Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Baseball scrimmage

Today the B-B-E Jaguars baseball team hosts Paynesville at the high school's JV diamond for a scrimmage. It starts at 4:30 p.m.


Jobs, jobs, jobs!

No shortage of need for labor in the Bonanza Valley area!!! I'll be adding more "help wanted" advertisements to this post throughout the day.

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Monday, March 30, 2015

Community Education trips!

Join us on one or all of these great trips!

For more information contact the BBE Comm.Ed. office at 320-346-2278 ext 1218. The deadlines to sign up are fast approaching so please call today!

Mystery Trip
Tuesday, May 5th
Depart Elem 8am & HS at 8:15am
Cost: $76

Twins Game (Lower Level Seats)
Saturday, May 2nd
Depart Elem at 10am & HS at 10:15am.
Cost: $52

Old Log Theatre Presents...Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
Friday, April 17th
Depart Elem 9:15am & HS at 9:30am
Cost: $72

Jackpot Junction Casino
Monday, April 20th 
Depart Elem at 8:30am & HS at 8:45am
Cost: $10 (need 30 to go)

Chanhassen Presents...Mary Poppins
Wednesday, June 3rd
Depart Elem at 9:15am & HS 9:30am
Cost $79

Don't miss out on the tremendously-great Padua Pub Easter brunch buffet on Sunday!!! See details below:

Lately as you noticed blogging has been very light. I'm in the process of finishing up work as "general contractor" on major projects on another property we own in Glenwood. It is being listed for sale this week. It's been a huge, huge burden hung around my neck. A great deal of terrific things happened for B-B-E athletes over this past weekend. I have been unable to get any of it blogged. Be certain that you can read about the accomplishments in this week's Bonanza Valley Voice!!!


Friday, March 27, 2015

Subsection speech!

Another great-looking Fine Arts trophy for the high school trophy cases!
Prior to the awards ceremony, speech team members regroup with a few "fans" including faithful bus driver extraordinaire and loyal-as-anyone-to-the-program Neil Meierhofer.

Outstanding! The B-B-E speech team placed second out of eight teams tonight. Even cooler: nine of our 21 speechers placed first or second! That's incredible. Also incredible: 18 of BBE's 21 speechers were award-winners by placing sixth or better. The sixth-place or better finish earned those 18 speechers an automatic trip to the Section 5A meet in Ogilvie on April 11.

As a team, the B-B-E speech team beat bigger schools such aas Albany, Paynesville, Holdingford and Benson. Out of the eight schools in the meet, B-B-E was the second-smallest school.

First-place Melrose had 27 entries in the meet and 15 award-winners. Just two of their 15 award-winners took first place. Still, because of an odd way of scoring the meet, they were team champions by having more entries overall.

Here's video showing quite a few of the B-B-E speech team award-winners getting their medals:

Overall it was a fabulous night for our rockstar speech program!

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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Bus stop-arm violations

While I do not have more information than what I am typing here, and even if I did I couldn't share much more, I learned that at least one very recent bus stop-arm violation is being investigated by local police involving a B-B-E school bus. The driver was a high school student, although I have not heard what school this student attends. I am very thankful that we are not talking about a child being killed by an inattentive driver. It could have been MUCH worse! Hallelujah!

On a related note, members of the local police / county / state patrol law enforcement will be cracking down hard on texting-while-driving. They will especially be watching teenage drivers in this area. Of course, it's illegal for anyone of any age to text-while-drive or drive without their full attention on the roadway.

For kids who break this law, it will get ugly. You've been warned. Please pass the word.

And while I'm in the sharing mood, check out this article in the Sauk Centre Herald. Seat belts and car seats work!!!

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Animal on the loose

Check this out...from New London.

also here:

Then talk to your kids about what to do in these cases!!!!!!!

The phone number to the Kandiyohi County Sheriff's Office is 320-214-6700.

Hopefully law enforcement catches him before I do. I would hook him up to my truck and drag him down the street!!!!!!

And for parents of college-age young adults, check this out:


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Central Square concert is Friday!

Click on the poster for best viewing.

Call in advance (320-634-0400) to save on your ticket price!!!

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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

B-B-E Jaycees chili cook-off!

Here's all you need to know for the upcoming event!!!


Monday, March 23, 2015

Community calendar

Here's a list of a few activities going on in the B-B-E & Bonanza Valley area in the upcoming week / weeks.


Sunday, March 22, 2015

Mikes Market

Just a reminder of the hours for Mikes Market grocery store in Brooten.

Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Saturday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Sunday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Friday, March 20, 2015

(Video) Conference speech

Here's some video from last night in Kimball featuring two B-B-E speech team members who took first and second place, respectively, in the Humorous category:

This speech update is brought to you by the proud support of:

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State tournament

Browerville lost by one point to Minneota in the girls' basketball state tournament opener on Thursday.

Tonight in the Class 2A state semifinals, Sauk Centre beat Minnehaha Academy 54-49 to advance to the state title game for the second time since 2012.

Click here to read details on a town hall meeting on Saturday morning in New London:

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Thursday, March 19, 2015

Conference meet!

Here's the poster in the high school cafeteria area put together by Greater Visions Photography of Belgrade.

The B-B-E Speech team is headed to Kimball Area high school for the 2015 Central Minnesota Conference championships. B-B-E is the defending conference champions in the CMC, but heading into today's meet they are underdogs against a deeper but equally talented Eden Valley-Watkins team.

Good luck to all competitors!!!

Why speech? Being in speech gives your son/daughter a real competitive advantage when they:
1. Speak in class
2. Apply for colleges
3. Apply for scholarships
4. Interview for a job
5. Ask someone out
6. Do a radio interview
7. Audition for plays
8. Speak to the school board
9. Make a best man/maid of honor speech
10. Talk to the principal or other authority figure
11. Run for public office
12. Give a presentation to potential investors in their company they may some day own.

***Update: in a close race, EVW defeated BBE for first place. The top three scores were:
1st - EV-W 122
2nd - B-B-E 107
3rd - Rockford 90

Eden Valley-Watkins had 43 entries compared to just 21 for B-B-E, yet the B-B-E speech team managed to make quite a race out of it.


Human Foosball in Elrosa

Here's the link to the Bonanza Valley blog with video from Saturday's fundraising event.


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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

March is Food Shelf month

Shown is the shopping cart at North American State Bank in Belgrade where the public can donate and drop off food items for the B-B-E Area Food Shelf.

North American State Bank is collecting food and money for the B-B-E Area Food Shelf through March 25 during Food Shelf Month. A little "friendly competition" is underway between the NASB-Belgrade branch and the NASB-Elrosa branch on who can raise the most funds and food donations in this time. Do your part to help out!

Also, for potential prom-goers, take note of the advertisement below from Geyerman's Clothing in Sauk Centre. Their advertisement is also on page five of this week's Bonanza Valley Voice.

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Monday, March 16, 2015

Spring is coming

Preseason practices for the 9th-12th grade Jaguars baseball program started today. I've also heard that in the sport of fastpitch softball, the Jaguars will have a junior high team and a JV team as they did last year. This is the second year of having that type of set up for fastpitch. The good news to that is that I believe we're one year away from restarting the varsity fastpitch program which is awesome!!

Let's start thinking spring!!!


Saturday, March 14, 2015

(Video) Season ends in a heartbreaker

Here's the final moments of last night's tough loss:

Thanks for the memories, Jaguars!!!!


Friday, March 13, 2015

Step IV: 'State' dreams shattered

Words can't describe how proud Jaguar Country is of this girls' basketball team!!!!!!!!!!!

Yeah, our Jaguar crowd was amazing!!

It was a tough ending, about as tough as I've seen in a long time in the playoffs.

After having a one-possession lead for the majority of the game and a 22-15 lead in the first half, the B-B-E Jaguars girls' basketball team was outscored by the state-ranked Browerville Tigers down the stretch in a 52-50 loss.

After falling behind 8-7 with 13:37 to go in the first half, the Jaguars took control and outscored Browerville 14-7 over the next four-and-a-half minutes. With nine minutes to go, Alex Evenson drove in on the baseline and put up a beautiful soft-touch shot on the left block and make it 22-15 Jaguars.

The Tigers scored three straight times in the paint to make it 22-21 with 7:17 to go. The Jaguars went up 26-21, then in a period of less than a minute the Tigers went in front 27-26.

Both teams traded baskets in the final minutes of the first half with the Jaguars taking a 32-31 lead into the locker room.

Browerville started the second half by taking a brief 33-32 lead just 20 seconds in, but the Jaguars got in front 36-34 with Peyton Miller driving the lane with 15:40 left. Ashley Trustheim scored a midrange shot for a 38-35 lead with 14:05 to go, and Katelyn Heinze scored on the right block for a 40-37 lead with 13:05 left.

Scoring for B-B-E became difficult in the last 13 minutes of the game. With 10:48 left, the Tigers pulled ahead 41-40. Going under nine minutes left, the score was still 41-40 Tigers. Browerville's Buchta drained an open three-pointer with 7:25 left to put her team ahead 44-42 shortly after Heinze put the Jaguars up 42-41.

