Friday, December 02, 2022

Pirouettes dance team, wrestlers open winter seasons (VIDEOS*)

It has been a very, very busy day, and I'm finally getting around to some serious blogging. We've got our first dance comp and also the first wrestling meet in the book! And I can't type fast enough here to get caught up. I've got three videos posted below, the second being my first winter sports show of the 2022-2023 season. At some point tonight I will get caught up on updating the Bonanza Valley Voice newspaper website. That was supposed to get done this morning, but it has been a battle all day staying on track. That's the kind of day I've had.

Here's the dance team and others enjoying the song 'Macarena' tonight at Minnewaska Area's high school gym:

The B-B-E/Paynesville Pirouettes dance team performed in the varsity jazz division. A total of seven teams were represented tonight along with our Pirouettes: Moorhead, Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City, Sauk Centre, Minnewaska Area, New London-Spicer and Montevideo. Our dance team features 13 on the roster, and seven of those girls performed tonight. They all did so well, and the team had a great time on what will be back-to-back days of dance comps. If you have yet to see a dance competition in person, you really need to get to one this winter. For our team, they are excited to host a dance comp on Thursday, December 15 at our elementary school in Brooten starting at 6 p.m.

**Here's my first winter sports show of the 2022-2023 school year, or you can count it as a "Greatest Show on Earth" installment No. 2 of the day as a continuation of what I posted in an earlier blog post:

*Here's head coach Katie Boie in a brief post-comp interview at Minnewaska:

Coach Boie is a 2015 graduate of B-B-E and was a dedicated, passionate member of the B-B-E Dazzlers dance program throughout high school. She also played tennis in the fall and was also part of the track and field teams in high school. The dance program is extremely blessed to have her at the helm. I'm excited to see this team succeed this winter and see it grow in future seasons.

It should be pointed out that Morgan Schwinghammer was part of a carpool to the dance comp with Becky Mueller, who was a B-B-E graduate in 2004. The main connection I have with Morgan is through her mom, Marci, who grew up with my sister; they were 1997 B-B-E graduates along with Morgan's dad, Darin. We've known the Otteson family since my sister was in kindergarten way back in 1984-1985. My sister and I rode Don Segaar's bus to school in the 1980s and 1990s with the Otteson children. Their family was devastated in May 2021 when Spencer (B-B-E Class of 2006 and a three-sport Jaguar athlete) passed away after a courageous battle with cancer. He was only 33 years old and was in a group of student-athletes at B-B-E who were the first Jaguars I covered as a sports reporter. This illustrates how long I've been doing this. Spencer was the greatest kid. He was always smiling. It's so wrong when cancer takes "kids" like him. (Anyone 10 years or more younger than me is still a kid in my eyes.) We can rest our hearts in knowing that Vicki and Spencer are watching over their family from heaven.

Becky said good-bye to her father-in-law last summer. Greg Mueller passed away on June 8 at the age of 69. Morgan's grandmother, Vicki Otteson, passed away on Halloween day this fall at age 65. They were both incredible parents and grandparents. Just the best. The absolute best. We miss them both dearly. If you got to know either of them, they made you better. They were both deeply proud and loyal supporters of the B-B-E Jaguars athletic programs.

Spencer Otteson with his wife, Amanda.

**And on to wrestling news...
The No. 4-ranked B-B-E Jaguars wrestling team took second place at the Sauk Centre-Melrose Defender Open. They had 149.5 points behind first-place Thief River Falls, who racked up 194.5 points. Taking third place was Paynesville Area with 129.5 points.

I am thrilled to report that junior Ryan Jensen was in action today in Melrose. I spoke with his mom earlier today at Boosters, and she said he is able to wrestle but has to wear a brace of some type on his leg. Ryan suffered a severe ankle injury in the football season opener on September 2 in Murdock. He has fought a long, hard battle to get back up to speed and get on the wrestling mat. And!!! He took first place tonight. Bravo!

Sauk Centre-Melrose Defender Open team standings:
1. Thief River Falls 194.5
2. B-B-E 149.5
3. Paynesville Area 129.5
4. Alexandria Area 122
5. Andover 121
6. Albany 113
7. Sauk Centre-Melrose 99
8. Osakis 78
9. Eden Valley-Watkins 65.5

Here's the individual placements for the Jaguars by weight division:
106: Noah Welte 6th
113: Aiden Mueller 6th
120: open
126: Louie Tensen 4th
132: open
138: Ryan Jensen 1st
145: Brett DeRoo 5th
152: Tanner Viessmann 2nd
160: Hunter Laage (1-2 record, did not place)
170: Maximus Hanson 1st
182: Carson Gilbert 2nd
195: Talen Kampsen 3rd
220: open
285: Ethan Spanier 1st

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Dance comp! First one in the book

The first dance meet is in the book. I'll report on it later tonight. We should be super proud of our dance team. They have worked very hard in the preseason. 

At some point tonight I'll get on Trackwrestling to catch up with how our wrestlers fared in Melrose. The bus just returned to town. 

More to come in a new blog post!

