Wednesday, October 31, 2018

(VIDEO) Sub-section playoff success!

Here's an iMovie production by the Bonanza Valley Voice with content from the sub-section semifinals held on Tuesday night this week at LP-GE high school. The B-B-E Jaguars volleyball team faced Osakis.

...and in other news, the University of Minnesota-Morris Cougars volleyball team just beat UW-Superior in an epic 3-2 match, incredible comeback fashion, down 2-1 in sets then taking game four 25-16 and game five 15-11! The Cougars are heading to the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC) finals for the sixth straight year! Tori Everson, a 2017 graduate of Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg high school, had a team-high 19 kills with 10 digs and three ace serves.


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Scouting Royalton

A youthful but talented and determined Royalton team stands in the way between our B-B-E Jaguars volleyball team and a return trip to the Section 5A championship match. The two teams will square off in the Sub-Section 5A-South finals tomorrow night - Thursday, November 1 - at Little Falls high school. First serve is at 6 p.m., and the match will be aired on Smooth Magic 107 FM of Glenwood.

Royalton, Prairie Conference champions in 2017 and now 2018, has just one senior on the roster: 5'7" outside hitter Jenna Carlson.

In Royalton's regular-season finale against Eden Valley-Watkins, they were paced by two juniors: Cierra Gottwalt who had 29 digs in the 3-2 win while going 15-of-15 at the service line. Allyson Waletski added 14 kills and went 14-of-14 on serves.

In Royalton's 3-1 win over Browerville on October 4, the Royals were led by junior Jenna Anderson's 10 ace blocks. Juniors Emily Malikowski (16 kills) and Allyson Waletski (14 kills) led their offense.

On October 9 in Royalton's 3-1 win over Holdingford, Malikowski had nine kills and 23 digs to lead her team. Waletski went 20-for-20 at the service line with two aces.

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Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Step II: Jaguars leave no doubt!

The B-B-E Jaguars volleyball team is headed back to the Sub-Section 5A-South title match! They are 24-4 overall after dismantling a very good Osakis team 25-20, 25-4, 25-16 tonight at LPGE high school.

*Next: the Jaguars face Royalton (22-6) on Thursday, November 1 at 6 p.m. at Little Falls high school. At stake is a trip to the Section 5A championship match!

**Here's video from the end of tonight's match:

In the north half of Section 5A, Pine River-Backus demolished Braham 25-8, 25-10, 25-14 to advance to the sub-section finals for the third straight year.

Other area playoff volleyball results tonight:
Paynesville Area beat New London-Spicer 3-1 in Sub-Section 3AA-North. In that sub-section's other semifinal match, Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta finished Eden Valley-Watkins' season in a 3-0 sweep.

In a truly heartbreaking ending, the Maple Lake Irish volleyball team lost 16-14 in game five against Foley in the Section 6AA quarterfinals tonight. The Irish went 18-12 this season after winning the last two Class 2A state titles. Advancing to the Section 6AA Final Four round are Sauk Centre, Annandale, St. Cloud Cathedral and Foley. Annandale ended the season of Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted in a 3-2 match; the Cardinals won game five 17-15.


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Volleyball playoffs

At Long Prairie, underdog Benson is duking it out with heavily-favored Royalton.

In game four, the Braves led 5-3 before the Royals went on a 5-0 run. Benson cut it down to a 10-9 deficit. Then Royalton took a 13-9 lead.

Royalton won the first two games. Benson then took game three 27-25 after they trailed 23-20!

The B-B-E vs. Osakis match will follow. It will start late! Smooth Magic 107 FM is carrying it.

**Update: we are in game five!! Royals 10, Braves 3. Benson is plum out of timeouts.

Final score: Royalton 15, Benson 10. The Braves put up one hell of a fight! Royalton advances to the subsection finals for the second straight year. If the Jaguars advance out of tonight, they will face an outstanding Royalton team for a section finals berth.

**And the night cap! B-B-E vs. Osakis!!
Game one update: B-B-E 22, Osakis 15. And the Jaguars pulled out a 25-20 win to go up 1-0 in sets after initially trailing 7-1!

Game two: B-B-E wins a drama-free set by a 25-4 score. I haven't seen that lopsided of a set since 2006!

Game three: B-B-E won 25-16! Further updates to follow in a newer blog post.

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Justin Vogel racing

Here's a shout out to Justin Vogel, B-B-E 2007 graduate and local stock car racer. His father is Scott Vogel, owner of Brooten Auto.

Click on the link and vote for him in this calendar poll! It ends on November 5, and you can vote every day!

Here's his WISSOTA racing profile: other news, tonight's volleyball playoff match at Long Prairie will be aired on Smooth Magic 107 FM of Glenwood. (All playoff matches going forward are gonna be on that radio station)


Monday, October 29, 2018

(VIDEO) Volleyball playoff opener

Here's a collection of photos and video from Friday's volleyball playoff opener:

Up next: the Osakis Silverstreaks! The Jaguars will face Osakis on Tuesday this week (Oct. 30) at Long Prairie-Grey Eagle high school at approximately 7:30 p.m. The Silverstreaks (16-12) were second in the Prairie North Conference with an 8-2 record, one match off of champion Royalton (21-6). The Royals face Benson in the other Sub-Section 5A-South semifinal in a 6 p.m. match that is also hosted at LP-GE.

*Added to this post on Monday night...I peeked at the Secretary of State website and dug up these figures. The B-B-E school district levy referendum passed 735 to 636 (53.61% yes) in 2010. It was a pretty close vote.

