Friday, November 30, 2018

Tournament champions!

The B-B-E Jaguars wrestling team got off to a truly fantastic start to the 2018-2019 season, starting off with a bang by winning their Early Invitational tournament in a field of 11 teams. The final tally had B-B-E with 172 points and Willmar with 162.5 points.

Third place went to Benson with 124 points. In fourth was Morris Area/Hancock/Chokio-Alberta with 122.5 points. Fifth through 11th place was as follows:
5. Redwood-River Valley 99 points
6. Eden Valley-Watkins 96 points
7. New London-Spicer 94.5 points
8. Annandale/Maple Lake 92 points
9. Quad County 77 points
10. Holdingford 61.5 points
11. Ortonville 36 points.

**Below, an iMovie production by the Bonanza Valley Voice, with business advertising by the Bonanza Valley State Bank:

**Updates from the finals: Canon Swanson (126) and Tyler Jensen (132) won their championship matches by fall. Walker Bents won a 9-1 major decision at 106 for a first-place finish.

At 120, Blaine Fischer lost a close battle for first place, losing an 8-4 decision.

At 145, Tyler Bents won by fall for first place.

At 138, Taiton Lindner won by fall with 1:14 left in the third period.

At 152, Dylan Kampsen lost by fall to take second place.

Additional coverage will follow in the December 6 issue of the Bonanza Valley Voice newspaper.

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Wrestling tournament! Early Invite updates

I hope I don't jinx them, but so far the B-B-E Jaguars wrestling team is 3-0 so far in the opening round of the Early Invitational this afternoon. All three wins have been by pin: at 106 by Walker Bents, at 120 by Blaine Fischer and at 132 by Tyler Jensen.

Also winning in the first round were Tyler Bents (145) and Dylan Kampsen (152). Tyler Bents beat a Willmar wrestler in an 18-7 major decision. Kampsen trailed 3-0 against an NL-S wrestler but ultimately won a 6-3 decision.

*Don't forget about tomorrow's B-B-E Community Ed. Women's Holiday Expo! Read more here:

Additional wrestling updates will follow after 7 p.m.! I expect the finals to begin around that time. Stay tuned.

  • These seven B-B-E wrestlers are going for first!!! Walker Bents, Blaine Fischer, Canon Swanson, Tyler Jensen, Tyler Bents, Dylan Kampsen and Mark Jenniges.
Team-wise, the Jaguars have 131 points compared to 106.5 points for second-place Willmar. There's plenty of wrestling to happen to determine the outcome!

More to follow later, including video. Team results and more will be posted in a new blog post.


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Thursday, November 29, 2018

(VIDEO) Jaguar wrestlers ready for new season

The B-B-E Jaguars wrestling team, ranked at No. 13 in the last Class 1A state rankings at The Guillotine, will open the 2018-19 season with the Early Invitational on their home mats on Friday, November 30. Action begins at 2:30 p.m.


**Below, video from the last seconds of Monday's practice this week in the wrestling room:

And don't miss this week's Bonanza Valley Voice newspaper, which has a season preview article on the wrestling team that includes lengthy comments from Coach Mueller. It was very exciting to interview him and get some insights on the team and their outlook on the upcoming season!


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Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Santa Claus coming to Brooten!

Here's the web article talking about Santa Day in Brooten at the Bonanza Valley Voice website: (With video from the 2014 Parade of Lights in Brooten)

Thank you to the Brooten Commercial Club, the B-B-E Girl Scouts and the B-B-E Boy Scouts for putting this on!

**Here's video of the 2016 Parade of Lights in Brooten:

The full schedule of events for this day is on page 10 of this week's Bonanza Valley Voice newspaper. If you're not a subscriber (and you should be!) you can get a copy at Coops Corner or the Belgrade Hardware Store in Belgrade, and also at RJs Mini-Mart and Rooster's Bottle Shop in Brooten.


Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Radio coverage at Melrose

Tonight's season opener for the B-B-E Jaguars girls' basketball team will be aired on Smooth Magic 107 FM of Glenwood (online and on the radio) with tip-off coming at about 7:30 p.m. in Melrose. Pre-game coverage will begin about 15 minutes before that.

A few game updates will be posted on this blog post through the game.

*Update in the first the early stages of the game, the host Dutchmen have an 8-4 lead. *At halftime, Melrose has a 20-19 lead.

Final score: B-B-E 54, Melrose Area 45 in overtime! The game was tied 41-41 after regulation play ended.

Next: the Jaguars host Osakis in a non-conference game for the home opener next Tuesday, December 4. The Silverstreaks are 0-1 after losing 53-33 tonight to visiting Holdingford.


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Sunburg Sportsmen's Cafe!

I find this to be very, very exciting news for the Bonanza Valley Voice coverage area.

A young, energetic restaurant owner has re-opened the cafe in Sunburg. It is called the Sunburg Sportsmen's Cafe. They first opened on Saturday, November 24 and are currently operating seven days a week, closing by approximately 2 p.m. each day.