The greatest show on earth (VIDEO)

I've said before that as the newspaper owner I have the privelege and honor of covering what I call the "Greatest (small town) Show on Earth" right here in Jaguar Country. The community support I see in this community absolutely rocks. We love (and fight) each other like family. It's true. This is the season of Christmas, and it's time to see even more support for one another. We have to continue to remember that we have families out there struggling with a variety of issues. Let's take care of one another!

Speaking of support...below is a video of the B-B-E Jaguars girls' basketball team taking the court prior to the season opener after their final locker room (weight room) huddle on Tuesday.


Today the wrestling team opens action just a few minutes from now at Melrose. The dance team is at Minnewaska with a 6 p.m. start time.

More to come.

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Thursday, December 01, 2022

A wonderful donation opportunity

This is a great opportunity to donate to a local, worthy cause! Click on the following link to see more:

Today got chewed up by spending a few hours fixing the latest vehicle that powers the Bonanza Valley Voice newspaper's ground game: a 1999 Buick LeSabre. This has replaced a vehicle that had been powering The Voice on a constant basis since August 2018: a 2006 Dodge Grand Caravan. That minivan was retired just shy of midnight on Saturday, August 20 after I was part of all the fun that we knew as Sedan Daze. I acquired the LeSabre from my stepson Aspen (B-B-E Class of 2019) this past summer after he upgraded to my mom's Chevy Impala. The '99 Buick did not miss a beat this entire fall...until Thanksgiving Eve. That day a brake line went out. I discovered it while parked behind my newspaper office. Crazy. Just 11 days earlier that Buick was at Xcel Energy Center, so I'm really lucky I didn't lose the brake line down there. Thanks to the help of Chris Jensen Auto Repair in Belgrade, the car is "good to go" with fully functioning brakes and a fresh oil change. It was last changed prior to the amateur state tournament trip to Dundas on August 27, almost 4,000 miles ago.

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Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Girls' basketball romps on opening night border battle (VIDEOS*)

*More video has been added to this blog post on Wednesday afternoon, and an area scoreboard was posted on Thursday morning.


The highly-anticipated 2022-2023 girls' basketball season in Jaguar Country is off and running. The season opener tonight featured a bona fide border battle against Melrose Area on our home floor. The Dutchmen were 6-21 a year ago and 2-10 in the West Central Conference. Additional video clips from the game have been posted below on Wednesday. 

**Here's the team's five seniors who so graciously obliged my interview request just before they donned their jerseys and hit the court for the season opener. It is such a distinct honor to cover this team...

And as I was ill-prepared for that whole interview, I later learned that in league play the Jaguars in fact lost to Hancock last summer, but a week later at state they defeated the defending state champion Owls.

**Here's the starter introductions:

*Here's a video clip from the first half of tonight's game:

**Here's a great play when Allie Dingmann makes a three-pointer on an Tiyana Schwinghammer assist after the latter got bottled up on the right block:

Allie Dingmann's three-pointer came with 15:36 on the clock in the first half and gave the Jaguars an early 11-5 lead.

The B-B-E Jaguars girls' basketball team had an impressive showing for the season opener tonight against visiting Melrose Area. After a somewhat sluggish start, the Jaguars jumped out to a 30-16 halftime lead and played a much stronger second half with a final score of 68-35. An early 13-2 run pushed them out to a 13-5 lead in the game's first five minutes. To start the second half, the Jaguars outscored the Dutchmen 11-1 in the first 3 1/2 minutes to set the tone for the second half.

B-B-E's defense limited the Dutchmen to just 8 points in the first 11 minutes of the second half.

Abby Berge led the Jaguars with 22 points, while Harley Roering finished with 13 points after scoring seven in the first half. Tiyana Schwinghammer rebounded from a three-point first half to finish with 11 points as the third Jaguar in double figures. The senior trio also led the team with 6, 5 and 4 steals, respectively. From the floor, the Jaguars shot a solid 43 percent while making just three of 16 three-point attempts in the game. From the line, the Jaguars made 13 of 18 free shots, and a total of 10 Jaguars found the scoring column.

Next: defending conference co-champion Kimball Area looms large on the horizon as the Jaguars travel for their next game, which is one week from tonight. It's a huge game that the Jaguars are excited about! The road trip continues with a game at the other co-champion last year, Holdingford, on Friday, December 9.

I'll get more video added later on Wednesday afternoon. I managed to pull off a 16 page newspaper this week. It included 31 musical photos. No kidding.  

Area girls' basketball scores on November 29:
K-M-S 55, A-C-GC 41
New London-Spicer 70, West Central Area 43
Osakis 48, Paynesville Area 44
Dawson-Boyd 67, Benson 39
BOLD 71, Yellow Medicine East 47
Lac qui Parle Valley 68, Minnewaska Area 47
MACCRAY 60, Ortonville 15
Hutchinson 55, Litchfield 48

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Hoops season underway! (VIDEO)

The 2022-2023 girls' basketball season is underway, and the B-B-E Jaguars are off and running against Melrose Area in the season and home opener tonight.

*Here's the team taking the court tonight!