In Brooten, the levy passed 139 to 78; in Belgrade the voters approved it 126 to 89; in Elrosa, voters were evenly split 38 to 38 on the question. When you add those figures up, the three major towns of the B-B-E district had 303 "yes" votes and 205 "no" votes. Upon studying all rural townships across the B-B-E district, the levy passed in the rural areas by just 15 votes.

In this week's Voice, look for a "full court press" in support of the 2018 levy referendum. In visiting with folks tonight, my basic message was, "If the school didn't need what they are asking for, they would not be asking for it."

Click here to see my recap of area levy votes from the 2010 election season:

Also happening tomorrow night is the Elrosa Bologna Daze fundraiser at Bucky's Bar. That is from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., so stop there on your way north and have some supper!


And a new advertiser for the Voice is Melby Outdoors of rural Pennock:

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Saturday, October 27, 2018

Football playoffs

Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg defeated visiting Kimball Area 28-12 in today's semifinal game. The Cubs were bidding for their first section championship game since 2011.

In the other Section 4A semifinal, Lester Prairie/Holy Trinity beat Mayer Lutheran 20-15 to get into the section finals for the first time since 2014.

In non-sports news...
Trinity Lutheran church of Brooten had a very successful fall bazaar earlier today. The turnout from the area was magnificent!

Friday, October 26, 2018

Step I: a convincing sweep

The playoff opener was a success tonight for the B-B-E Jaguars volleyball team. Facing fourth-seeded Kimball Area, the Jaguars were dominant all night in a 3-0 win that lasted just 56 minutes.

Now 23-4 overall, the Jaguars advance to the Sub-Section 5A-South semifinals. Their opponent will be Osakis. The Silverstreaks beat Prairie Conference rival Browerville 3-2 in their quarterfinal match tonight. Game scores were 25-15, 25-14, 23-25, 22-25, 15-6.

B-B-E and Osakis will square off next Tuesday, October 30 at Long Prairie-Grey Eagle high school. First serve will be approximately 7:30 p.m.

*Here's some video from the match:

Around Section 5A tonight...
*A wild border battle took place in Kerkhoven, where the K-M-S Fighting Saints lost a 3-2 battle with No. 3-seeded Benson. The Braves won game five by a 16-14 score! Holy cow! Can you imagine the atmosphere there? Making it more dramatic was how K-M-S lit up Benson in the first two games (25-17, 25-11)...K-M-S finishes a fine season with a 16-13 record, while Benson advances with an 8-14-1 overall record to face Royalton in the semifinals.

Royalton 3, Swanville 0
Pine River-Backus 3, Walker-Hackensack-Akeley 0
Braham 3, PACT Charter 1
Rush City 3, Ogilvie 0
Nevis 3, Verndale 0 (the only upset of the section tonight, with the Tigers being the No. 3 seed and the Pirates seeded No. 2)

Area volleyball playoff scores on October 26:
Brandon-Evansville 3, Henning 2 (Henning took the first two sets, but the Chargers rallied for 25-20, 27-25, 15-10 wins to advance to the Sub-Section 6A-South title match; the Hornets finish a stellar year with a 21-8 record, 5-2 Park Region for a three-way tie for second place with Verndale and Wadena-Deer Creek)
New York Mills 3, Pelican Rapids 0
Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley 3, Underwood 1
Russel-Tyler-Ruthton 3, Yellow Medicine East 1
Wabasso 3, Lakeview 1
Canby 3, MACCRAY 1 (the Wolverines won the Camden North Conference title this year with an 8-4 record and finish 16-14 overall with an 0-1 mark in the ultra-tough Section 3A playoffs; earlier in the season, Canby lost in Clara City in a 3-2 match with a 15-12 score in game five)
Minneota 3, Central MN Christian 0
Tracy-Milroy-Balaton 3, Southwest MN Christian 0
Adrian 3, Westbrook-Walnut Grove 0

Willmar 3, Alexandria 0
Barnesville 3, Wadena-Deer Creek 2

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Playoff updates

Set one final score: B-B-E 25, Kimball Area 13. The Jaguars and Cubs duked it out early, but the Jaguars had a huge run to open up a 16-5 lead and take control.

Set two final score: B-B-E 25, Kimball Area 7.

Set three was another win for the Jaguars, who had a late 23-14 lead before finishing it off.

 They advance!

More to follow.

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Thursday, October 25, 2018

Volleyball playoffs set

We have an opponent!

In tonight's play-in round of the Sub-Section 5A-South tournament, the No. 4-seeded and host Kimball Area Cubs defeated No. 5-seeded Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City 3-1 to advance to the quarterfinal round. The Cubs (5-23) advance to face our B-B-E Jaguars volleyball team on our home court tomorrow night (Friday, October 26) with first serve coming at 7 p.m. That match will be aired on Smooth Magic 107 FM of Glenwood.

A-C-GC finishes the year 3-18.

B-B-E's student section is having a "Dad-Out" theme, which will be very interesting!

