV football that night at St. Ed’s.

 Tuesday afternoon we’ll induct twelve seniors into the National Honor Society. That ceremony was postponed from last spring due to the pandemic. There’s volleyball that night ,with the Bears hosting Forest City.

 There’s mass on Wednesday morning, and we’ll have an early dismissal for teacher inservice. Wednesday night the marching band will have their special showcase.

 Thursday the month of October begins. We’ll have picture re-takes at Garrgian that day, and that afternoon there’s cross-country at Estherville, which was postponed from early September. Finally next Friday there’s football at Manson.

 That’s the “Bear Facts” for September. Thanks for joining us, and be sure to catch the show again next week for more news from Bishop Garrigan High School.