With 5:45 left, Kinlee Swanson stole the ball and drove the length of the court for a layup and a 44-44 tie. From that point on, all the Jaguars could do was tie it up. Ties followed at 46-46 and 48-48 heading into the final two minutes. With 96 seconds left, Browerville scored in the paint for a 50-48 lead.

With 36 seconds left, they went one-of-two on bonus free throws for a 51-48 lead. The Jaguars cut it to 51-50, fell behind 52-50, and in the final eight seconds they drove the lenght of the court only to see a really good look at the basket get a full dose of Browerville defense to thwart the comeback. Some thought Ashley Trustheim was fouled at that moment, but no matter how you cut it, this win was not meant to be.

Let's look to do it again next year and make that next step!!!

The Jaguars finish 21-9 overall with the most wins ever in a girls' basketball season at B-B-E.

At St. Cloud State University, Sauk Centre tore up New London-Spicer in a 56-40 win to win the Section 6AA crown.


Jaguars at the half!

Good guys 32, Tigers 31 at the break!

Final: Browerville 52, B-B-E 50. The Tigers pulled in front with 96 seconds left with a shot in the paint. That made it 50-48.

Tough loss for sure! Ouch. I am about to tally up free throw shooting and it will be ugly.

**Indeed it was ugly: the Tigers went 13-of-21 (62 percent) at the line compared to the Jaguars making just one of six attempts at the line (17 percent).

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Browerville is the real deal!

The Browerville Tigers girls' basketball team is the defending Section 5A champions. They average an unheard-of 75.7 points a game while giving up just 48.2 points a game on defense. In the Prairie Conference, the Tigers went 13-1 to win the title for the first time in over 12 seasons. Their lone loss was in Osakis on January 13 by a 74-72 score. They ended up splitting with Osakis by beating them 59-53 in the rematch in Browerville on February 19.

Tip-off tonight is at 7 p.m. at Alexandria Area high school between the Tigers and our B-B-E Jaguars girls' basketball team. The game will be covered by this website, Smooth Magic 107 FM and 106.5 FM the Train of Norway Lake/Sunburg.

Let's bring a crowd of over 1,000 fans to Alexandria tonight!! We can do it!!!!!!!


Here's some video from the Kimball win on Tuesday night (in Hi-Def for high-speed internet viewers):

**Update: the pep band bus will leave the elementary school at 5:15 p.m.!!! They leave the high school at 5 o'clock sharp.

Here's the complete gathering of B-B-E winter sports playoff photo albums brought to you by the Bonanza Valley Voice newspaper.

(Not added yet is the girls' basketball photos from the sub-section semis and finals.)

Also, if you haven't subscribed yet, take a look at the price and how to subscribe here...just $18 a year for local subscribers!! We have added 122 new subscribers since the start of January!!! That's unheard of in the small town newspaper world...sign up and see what you're missing out on!


Thursday, March 12, 2015

(Video) B-B-E vs. Kimball

Video from the second half:
(Marked private on Friday afternoon)


A good read by Watchdog

This was a very interesting article!!!!


No one is suggesting that a four-day school week is ideal. Faced with the reality of declining budgets, B-B-E schools implemented the four-day week in the summer of 2011 and as a result we have over 60 electives in the high school plus a strong fund balance of over $1 million.

That strong fund balance is necessary to protect our programs year to year when it's extremely difficult to know what the cash flow situation will be year to year.

Shame on Mark Dayton and his cronies in St. Paul for thinking they know better! YOU DO NOT! Don't you dare think you're smarter than the parents of B-B-E schools or our school board members or the school staff.

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(Video) Kimball rallying vs. Jaguars

With under two minutes to go on Tuesday night:

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Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Pep Band on Friday

The B-B-E Pep Band leaves the high school at 5:15 p.m. on Friday to attend and perform at the Section 5A girls' basketball championship game at Alexandria Area high school.


(Video) Post-game after Kimball

For a limited time, here's a video interview of Coach Anderson after last night's thrilling win:

In case you didn't hear, the next game is at Alexandria Area high school (southeast corner of Alexandria east of Menards) on Friday, March 13 at 7 p.m. The opponent is state-ranked and defending Section 5A champion Browerville (27-1). The game will be broadcast online and on the radio with Smooth Magic 107 FM and 106.5 FM The Train.

Please consider participating in or at least watching this upcoming event in Elrosa on Saturday:
Click on the graphic to learn more about this "Human Foosball" event in Elrosa!