First-round volleyball playoff scores on Oct. 25 in Section 5A (North & South):
Osakis 3, Upsala 0
Browerville 3, Long Prairie-Grey Eagle 1
Swanville 3, Onamia 0
Verndale 3, Laporte 0
Nevis 3, Pillager 0
Walker-Hackensack-Akeley 3, Bertha-Hewitt 0
PACT Charter 3, East Central 1
Braham 3, Isle 1
Rush City 3, Kaleidoscope Charter 0
Ogilvie 3, Hinckley-Finlayson 2

Area volleyball playoff scores on October 25:
Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta 3, Minnewaska Area 0
Eden Valley-Watkins 3, Montevideo 0
New York Mills 3, Norman County East/Ulen-Hitterdal 0
Brandon/Evansville 3, Wheaton/Herman-Norcross 1
Henning 3, Parkers Prairie 0

Underwood 3, Breckenridge 0
New London-Spicer 3, Litchfield 0
Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted 3, Little Falls 0
Albany 3, Rocori 0

Annandale 3, Pierz 0
St. Cloud Cathedral 3, Holdingford 0
Sauk Centre 3, Zimmerman 0
Maple Lake 3, Spectrum 0
Melrose Area 3, Milaca 2 (the Dutchmen won this match at Milaca)
Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley 3, West Central Area 0


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A look around the area

Here's a look around the area at newspaper school coverage.

  • From this week's Northern Star, published in Clinton in Big Stone County. They cover Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley school. Their newspaper is quite similar to the Voice in many, many ways. They frequently get color ink, but not every week. They focus on just one school (C-G-B) while covering a long assortment of small towns, even beyond their main towns of Clinton, Granville and Beardsley.
Also noteworthy is that, in spite of being in small towns with a limited economic base, the Northern Star has very strong circulation figures almost identical to the Voice (roughly 1,600 readers a week).

Now to their coverage of C-G-B this week...I noticed:
1. they had 59 students attend their fall FCCLA rally in Morris.
2. They were unable to find any staff members to take up the One-Act Play coaching position; they will advertise in the community to find someone for that spot.
3. Their school's general fund balance hovers around $1 million, which is a little short of what they'd prefer it be at. That figure covers about 1.7 months of expenses for C-G-B. This is also slightly below what B-B-E holds as a fund balance (ours is about $1.3 million).
4. C-G-B is operating with deficit spending, with revenues not keeping pace with expenses.

A side note: I believe that C-G-B is an excellent small school operating in the very difficult forces of the rural economy and a farm economy that's in serious financial trouble.

It's important to note that while B-B-E's $1.3 million fund balance sounds nice, it would be spent down very quickly if the district's levy referendum does not pass on November 6.

  • From this week's Pope County Tribune in Glenwood...they cover the Glacial Hills elementary charter school in Starbuck as well as Minnewaska Area schools.

A front-page article shows that Minnewaska's enrollment continues to climb. They have steadily gained in enrollment every year since 2014. Earlier this decade, they were still spinning downward towards a K-12 enrollment of around 1,000 students. They have had a very remarkable turnaround since then. I see this happening due to multiple reasons, the biggest of which is a strengthening job market in Pope County as well as Douglas County. I also would assert that the strengthening job market to our west can be a very good thing for B-B-E as well.

Interestingly, Minnewaska's enrollment gains have now gotten to the point where every part of their three school campuses in Glenwood and Starbuck are being utilized. A few years ago, multiple classrooms in their high school were vacant. Today, their new building out on the hill by Long Lake along Highway 29 houses grades 4-12.

The newspaper article says that they will need to find "alternative options" to house all students in the 2019-2020 school year.

From May 2018 to October 2018, they have seen widespread increases across their grades. First grade went from 85 to 96. Second grade went from 85 to 91. Overall, their elementary school (grades K-3) increased the enrollment from 365 to 371. In the high school, fifth-grade numbers climbed from 93 to 108. Seventh-grade numbers climbed from 81 to 100. Their sophomore class increased from 85 to 99 students. Their junior class increased from 69 students to 82. They did see a huge drop in their senior class from 86 to just 63.

Here's the punchline: from May 2018 to October 2018, Minnewaska's overall K-12 enrollment climbed dramatically from 1,188 to 1,264. They are close to being exactly double the K-12 enrollment of B-B-E. An enrollment gain of 78 students equates to at least $550,000 extra in state funding (a very conservative estimate).

From the Stevens County Times newspaper, which covers Hancock...a brief mention of their upcoming $7.9 million bond referendum for a school addition. That small school is experiencing major enrollment gains and needs to add onto their existing K-12 campus facility.

*Also, don't forget: Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa school district residents, students, staff and teachers are invited to the final levy referendum meeting prior to the November 6 general election. Superintendent Walsh will be leading a PowerPoint presentation on referendum and budget-related information. He looks forward to visiting with the public and answering their questions! The meeting is Monday, October 29, at 7 p.m. at the Fine Arts Auditorium in the high school.

The Bonanza Valley Voice website calendar is updated regularly each week with upcoming meetings and events: Note: the only way to get on that community calendar page is to advertise your event in the newspaper!


Church auction! at Crow River

Finally, almost two weeks's an iMovie production by the Bonanza Valley Voice with video and photos from the Crow River Lutheran supper and auction fundraiser held on October 13:

Photos from this event were published in the October 18 issue of the newspaper. A photo gallery from that night is still being processed and uploaded on the Bonanza Valley Voice newspaper website. Here's the general folder that includes all albums from 2018 to date:

*Update: here's the photo gallery from that night!

May you have a wonderful and blessed day!

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Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Friday Night Lights IX: playoff defeat

The B-B-E Jaguars football team had a short, 0-1 showing in the Section 4A playoffs. Tonight in the quarterfinals, the Jaguars traveled to top-seeded Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg. At halftime, the Fighting Saints led 55-13.