With 5:38 left in the first half, the Jaguars have a 23-14 lead.

Halftime: B-B-E 30, Melrose 16. Abby Berge with 10 points leads the Jaguars at the break, and Harley Roering has 7 points.

More to come in a new blog post.

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Sunday, November 27, 2022

Looking ahead: speech and robotics (VIDEOS)

We have exciting seasons ahead of us in Jaguar Country with the B-B-E speech team and B-B-E Resistance Robotics getting their winter seasons underway soon. The speech team will have a turnout of about 25 which is the largest number in four years! The robotics team will be competing at the Grand Forks regional on March 9-11, and they head to LaCrosse two weeks later. I sure hope gas prices come down by then! The Bonanza Valley Voice could possibly travel to both regionals. We'll see.

And let's look back a little bit...

*Here's a video featuring the player introductions at the state tournament:

The B-B-E Jaguars volleyball team faced top-seeded Minneota that day. They gave a tremendous effort and had a win within reach in both games one and two. Minneota went on to win the state title by winning a fifth set over Mayer Lutheran by an 18-16 score. Crazy. Looking ahead, and this is important, I would like as many of you out there to put December 17 on your's less than three weeks away. What's so special about that day? WELL! That is the day that our No. 8 preseason-ranked B-B-E Jaguars girls' basketball team travels to No. 6 preseason-ranked Minneota for a big non-conference showdown with the defending state runners-up. To put it bluntly: the Jaguars will learn quite a bit about their chances this season when they take the court that afternoon in Minneota. *The JV game starts at 11:45 a.m., and the varsity game is set for 1 p.m. 

Here's a clip from Fergus Falls in the Section 6A finals...that seems so long ago:

Our volleyball team battled through tough teams to get to the State Final Four round. It was an unforgettable journey.

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Saturday, November 26, 2022

Sunday worship at West Lake Johanna church (VIDEOS**)

*Video added here on Sunday morning.

Here's the video of worship service held this past Sunday at West Lake Johanna Lutheran church in Gilchrist Township:

The reading of the lessons and then the Holy Gospel and pastor sermon all get going at the 11-minute mark of the video. Maximus Hanson's grandma Terri Anderson provides the reading.

**Here's a video from the parade in Melrose recorded from my Suburban dashboard:

The Christmas activities and parade in Melrose last night were nothing less than amazing! I even ran into head coach Chris Moscho and his family plus a handful of other folks from Jaguar Country. Everyone had a great time. The Miss Brooten Royalty had all sorts of fun. It was really great. Miss Brooten first princess Tiyana Schwinghammer led the crew in this parade. She's chomping at the bit with her fellow B-B-E Jaguars girls' basketball teammates for the season opener! That's against Melrose next Tuesday night in Belgrade.


Friday, November 25, 2022

Thanksgiving Eve worship (VIDEO)

Here's the link to click on where you can watch the Thanksgiving Eve worship at Big Grove Lutheran church this past Wednesday night (short link): Deacon Brenda Handel-Johnson provided a wonderful Thanksgiving message. It is worth taking in.

Currently I'm sidetracked by watching a mind-blowing inquiry going on right now, LIVE, at this moment, in Canada. They have Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on the hot seat as he is being grilled at length for what he did last winter to protesters across their country. It is fascinating:

Time to get prepared for our trip to Melrose today. The Miss Brooten Royalty will be in their lighted Christmas parade that starts at 7:30 p.m. The whole event begins for the royalty with a Melrose royalty reception at Magnifi Financial's headquarters board room in Melrose at 3:30 p.m.

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Thursday, November 24, 2022

The musical reporter's scene again...and Paris (VIDEOS)

Here's two more musical clips, and these two are taken from Act II of Sunday's show.

Here's the reporter's scene starring Savannah Finken:

Here's part of the song 'Paris Holds the Key To Your Heart' during Scene I, Act II of Sunday's performance:

This show will be remembered for a long, long time. I've got 665 of my musical photos uploaded to the newspaper's photo gallery. Tonight I hope to upload the remaining photos, which number over 400. The master link to all 2022 Fine Arts photo albums by the Bonanza Valley Voice can be found at this link: **Update: the NEW official photo count from the musical shows on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights is now 1,186. There may be a handful of photos still not uploaded or accounted for on my cell phone.

I hope you and your family are having a wonderful Thanksgiving Day! We are experiencing tremendously great weather. The sun has been shining all day. Tonight I will be writing about and posting a video from the Thanksgiving Eve worship held last night at Big Grove Lutheran church. Deacon Brenda Handel-Johnson gave a splendid Thanksgiving-themed sermon. It's worth watching.

A quick "sports shorts" note:
The B-B-E Jaguars girls' basketball team opens the 2022-2023 campaign with a home contest on Tuesday, November 29 against Melrose Area. A full season preview, complete with a photo of the six seniors on the team, was published in the November 27 issue of the Bonanza Valley Voice newspaper. We have a highly-motivated girls' basketball team chomping at the bit to get the season started! I am pumped sky high about the season opener too. The other three winter varsity sports will be previewed in the December 1 issue.

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