This Jaguar sports playoff update is brought to you by:


Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Step III: all kinds of happy with another "W"!

The players hugged, smiled and jumped for joy as the final buzzer sounded at NL-S high school.

LOTS of happy after the win!

What a crazy second half!!! Final: B-B-E 52, Kimball 48. For just the fourth time in 27 years of B-B-E girls' basketball history, the Jaguars are sub-section champions! It's been 10 years since that last happened. The drought is over! This year's team joins the 1993, 1995 and 2005 squads as the only sub-section champion girls' basketball teams at B-B-E.

"We knew we had to win the rebounding battle tonight. We were undersized but we had to box out and play hard the whole way. Our goal was to get to the section finals, and the girls are very hungry for another win," said Coach Anderson after the game.

In fact Kimball Area won the rebounding battle by a slim 30-28 margin. The Jaguars will certainly have to win that category if they want a shot at getting their 22nd win of the season.

This game was beyond wild. Up 48-42, the Jaguars fell into a lull in the final three minutes. With 100 seconds to go, the Cubs got a layup, then 15 seconds later they got a steal on the press and a layup to make it 48-46. With 44 seconds left, Kimball's Taylor Schreiner tied the game with two bonus free throws.

At the 8:08 mark, the Jaguars had a 40-31 lead, but in a defensive struggle like it was, no lead felt comfortable.

How did the final 30 seconds go down? Who hit the game-winning shot? Read all about it in this week's Bonanza Valley Voice that prints just 12 hours from now. It hits newsstands at noon on Wednesday at Roosters Bottle Shop, Mike's Market and RJs.

While I certainly want you to subscribe to the newspaper, and I do hope you do, I can't help but post this video from the final moments of the game. It was a wild one. The Jaguars persevered under extreme pressure and got to 21 wins for the first time ever!

Here's the link to follow to subscribe to the Bonanza Valley Voice: http://lifeinbonanzavalley.blogspot.com/2015/01/online-payment-for-subscriptions.html

Up next: the Section 5A championship game in Alexandria at 7 p.m. on Friday against once-beaten and heavily-favored Browerville! The game will be in the brand-new Alexandria Area high school on the southeast side of town (east of Menards). The Tigers are 27-1 overall.

Have to give a huge shout out and a "tip of the hat" to the Kimball team and coaches. They were a very worthy contender and played a fantastic game while coming up just short. They played the game the right way: hard-nosed defense, clean fouls and great teamwork. It was a far cry from the first meeting they had with B-B-E on December 19 when they suffered 35 turnovers in a 50-29 loss.

Area girls' basketball playoff scores on March 10:
Sauk Centre 54, Osakis 35
New London-Spicer 59, Litchfield 48
Browerville 82, Sebeka 55 (Trojans finish 22-7)
Brandon/Evansville 51, Wheaton/Herman-Norcross 49 OT (wow! second time this season that the meeting between these teams went to overtime; this time was for a sub-section crown, and this time B/E avenged a 52-50 loss in Wheaton on Jan. 22)

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Defense rules the first half

With seven minutes to go the Jaguars girls' basketball team is ahead 14-11. By halftime, however, the second-seeded Kimball Area Cubs pulled ahead 22-21.

This Jaguar sports playoff update is brought to you by:


Human foosball in Elrosa!

Check out this video to see what we're talking about:

The event is sponsored by CHS Prairie Lakes-Elrosa as a fundraiser for Harvest for Hunger. It is from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, March 14 at the coop site on the north side of Elrosa.

Call 320-697-5566 to preregister. You can show up that morning and be placed on a team or have your own team ready. You need six people to form a team.

Read more in this week's Bonanza Valley Voice newspaper.

Pep Band!

The B-B-E Pep Band will leave the high school at 5:30 p.m. tonight to head to NL-S!

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Monday, March 09, 2015

Scouting Kimball

Make no mistake: the Kimball Cubs have an excellent girls' basketball team. They feature a strong inside-outside game and bring many challenges to the court for our Jaguars.

The Cubs are scoring 50.4 points per game while giving up 46.2 a game on defense. They shoot at a respectable 39 percent clip from the floor, 27.6 percent from the three-point line and 57.3 percent at the free throw line. They’ve averaged 32 rebounds per game while opponents have averaged 24.5 rebounds per game.

In the turnover statistics, the Cubs are about dead even with their opponents, having 17.6 turnovers per game compared to 17.4 turnovers a game for opponents.