Final score: K-M-S 63, B-B-E 20.

At halftime, Kimball Area is ahead 19-14 at Swanville against No. 4-seeded Upsala/Swanville Area. *Update: the Cubs improve to 5-4 overall with a 27-20 win over the Patriots. In another Section 4A game, No. 3-seeded Mayer Lutheran beat Parkers Prairie 43-30.

Also, No. 2-seeded Lester Prairie/Holy Trinity defeated Browerville 37-18.

Area football playoff opener scores on October 23:
Underwood 42, Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley 12
BOLD 63, Lakeview 7
Melrose Area 27, Litchfield 18
Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City 63, Sauk Centre 16
Minnewaska Area 33, Benson 13
Eden Valley-Watkins 20, Holdingford 14
Albany 48, Montevideo 7
Hancock 43, Brandon/Evansville 12
Osakis 55, Wadena-Deer Creek 12
Breckenridge 47, Long Prairie-Grey Eagle 20
Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta 11, West Central Area/Ashby 8

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First half

With 2:24 left in the first quarter, the B-B-E Jaguars football team is trailing top-seeded Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg 27-0.


Monday, October 22, 2018

Closing out the regular season

For Senior Night, the B-B-E Jaguars volleyball team closed out the regular season in style with a 3-0 win over visiting Swanville. Game scores were 25-14, 25-17, 25-20. Statistics and other information from tonight's match will be published in the upcoming issue of the Bonanza Valley Voice.

Swanville falls to 8-16 overall, while the Jaguars are now 22-4 heading into the playoffs. Check out extended Senior Night coverage at the Bonanza Valley Voice website: (video included!) ...and while I'm at it, for good measure, click here to watch/hear video of tonight's National Anthem performance:

Next: the sub-section quarterfinals at home this Friday, October 26 at 7 p.m. Details to follow here and in the newspaper. I say it's time to CONQUER THE PLAYOFFS! Heck yeah!

Area volleyball scores on October 22:
Holdingford 3, Upsala 0
Royalton 3, Eden Valley-Watkins 2

Here's a quick shout out to Coop's Corner of Belgrade! They are one of the Bonanza Valley Voice's most loyal and steady supporters. Coop's Corner owner is Dani Davis, a former B-B-E Jaguar student-athlete herself and a 2008 graduate. Check them out on Facebook:


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Senior night

This is senior night for our B-B-E Jaguars volleyball team! The four seniors on the varsity team were recognized before pre-match drills.

Paige Benson is set to sing the National Anthem. The match will be aired on Smooth Magic 107 FM of Glenwood.

I have this plus a city council meeting to cover. Updates to follow in another post!


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Meat raffle!

A special meat raffle is scheduled for this coming Sunday at Rooney's Bar in Sedan:

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Sunday, October 21, 2018

School district levy information

A variety of sources exist right now for B-B-E school district residents to learn more about the upcoming levy referendum. The best source is the school's website, where you can look your own parcel of property or properties and find out what the potential tax increase will cost:

I looked up the newspaper's property and learned the levy will cost a whopping $2.44 a month in added taxes. For our home, it'll run about $10 a month.

We will gladly be voting "yes" on this levy referendum.

Information has also been published in the Bonanza Valley Voice newspaper. If you have questions, refer to the article by Superintendent Walsh that begins on page 5. He includes his e-mail address and encourages people to ask questions in advance of the November 6 election.



Thursday, October 18, 2018

Playoffs! Huge shake up in Section 4A

I will add more here later today. But we've had a huge, huge shake up in the outlook for the Section 4A football playoffs! This shake up was set in motion after Lester Prairie/Holy Trinity roughed up Mayer Lutheran in their Week Eight match up last night. The Bulldogs beat the Crusaders 31-15 in Lester Prairie; both teams finished 5-3 and very close in the QRF rankings. With the head-to-head tiebreaker in play, LP/HT then swiped the No. 2 seed from Mayer Lutheran.

Meanwhile, K-M-S pulled off an impressive win over visiting Royalton. The Royals entered the game undefeated and ranked No. 6 in Class 2A. Both teams finish the regular season as co-champions of Mid-State, Sub-District III.
As it stands, the B-B-E Jaguars football team will travel to Murdock, just outside our back yard, for the section playoff quarterfinals! This is huge news, as we were set for a date with Mayer Lutheran in Mayer just a week ago. Instead of that ugly trip on a school night, we'll instead head to the scenic Murdock Sky Dome to face the No. 1-seeded Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg Fighting Saints.
Here's what you need to know about where to drive for the playoff opener, and spread the word please!

WHERE: Murdock
WHEN: Tuesday, October 23. Kickoff at 7 p.m.
WHO: the No. 1-seeded and Sub-District III co-champion K-M-S Fighting Saints.

On the line is a Section 4A final four berth! More to follow.

*Getting this out there too: next Monday's home volleyball match, when our B-B-E Jaguars host Swanville, will be aired on Smooth Magic 107 FM. It will also be Seniors Night!


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Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Friday Night Lights VIII: Jaguars throw all they have at Patriots

In a mighty battle for their first win of the season, the B-B-E Jaguars football team had Upsala-Swanville Patriots within range at halftime tonight in Swanville. After two quarters, the Jaguars trailed 16-13.

Final score: USA 38, B-B-E 29. The Jaguars had a season-high 319 yards of offense, with 179 yards coming through the air from two quarterbacks.

Mid-State, Sub-District III football scores on October 17:
Kimball Area 53, New York Mills 32
Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg 29, Royalton 8
Parkers Prairie 32, Browerville 20

Area football scores on October 17:
Lester Prairie/Holy Trinity 31, Mayer Lutheran 15
Melrose Area 36, Eden Valley-Watkins 22
Alexandria 47, Moorhead 22
BOLD 35, Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta 7
Breckenridge 21, Barnesville 20
Brandon/Evansville 40, Hancock 20
Bertha-Hewitt 52, Rothsay 12

That's all for tonight. More to follow in the morning.

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A valiant battle

The B-B-E Jaguars football team is giving all they have tonight at Swanville, in the battle of the season trying for their first win. Late in the second quarter, the Jaguars are trailing 16-13 to Upsala/Swanville Area.

Updates to follow after 10 o'clock.

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Tuesday, October 16, 2018


The 2018 B-B-E Jaguars varsity volleyball team on picture day earlier this season.

Conference champions!

It has a nice ring to it! A really awesome ring if you ask me!

For the first time since 2015, the B-B-E Jaguars volleyball team has earned the label of Central Minnesota Conference champions. The Jaguars did so by finishing 6-1 in the league this fall. Tonight at Pierz, they defeated the Pioneers 25-16, 25-15, 25-18. As a team, they hit a tremendous 35.6 percent on attacks - that type of hitting will do wonders on a volleyball court!

As a sports reporter in this business without interruption since 2003, I have to give special emphasis to how much respect I have for the players and coaches in the B-B-E volleyball program. I've been court-side for countless exciting, thrilling B-B-E volleyball wins - far too many to mention here - plus a handful of extremely difficult, heartbreaking losses. It is never, ever easy winning championships at any level in any sport. For the Jaguars to stay at or near the top of the CMC since 2000 is really, truly an incredible feat. They do so with style, class and humility. Those are qualities that will carry these players through life long after they graduate from B-B-E.

The Jaguars will share the CMC title with Maple Lake, who has now earned conference championship status every season since 2013 with the exception of 2015. B-B-E and Pierz shared the CMC title in 2006. From 2007 to 2012, the Jaguars did not lose a CMC match while winning the title six straight years.

Since 2003, the CMC has been won by either B-B-E, Maple Lake or a combination of the two. In 2002, Pierz and B-B-E shared the CMC volleyball title. I don't recall who won the CMC in 2001, but the Jaguars won the CMC with an 8-0 record in 2000. That was the third conference title overall in B-B-E history earned by our volleyball team. The first was in 1994, when they finished with a perfect record (14-0) in the West Central South Conference. The Jaguars shared the WCCS title in 1995 with New London-Spicer (13-1).

Next: the Jaguars (21-4) host Swanville for Seniors Night on Monday, October 22 to close out the regular season. Read more volleyball coverage in this week's Bonanza Valley Voice newspaper.

Below, here's a link to the Bonanza Valley Voice photo gallery from Dig Pink night on October 4 (also Homecoming!):

"Live boldly. Push yourself. Never settle."

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Web stream of volleyball

You can tune in to the B-B-E Jaguars volleyball team tonight as they take on Pierz on the road in the last Central Minnesota Conference match of the season. At stake is earning a share of the conference title! It is also Senior Night for five seniors on the Pierz volleyball team's squad.

You can listen to the match by Rick Grammond's web stream at: (Click on "Listen Live Here" at the top of the website.)

I also want to take the first opportunity I have here to report that Pierz will exit the Central Minnesota Conference prior to the start of the 2019-2020 athletic/academic year. Pierz will become a member of the Granite Ridge Conference starting then. On Monday (yesterday), CMC activities directors voted 4-2 in favor of accepting Royalton's application to join the CMC. That will become effective for 2019-2020.


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Monday, October 15, 2018

It's a sweep!

The B-B-E Jaguars volleyball team gave hometown fans a treat tonight with a quick 3-0 sweep over Browerville on Parents Night. Game scores were 25-13, 25-10, 29-27. The Tigers are 10-13 coming out of this match. I was unable to stay beyond the first few serves in game one, as I traveled to the high school for a school board meeting at 19:30.

The Jaguars are now 20-4 overall with their first 20-win season since they finished 20-10 overall in the 2015 season. They prepare for a long road trip to Pierz tomorrow (Tuesday) to wrap up the Central Minnesota Conference schedule; they need a win over the Pioneers (5-16, 2-4) in order to gain a share of the CMC title. The team was last CMC champions in 2015.

Looking ahead: the Jaguars close out the regular season with a home match next Monday, October 22, against Swanville. The Bulldogs (8-15, 4-6 Prairie South) are also a sub-section rival like Browerville.

*Added late Monday's video at the Bonanza Valley Voice website of the National Anthem being performed A capella style:

Also, the Sub-Section 5A-South playoffs will begin at home on Friday, October 26 at 7 p.m. against an opponent TBD. This is all I can post for tonight. I have somewhere between six and eight stories to write before I can get to sleep - depending on how ambitious I am past midnight.

"Live boldly. Push yourself. Never settle." 

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Sunday, October 14, 2018

Sunday report from the Voice

A rural Brooten property open house is today! (Sunday)

Read more here:

Catch up on everything happening today in the Bonanza Valley at the Bonanza Valley Voice website:

**Here's a short clip from Saturday night at Crow River Lutheran always, Ziemer Auction Service did a tremendous job with this auction! It was tons of good, clean fun!