In another interesting category, steals per game is about dead even (11.3 Cubs vs. 11.3 opponents).

Madison Hurrle is the team’s leading scorer at 10.9 points per game, followed by Madelyn O’Brien at 10.6 points per game. Next is Rebeckah Holtz at 9.1 points per game and Taylor Schreiner at 7.3 points per game.

The team’s leading rebounder is Holtz (7.7 rpg) followed by O’Brien (6.1 rpg) and Hurrle (5.6 rpg).

*One key statistic pops out from the second meeting this season on February 2 between B-B-E and Kimball. The Cubs had a much better effort against the Jaguars than when they were blown out on their home floor 50-29 in December. On February 2 the Cubs out-rebounded the Jaguars 34-26. That's one stat column the Jaguars will have to win in order to advance further in the playoffs.

In the first meeting, the Cubs suffered 35 turnovers compared to 18 by B-B-E on December 19. The Jaguars had a whopping 26 steals to just seven for Kimball that night.

Here's video from the Kimball - Royalton game:

Speaking of the sub-section final game, let's reward a GREAT decision by section officials by packing our bleachers with 1000+ BBE Jaguar fans!!!! Make it a home game for our Jaguars!!!!

WOW!!!! Unbelievably good news

I can't believe it!!!

Sometimes you are handed news so big, so crazy, so unbelievable that it leaves you speechless. It leaves you stunned. Sitting on a chair. Staring at the computer monitor.

I've had it both ways. At times I've gotten news like that which is terrible, sad, heart-wrenching and hard to digest.

Other times the news is so unbelievably terrific it is equally hard to digest and process.

Here it is =
The girls' basketball Sub-Section 5A-South championship game has been moved to the New London-Spicer high school! Not Pierz! Tuesday at 7 p.m.!! 

B-B-E (20-8) vs. Kimball (16-12) = be there!!!!

Hello, Jaguar Country!!!! Let's pack our side of the gym at "Fort Knox" in New London!!!

Shown is the B-B-E crowd during the September 24, 2013 border battle volleyball match at NL-S between our Jaguars and the Wildcats. B-B-E won 3-1.
A big shout-out and a huge thank you to the sub-section/section/Region 6A officials who made this happen. It is nothing short of a miracle to pull this off in such a short window of time. It was a tough one for Pierz and their fine staff, as they were geared up for a packed house. In the end, many other factors overruled the need to stick with the original playoff plan. I can't say how thankful I am and how fast my mood has changed from anger to joy in a period of about 36 hours.

This completely overhauls my Monday and Tuesday. It's as if God called and said, "Hey, can I write you a check for a little over three hours? Here...three hours written to you...you can cash it in on Tuesday."

I've estimated that if you factor JUST fans from B-B-E, the savings in gas between driving to NL-S instead of Pierz runs at least $1,000 and can approach $2,000. More than that, it allows so many people of all ages to personally attend this game instead of staying home.

**Now it's up to us, the public, to share and spread this information and get everyone down to NL-S for this huge championship game.

Also, if you can't get to the NL-S high school, the game will be covered by 106.5 FM the Train of Norway Lake/Sunburg as well as Smooth Magic 107 FM of Glenwood.

This Jaguar Sports playoff update is sponsored by the proud support of http://redheadcreamery.com:

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Sunday, March 08, 2015

Some big changes for post-season sections

Here's the new group of teams in Section 5A. These changes are huge in some cases.

For wrestling, the Jaguars are getting a pretty raw deal. We lose Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City, Kimball, Eden Valley-Watkins and Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted who are replaced by powerful programs: Long Prairie-Grey Eagle/Browerville, Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg and New London-Spicer. Also in is Ortonville, Holdingford and Royalton-Upsala. Ortonville was in Section 3A, while the latter two were in Section 7A. No matter how we cut it, our Jaguars wrestling team will have to continue improving, getting deeper and getting stronger. The section is going from having eight teams to having 11.

Another big, big change is in baseball. The Jaguars are moved to Section 6A in baseball for the first time since the late 1990s. I will post more information on this later today. Lots of irons in the fire now!

2015-2016 Section 5A wrestling(11 teams!):
B-B-E, Benson, Holdingford, Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg, Minnewaska Area, Ortonville, Osakis, Paynesville Area, Long Prairie-Grey Eagle/Browerville, New London-Spicer, Royalton/Upsala.

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MSHSL at its finest

UPDATE on MONDAY, March 9: The matter discussed below was taken care of. In this instance, it's a non-issue, as the game in question is now being played at NL-S high school.