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Friday, October 12, 2018

Friday Night Lights VII: rough first half dooms Jaguars

A rough first half where any few moments of positive signs were nullified by costly mistakes led to a big halftime deficit for the B-B-E Jaguars football team. In their Week Seven match up, also Parents Night, the Jaguars trailed 29-0 to an all-around solid Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg team.

Final score: K-M-S 42, B-B-E 6. The Fighting Saints (6-1, second in Sub-District III) rolled up 403 yards of offense.

Next is a road game in Swanville on Wednesday, October 17 to round out the regular season. The opponent will be Upsala/Swanville Area.

**Below, video from late in the second quarter:

Mid-State, Sub-District III scores in Week 7 on October 12:
Kimball Area 40, Browerville 21
Royalton 28, Upsala/Swanville Area 14
Parkers Prairie 46, New York Mills 22

Area football final scores on October 12:
Eden Valley-Watkins 54, HL-W-W 20
Melrose 28, Holdingford 6

Heron Lake-Okabena/Fulda 30, MACCRAY 26 (Wolverines fall to 0-7)
Dawson-Boyd 61, Yellow Medicine East 7
Verndale 50, Bertha-Hewitt 32
Hancock 41, Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley 8
Hills-Beaver Creek 50, Renville County West 30
Montevideo 35, Benson 34 (OT...Benson's losing streak's now 23 games)
Rockford 14, Maple Lake 6

Minnewaska Area 21, Osakis 0
Springfield 45, Sleepy Eye 42
Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta 48, Sauk Centre 26 (Mainstreeters fall to 1-6 overall) Sauk Rapids-Rice 22, Alexandria 21 Hutchinson 25, Rocori 8 Willmar 56, Becker 18 BOLD 64, A-C-GC 7 New London-Spicer 48, Little Falls 8 Albany 28, Foley 0
Pierz 47, Paynesville 14

That's all for now! Taking part of Saturday "off" - and then hitting it hard for the Elrosa Fire Department steak fry and the Crow River Lutheran church soup & supper / auction - both taking place on Saturday night! Of course, all the details are in the Bonanza Valley Voice newspaper.

Also online:

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In the final home game of the season, K-M-S has a 29-0 lead over our B-B-E Jaguars football team at halftime.

During halftime, the B-B-E youth tackle Jaguars played an intra-squad scrimmage. It is terribly exciting to see they have 37 kids on the 5th-6th grade roster!

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Thursday, October 11, 2018

Supremacy denied

In their bid to remain perfect in the Central Minnesota Conference, the B-B-E Jaguars volleyball team struggled at the net at the wrong times while the Maple Lake Irish earned a 3-0 road sweep. Game scores were 26-24, 25-22, 25-21. Overall, B-B-E's hitting percentage was fairly good, but not quite good enough to overcome a very fine performance by the Irish. In the blocks category, the Jaguars tallied no solo blocks and just two block assists.

The new CMC standings after tonight show:
1. Maple Lake (6-1)
2. B-B-E (5-1, a half match out of first place)
3. Paynesville Area 5-2
4. Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted and Eden Valley-Watkins (both 3-3)
6. Pierz (2-4)
7. Holdingford or Kimball (their scores have not been reported on any media site as far as I can tell)

Next for the Jaguars (19-4) is a home match next Monday night against sub-section rival Browerville (10-12). The Tigers won the Prairie South Conference title outright with a 7-3 record. It will be vitally important that the Jaguars come out strong and rebound with gusto after tonight's loss. They travel to Pierz next Tuesday to wrap up the CMC schedule; they will need to win in order to claim a share of the conference title. If they lose, Maple Lake will win the CMC outright for the third straight season.

In the Prairie Conference tonight, Royalton swept Long Prairie-Grey Eagle to claim the Prairie North title outright with a 9-1 record. Osakis finished in second place at 8-2. The Royals (17-4) loom large on the horizon in the upcoming Sub-Section 5A-South playoffs.

More to follow. I need a break to catch my breath! It has been a very long week.

**Here's video from late in game one...the Jaguars had a 20-19 lead when I started recording:

**Here's the last points of game one, with the Jaguars falling 26-24 from a net violation:

Area volleyball scores on October 11:
Willmar 3, Fergus Falls 0
Brainerd 3, Alexandria 1

Wadena-Deer Creek 3, Sebeka 0
BOLD 3, Montevideo 2
Minnewaska Area 3, Melrose 0
Benson 3, Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City 1
New York Mills 3, Bertha-Hewitt 1
Verndale 3, Henning 2 (Verndale wins game five 15-13 to improve to 14-7; this was a battle of second-place teams in the Park Region Conference that is led by 21-1 New York Mills)
MACCRAY 1, Russel-Tyler-Ruthton 1
Menahga 3, Pillager 2

"Live boldly. Push yourself. Never settle."

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Maple Lake

Match updates will follow tonight as often as I'm able to post!

Game one update: the Irish hold an 18-15 lead. B-B-E has called one timeout so far.

Later in game one, the Irish have scored two straight and now are ahead 22-21.

Final score: Maple Lake won game one 26-24.

*Update: the Irish won 3-0 to improve finish 5-2 in the Central Minnesota Conference. This was a rough night. In many ways. But the sun will come up tomorrow.

Note: a more complete review of tonight's match can be found here:

"Live boldly. Push yourself. Never settle."