Sending Kimball and BBE schools to PIERZ!!! To play a postseason game on a school night. That's what is on the docket in the girls' basketball playoffs: sub-section finals at 7 p.m. in Pierz on Tuesday, March 10.

COME ON! ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!!!!! They are the #1 and #2 seeds. Who didn't imagine that this was a possibility??? They need to come up with a Plan B right now. How hard would it be to host this game at Eden Valley? The decisions aren't made in St. Paul in these cases. They're made by Section 5A, or more specifically "Region 6A" officials who are located throughout the central and north central part of Minnesota.

No, I haven't consulted with any coaches or anyone on the local level about this ranting. One could argue to just leave it alone and leave the game at Pierz. Both teams have played a playoff game there already. Don't upset the apple cart. I'm thinking along the lines of STUDENT SAFETY first of all. Fan safety. Small school budgets. LOGIC. This is not me talking. This is everyone who talks to me in my newspaper office about these decisions. Everyone who pays property taxes and complains about how government officials can't think ahead and think about how precious taxpayer money really is.

I don't raise hell like this to make friends or to look like a jerk even though I come across as one. But I have to share the facts. And I have every right to share what others are saying to me in Jaguar Country.

Here's the facts in case anyone cares or is paying attention: the number one seed, B-B-E, has a 77 or 78-mile drive from the B-B-E high school to Pierz. Kimball has a 52-mile drive which includes driving through the St. Cloud Metro area up to Highway 10. In fact, on one of B-B-E's routes to Pierz that goes through Cold Spring and St. Joseph, the path intersects with Kimball's preferred route to get to Pierz.

It takes Kimball fans roughly one hour, maybe an hour and five minutes, to get to Pierz. It takes B-B-E fans a solid 90 minutes to 100 minutes to get to Pierz if they start out at our high school.

Our girls' basketball team has to drive to wherever the sub-section officials say the game will be held. It's nothing our players, coaches or even school administrators can protest. In fact, they really can't say a word about it in public. It's not their call. They have to go along with the decisions. If the team doesn't show up, it's a forfeit. They lose the right to move on in the playoffs.

More facts. The sub-section seeding took place on Wednesday, February 26. We've known for over a week that this possibility could happen. The top two seeds were indeed B-B-E and Kimball. What if this game was being held between Kimball and East Central? What if, for some odd reason, the Eagles beat our Jaguars last night? Of course the game should be held in Pierz in that case.

How about Upsala and B-B-E? Upsala, the number three seed, certainly had a shot at getting through the first two rounds and getting into the title game. In that case, Pierz also makes no sense. There Melrose would be an obvious choice. I could go on and on with other scenarios.

Other factors on the "devil's advocate" side of the argument. Playoff games require a lot of staff. Mostly volunteer staff but the MSHSL (section) does reimburse schools for costs such maintenance staff, concession workers and ticket takers. Playoff games require a host school that we can trust. We need to trust that they will have staff and that their gymnasiums can accommodate big crowds. Everyone in central Minnesota understands that we can trust Pierz. They have a fantastic facility. They have fantastic staff. But we also know Melrose can handle a huge game (remember two years ago? Packed gym between our boys' basketball teams?)....and I know staff at Eden Valley-Watkins and can personally attest to their high credibility and trust their ability to be able to pull off something as grand as hosting a girls' basketball sub-section championship game between nearby conference rivals B-B-E and Kimball Area.

I don't know the capacity of the EV-W high school's new gym, but just looking at the stands I can say that they appear equal in capacity to Pierz. Shown is the EVW gym with a huge showing of B-B-E fans during the Section 5A wrestling Final Four on February 13.

Don't get me wrong...I love that Pierz gym. It has to be one of the best gyms I've ever worked in during my 12 years of being a sports reporter.

But this isn't about what I like or what I want. It's about logic. Small school budgets!!! Grandma and Grandpa getting whipped because property taxes are unfair but are necessary to help fund public schools. Teenagers driving long distances when they don't have to...it's not right!!!!!!!! And a parent's comment this morning has me refocused on what is truly important: what is best for the kids? The student-athletes???? Do we really care about academics? Or are we, the adults, simply giving lip service to whether or not we care about what happens in the classroom????

I confess...in my gut I believe the likelihood of this sub-section final game being moved in this extremely short window of time we have is extremely low. I can still speak my mind. I happen to personally know one of the officials in charge of what happens in Section 5A for the basketball playoffs. I don't want to drag this person through the mud. The position is basically a volunteer position. It's not a high-buck, glamorous job.

I'm not going to push as hard and as furiously as I did a year ago when B-B-E and Browerville were set to play one another in boys' basketball at Crosby-Ironton. However, you're reading this, right? The public is chewing through what I'm saying and raising awareness of this issue. We have a right to complain. We have a right to have a say in what goes on with our schools, our students, our teams. They are OUR students. OUR children. Their safety is REALLY important.

I don't have time to go on and on about this. Once I got home from Pierz last night and this whole thing settled into my brain, I got really, really mad. I was so worked up I couldn't even properly blog or find area scores or write about the game. It took about five hours of sleep to settle down and a trip to church to calm my nerves. I have a small business to run. I need 50 to 60 hours each week to properly do that. I'll be fine if this game is held in Pierz. I already have transportation lined up. But again it's not about me!! It's about the hundreds of students (teenagers) who will be driving to the game from Kimball & B-B-E....plus the 30 or 35 student-athletes / student-managers not to mention two pep bands who will be mired in this long, unnecessary road trip on a school night. ON A SCHOOL NIGHT!!!!!!!! Tell me how that is right????

What happens if a student or students is/are killed on the way to Pierz for this game? What then? Who will apologize to those families in that situation? Of course that is a horrible thought. But GUESS WHAT! As a parent I think about those things all the time. If that offends someone, SUE ME! I do not do this to make friends. I do not do this to buddy up to certain people or certain officials. This is real life. Decisions and actions have consequences. The drive to Pierz is ugly. It is a long, long drive from Jaguar Country. Generally speaking, the best route is through Long Prairie and Little Falls. You can also take what I call "backroads" through Holdingford or even the Cold Spring / St. Joseph route. That all dances around the point that STUDENT SAFETY SHOULD TRUMP ANYTHING when it comes to high school athletics. Student safety should especially trump what is most convenient or most comfortable for the adults in charge.

Mark my word, this will never happen again. This type of mistake or oversight will never, never happen again as long as I'm around. When the top two seeds have a chance of playing one another in a championship game, a site that is conducive to each school / community needs to be scouted out ahead of time!!!!!!!!

That's all. I have to pack up family and get out the door. Time for a wonderful turkey dinner at South Lake Johanna Church in rural Brooten!! Enjoy the day, folks, the sun is shining. Make the most of it.

Update: a fellow B-B-E fan pointed out that the parking situation at EV-W isn't the greatest. In that respect it would lead me to think Paynesville is the next best option. Beyond that, what about Rocori high school? I would expect that Rocori and the Cold Spring area community could handle this! All I know is that sending us to the OTHER SIDE OF I-94 is a scandal.

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Saturday, March 07, 2015

Step II: a blowout win

The Jaguars were rolling by the second half and had a 48-31 lead with 11:42 left in the game last night at Pierz.

In the second round of playoffs tonight in the Sub-Section 5A-South tournament, the B-B-E Jaguars girls' basketball team took apart fifth-seeded East Central in a 69-47 win.

Here's video from the end of tonight's playoff game:

The Jaguars trailed 8-7, 10-9 and 13-12 early but then put on the afterburners and led 37-21 at halftime. They were in control for the entire second half to improve to 20-8 on the season. Awesome! Next is the sub-section finals on Tuesday in Pierz at 7 p.m. against either Kimball Area or Royalton. At halftime in the other semifinal game tonight in Pierz, second-seeded Kimball leads 25-19 over the sixth-seeded Royals.

Dying batter on the laptop...more updates will follow after 11 p.m. tonight.

Final: Kimball 49, Royalton 35.


Don't forget on Sunday

South Lake Johanna church turkey dinner! Their ad was on page two of this week's Bonanza Valley Voice. 

**Update: at halftime in Pierz the Jaguars have a 37-21 lead over East Central.

Under 6 to go....63 to 38 lead!!!

Human foosball coming to Elrosa!

Click on the graphic for best viewing.

Saturday, March 14!!!! Check it out!


Radio at girls' basketball

The Train 106.5 FM and Smooth Magic 107 will be in Pierz tonight carrying the game between our B-B-E Jaguars girls' basketball team and East Central in the Sub-Section 5A-South semifinals.

Tip off is at 6 p.m.

Here's a clip from the playoff opener on Thursday:

I hope to see a huge crowd in Pierz tonight! The weather is terrific to not be in the house!

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A full day of wrestling at B-B-E!

Come on in today to the B-B-E high school and cheer on the Jaguars (grades K-8) who are participating in the NYWA District qualifier today.
Click on the graphic for best viewing.

And good luck today to the B-B-E Speech team as they head to Sauk Centre looking to repeat their championship efforts from 2014. Show those bigger schools how it's done!!