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College volleyball slug-fest

A wild slug-fest played out at the University of Minnesota-Morris on Wednesday night between the UMM Cougars volleyball team and the University of Northwestern Eagles. UMM entered the match in third place in the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC), while UNW was 11-0 and in first place.

I had the pleasure of attending the match and watching it all play out.

UMM ultimately lost 15-13 in a wild game five.

Speaking of college's exciting to see Morgan Gronli being one of the leading hitters on the Ridgewater Warriors volleyball team....she had 12 kills last night against the St. Cloud Technical Cyclones:

*Tonight, Thursday - remember that the volleyball match against Maple Lake will be aired on Smooth Magic 107 FM of Glenwood! Match updates will follow in a newer blog post.

"Live boldly, push yourself, never settle"

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Wednesday, October 10, 2018

(HD video) Homecoming Pep Fest, Hall of Fame

Here's a collection of video clips from last Friday's Homecoming Pep Fest at the high school:

**Added Wednesday night...some informal footage from Padua on Saturday night, after the program concluded:

A ton of Homecoming coverage is in this week's Bonanza Valley Voice newspaper!

Also, remember to come to town for the B-B-E vs. Maple Lake volleyball match tomorrow night! It's gonna be HUGE! First place is at stake in the Central Minnesota Conference.


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Tuesday, October 09, 2018

Another win

The B-B-E Jaguars volleyball team won their second match in a row by sweeping Long Prairie-Grey Eagle tonight in a road non-conference match. Game scores were 25-8, 25-5, 25-15.

Next: the biggest match of the year to date! This Thursday, the Jaguars host Maple Lake while trying to remain undefeated in the Central Minnesota Conference.

A reminder: the final public school levy meeting will be Monday, October 29 at 7 p.m. at the high school library.

Area volleyball scores on October 9:
Browerville 3, Swanville 2 (Tigers beat visiting Bulldogs 15-12 in game five)
BOLD 3, Benson 0
New London-Spicer 3, Litchfield 2 (Wildcats win game five 15-11)
Sauk Centre 3, Minnewaska Area 0
Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta 3, Melrose Area 0
Russel-Tyler-Ruthton 3, Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg 0
MACCRAY 3, Tracy-Milroy-Balaton 0

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Monday, October 08, 2018

(Video) Homecoming football: Jaguars score

*Shown is action from the first quarter of the Homecoming game last Friday:

That's all for now - time to switch attention to this week's newspaper issue.

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Sunday, October 07, 2018

(HD video) Dig Pink volleyball night

The B-B-E Jaguars volleyball team took on Holdingford on Homecoming night and Dig Pink night this past Thursday. Below is video from the pre-match introductions and also part of the match:

Next for the Jaguars (18-3 overall) is a road match at Long Prairie-Grey Eagle on Tuesday night.

*Added on Sunday night: finally, here's the Bonanza Valley Voice photo album from the coronation program, which was held last Monday.

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Saturday, October 06, 2018

Volleyball at Alexandria

The B-B-E Jaguars volleyball team is 2-0 so far today at the Alexandria tournament. They beat Mounds View in two sets, and then they beat Big Lake in three sets. Both are Class 3A teams.

In the third match of the day to finish pool play, the Jaguars were swept in two sets by host Alexandria. They will play for fifth place later today.

Great job, so far, Jaguars!

Time to switch my attention fully towards the B-B-E Hall of Fame banquet in Padua.

**Update: the Jaguars swept Rocori in two sets to finish in fifth place! What a marvelous day for the team! I also learned that the JV team went 3-1 in their division of the Alexandria tournament.


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Friday, October 05, 2018

Friday Night Lights VI: immense heart break

I'm still really jacked up on adrenaline, so this is kind of hard to process. Today was a GREAT day! Truthfully, every day is a GREAT day in America if you want my honest opinion. I may just write up the whole game tonight and get it over with. One less thing to do next week when I publish. Generally speaking, I don't know that much. But I am CERTAIN that our players and coaches are moving heaven and earth to get the ship right. It really elt all night like we were gonna get it done. The cosmos just worked against us.

The 30th annual Homecoming game for our B-B-E Jaguars football team will go down as one of the most entertaining football games ever played on that field, which dates back to the 1983 season. All night long, it felt like the Jaguars had this. They definitely wanted it. They gave it all they had.

Against New York Mills tonight in a Mid-State, Sub-District III contest, the Jaguars scored first on a 24-yard field goal by Giacomo Piombini with 2:08 left in the first quarter. That 3-0 lead stood until halftime.

The second half was truly wild. On so many levels. Each team suffered costly lost fumbles, but for B-B-E, the damage came at a high cost: the Eagle recovered a loose pig skin in the end zone to erase the 3-0 lead and go up 8-3 after the two-point conversion with 9:07 left in the fourth quarter.

Both teams traded touchdowns after that point, with B-B-E's 9-8 lead not holding to the final horn.

Final score: New York Mills 14, B-B-E 9. The Eagles improve to 2-4 on the season, while the Jaguars fall to 0-6. Next for the Jaguars is another home game, on Friday, October 12, when they host Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg (5-1) on Parents Night. The Fighting Saints are 4-1 in Sub-District III in second place alone. Royalton is in first place at 5-0. Upsala/Swanville Area and Browerville are tied for third place at 3-2 each.

**You can watch the last 16 minutes of the game (real time) here...the game expires at the 15:34 mark in this clip:

Mid-State, Sub-District III scores in Week Six, October 5: 
Upsala/Swanville Area 52, Kimball Area 35
Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg 30, Parkers Prairie 24 (played at Murdock)
Royalton 12, Browerville 6 (OVERTIME, played at Royalton)

Area football scores on October 5:
Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley 28, Rothsay 14 (C-G-B wins on Homecoming)
Wheaton/Herman-Norcross 52, Park Christian-Moorhead 10
Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City 54, Benson 19
Dawson-Boyd 54, Canby 6
Willmar 40, St. Cloud Apollo 14
Holdingford 22, Rockford Area 13
Litchfield 53, Watertown-Mayer 14
Cedar Mountain/Comfrey 56, MACCRAY 20
Melrose Area 28, Maple Lake 18
Minnewaska Area 44, Sauk Centre 14
Minneota 47, Springfield 16
BOLD 56, Montevideo 0
New London-Spicer 49, Milaca 8
Osakis 14, Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta 6
Ortonville 16, Lakeview 7
Paynesville Area 62, Eden Valley-Watkins 0
Pierz 69, Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted 7

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Homecoming continues! Game updates

The rain has put a huge wrecking ball in the Bonanza Valley Voice news and sports department...we basically bet the farm on it not raining tonight, but that was a bet we lost. We are recovering and mapping out new plans for the night. It appears that will include covering the football game!

Catch extra Homecoming coverage at the Voice website:

Football game updates will be posted here, in this post, as often as possible.

**Halftime: B-B-E 3, New York Mills 0. It is wet and it is cold!! But our spirits are high in Jaguar Country!!

Final score: New York Mills 14, B-B-E 9. A game-winning touchdown as time expired fell short of the end zone by a half a yard.

A more complete post-game report can be found at this blog post, where video will be added later tonight:


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Tough news in Wahpeton

Extremely sad news from just across the border:

Thursday, October 04, 2018

Homecoming volleyball

Homecoming night for our B-B-E Jaguars volleyball team was a success! The visiting Holdingford Huskers were a scrappy team but ultimately didn't pose a threat, with the Jaguars earning a 3-0 sweep. Five hitters hit 23 percent or better on attacks! That is terrific! Also great was the team having just three serving errors on 73 serves for the night. Game scores were 25-14, 25-15, 25-14.

B-B-E (15-2) remains undefeated in the Central Minnesota Conference and is having their best regular season to date since the 2012 season! Next is the Alexandria Invitational on Saturday.

**Below, a post-match interview with senior Emily Knight, who had five kills and three solo blocks tonight. It sounds like the junior class got revenge on the seniors, with volleyball wins on Thursday after they were defeated in Powder Puff flag football on Wednesday...

The Bonanza Valley Voice photo galleries have been slowly getting updated in the last couple of weeks. We're still over a week behind at this point...

**Speaking of Powder Puff's a video clip from Wednesday's game this week...this was in game two, and I tried helping the junior class with some moral support after they got their butts kicked in the first game:

Area volleyball scores on October 4:
Underwood 3, Parkers Prairie 0
Foley 3, Albany 2
Verndale 3, Bertha-Hewitt 0
Willmar 3, Alexandria 0
New York Mills 3, Henning 1

West Central Area 3, Ortonville 2
BOLD 3, Melrose Area 1
Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley 3, Hancock 0   


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(VIDEO) Color Fund Run!

I quickly threw this together earlier this's rough! But it works...

See you tonight at the volleyball team's Dig Pink night!!!

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Paynesville v. Maple Lake

At Maple Lake on Tuesday this week, the Paynesville Area Bulldogs volleyball team earned a 3-2 win over the two-time defending champion Irish.

Both Paynesville (16-3) and Maple Lake (12-6) are now tied for second place in the CMC at 4-1. The B-B-E Jaguars (14-2 overall) have a virtual half-match lead over both teams and host Holdingford tonight for Dig Pink night.

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Wednesday, October 03, 2018

Levy is for learning!

Just put this together on the heels of today's very successful and fourth annual B-B-E Color FUND Run. (And Powder Puff flag football)

Lots to digest and process tonight for video, photos, etc! It was a truly memorable, exciting and fulfilling day in Jaguar Country.

*Here's some video from the pre-game rules meeting with Coach Chris Anderson, who was one of many staff members who oversaw today's Homecoming Powder Puff flag football game:

*Also, don't forget! Thursday night the B-B-E Jaguars girls' tennis team opens up the Section 5A team playoffs at Litchfield in the quarterfinal round. On the home front, it is Dig Pink Night for our state-ranked B-B-E Jaguars volleyball team. The match will be aired on Smooth Magic 107 FM of Glenwood. (Thanks, Brady!)


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Tuesday, October 02, 2018

Radio coverage, Dig Pink night!

Some quick announcements on what is my "press day" - 
Smooth Magic 107 FM of Glenwood will air these three upcoming games: both the October 4 and the October 11 home volleyball matches against Holdingford and then Maple Lake. The match this week Thursday is also Dig Pink night for the volleyball program. Smooth Magic will also broadcast (web stream and radio at 107.1 FM) this Friday's Homecoming football game against New York Mills.

Enjoy the day! And may you ##ConquerEveryDay

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Monday, October 01, 2018

Homecoming '18 is underway

A marvelously entertaining Homecoming coronation program was held tonight at B-B-E high school.

The new royalty are two of the school's five foreign-exchange students: Giacomo Piombini and Ursula Punnonen. You can catch web coverage of coronation at the Bonanza Valley Voice newspaper website: also in this week's printed edition of the Bonanza Valley Voice.


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