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Friday, March 06, 2015

Boys' basketball playoffs

Halftime boys' basketball scores tonight: 
Nevis 32, Upsala 27
Eden Valley-Watkins 27, Melrose Area 23

Nevis ultimately won Section 5A in a 60-50 win over Upsala.

And hats off to Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City as they earn a repeat trip to the state tournament with a 59-53 win over United South Central. Making the win more impressive is that the Falcons trailed 30-20 at halftime.  They are 21-9 overall and went 10-5 in the West Central South Conference to take first place.

*Update from St. Cloud State University: after trailing by four points at halftime, the Melrose Area Dutchmen have pulled in front 39-38 with 6:45 to go! Final: Melrose 50, EV-W 42. The Dutchmen are state-bound for the first time since 1974. The huge 40+ year drought is over.

Here's the complete list of Class 1A state tournament qualifiers:
Section 1A: Rushford-Peterson
Section 2A: Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City
Section 3A: Central Minnesota Christian-Prinsburg
Section 4A: Maranatha Christian
Section 5A: Nevis
Section 6A: Battle Lake (Battlers beat Hillcrest Lutheran Academy 59-55 tonight)
Section 7A: Fond du Lac Ojibwe
Section 8A: Red Lake

I've spent a few hours yesterday and today getting more photo albums uploaded to the Bonanza Valley Voice online Smugmug photo gallery. Here's the link...albums have been added to "winter sports" and "winter sports playoffs" = http://bonanzavalley.smugmug.com

Fish Fry!

Support your local Knights of Columbus group! They help out many causes in the B-B-E area. Serving at the Ka-De Shack tonight from 5 to 9 p.m.

Adults $8, kids 5-12 $5, and four and under are free. Their advertisement was on page six of this week's Bonanza Valley Voice newspaper.

Not a subscriber to the Bonanza Valley Voice? First you can check us out on Facebook by searching for "Bonanza Valley Voice" and second you can subscribe online at the following link:

$18 local, $20 out of the area. Local is anyone living in Pope, Swift, Kandiyohi or Stearns counties. Thank you for your support! As of today we have 121 new subscribers!!!!!


Thursday, March 05, 2015

Step I: moving on with a win

Katelyn Heinze made this free throw attempt in the final minute of the game for her team's 57th point.

Swanville's 38 turnovers were a factor in a playoff-opening 57-43 Sub-Section 5A-South quarterfinal win for the B-B-E Jaguars girls' basketball team. As any fan would attest to, it was an incredibly physical game for the first round. After trailing by one point at halftime, the Jaguars brought the heat and started the second half with a 13-0 run. After that the outcome was not in doubt.

Next is a game against East Central in the semifinals on Saturday at 6 p.m. in Pierz. The Eagles, seeded fifth, beat fourth-seeded and defending sub-section champion Isle 60-54.

Other schools wish they had fans as loyal and awesome as ours!!!

Other winners tonight were Royalton and Browerville in Section 5A. Third-seeded Upsala was upset by sixth-seeded Royalton by a 55-54 score.

Browerville, the top seed in Sub-Section 5A-North, beat eighth-seeded Nevis 84-59.

Section 5A girls' basketball scores on March 5:
Verndale 72, Hill City 51
Sebeka 52, Menahga 38
Kimball Area 75, Ogilvie 60
Pine River-Backus 58, Parkers Prairie 39

The Kimball Area Cubs take a 15-12 record into their semifinal game against Royalton that will follow our game in Pierz. The Royals are 10-14 after their big upset win over Upsala.

The East Central Eagles (12-13 overall, 7-9 Great River Conference) split their two Great River Conference games with Ogilvie, winning 38-31 in the first meeting at Ogilvie and losing 59-55 at home on Feb. 13.

Section 6A girls' basketball scores on March 5:
West Central Area 57, Underwood 43
Brandon/Evansville 57, Battle Lake 47
Ada-Borup 76, Rothsay 19
Wheaton/Herman-Norcross 59, Hancock 34

Other area girls' basketball playoff scores on March 5:
Melrose Area 55, Pierz 46
New London-Spicer 54, Benson 30

Rockford Area 46, Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted 40

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At halftime the 8th-seeded Swanville Bulldogs are up 27-26.


Proud of these guys!

The Jaguars with their sub-section runners-up medals last night in Little Falls.

They had a terrific playoff run! Of course they wanted it to go farther, but three games deep is awesome for a team entering the playoffs with just five wins.

See you all tonight. The game is on The Train.