Here's an HD video (at the web article) at the Bonanza Valley Voice newspaper website from Ham and Turkey Bingo in Sunburg on November 17:

More to follow.


Sunday, November 25, 2018

Home dance meet is December 20

The B-B-E/Paynesville Pirouettes dance team announces that their nine-team home dance invitational is moved from its usual Monday in early January to Thursday, December 20 with the action starting at 6 p.m. at the B-B-E elementary school in Brooten. They will also host a Toys For Tots and Food Shelf drives that same night.


Saturday, November 24, 2018

Central Square events for the Christmas season

Check this out!

Part of this web article at the Bonanza Valley Voice newspaper website features an upcoming concert at Central Square and Civic Center in Glenwood:

Central Square in Glenwood is one of our feature website advertisers that support what we do online for promoting events across the Bonanza Valley while also posting updated news as big things take place week to week.

*Below, video for Sunday...taken one Sunday ago at West Lake Johanna Lutheran church of rural Brooten.

Where will you be attending church service on Sunday?

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Friday, November 23, 2018

Small Business Saturday

Where will you be shopping on Small Business Saturday? That day is tomorrow, November 24.

I'll be headed to the Belgrade Hardware store. They dropped a large number of fliers in the Bonanza Valley Voice newspaper this week. (Almost 800!) To cover basically all of the Belgrade, Brooten and Sunburg routes/boxes.

On Saturday, the Belgrade Hardware store will help celebrate Small Business Saturday with hot chocolate, coffee and cookies; $10 off Zen sweatshirts, new Giftware and Christmas deco, numerous giveaways and a best selection of sale items! Plus, if you buy a $100 gift card, you will receive a separate $10 gift card.

The Belgrade Hardware store is one of the newspaper's most steady, loyal and dedicated advertisers. We could not put out a newspaper and get all our Jaguar Sports coverage (print and online) out the door without the help of the dozens and dozens of small businesses that advertise with the Voice.

Check out more coverage at the Bonanza Valley Voice newspaper website (with video):


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Thursday, November 22, 2018

(VIDEO) Thanksgiving Eve worship

Here's part of the reading of the lessons and then Gospel, followed by the sermon by Pastor Wayne Kopitzke at First Lutheran Church of Norway Lake last night in rural New London:

Happy Thanksgiving, Jaguar Country!!!

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Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Jaguar Wrestling Early Invite

Wrestling team opens season on November 30 with Invitational
The B-B-E Jaguars wrestling team held their first offical preseason practice on Monday this week. They are gearing up for the season opener, the Jaguar Invitational, which is Friday, November 30 at the high school starting at 2:30 p.m.
Teams coming to the invitational are Annandale/Maple Lake, Benson, Eden Valley-Watkins, Holdingford, Morris Area/Hancock/Chokio-Alberta, New London-Spicer, Ortonville, Redwood-River Valley (Redwood Valley-Cedar Mountain-Springfield), Willmar and Quad County (Yellow Medicine East-MACCRAY-Renville County West).
A week later, December 7, the Jaguars travel to Paynesville for the first dual meets of the season. They’ll compete in Central Minnesota Conference action against the host Bulldogs and Kimball Area.

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Monday, November 19, 2018

Blast from the Past: a monster of a game

Good grief! What a monster game!

It was Friday, February 17, 1984. The Brooten Buccaneers boys' basketball team needed just one more win in the Prairie Conference to claim the title outright. That night the Buccaneers hosted the Clarissa Bucs, who brought a young but talented team to Brooten. It was no matter, as Brooten was on a mission and easily dismantled the Bucs in an 83-46 win.
For the game, senior forward Dan Freese poured in 33 points while hauling down 20 rebounds to go with six blocked shots. Good gravy!!!! It was a career high in points and rebounds for him. He ultimately finished that season averaging five blocked shots per game. Wow.
Also that night, fellow senior Mike Marthaler dumped in 17 points while eclipsing the 1,000-point mark for his career. He swished a free throw with 3:59 left in the fourth quarter on a one-and-one situation to meet the 1,000 points mark.

For the game, Brooten out-rebounded Clarissa 55 to 30! Their field goal percentage was sizzling 55 percent (34-for-62), and they also made 15 of 25 free throws compared to Clarissa making good on just four of 15 free shots. With the win the Buccaneers claimed the Prairie Conference title for themselves, a feat they last earned prior to that in the 1975-1976 season.

Brooten was seeded No. 2 in the west half of District 20 for 1984. They went 1-1 in the playoffs with a season-ending loss to No. 3-seeded Litchfield in the district quarterfinals.

On a very sad note, as posted earlier on this blog, Dan passed away this past weekend at the age of 53 years; his Celebration of Life will be Sunday, November 25 at the Sunburg Community Center from 1 to 4 p.m. I have learned quite a few fun bits and pieces about Dan's high school years. His obituary will be in this week's Voice.

Rest in peace, Dan. You will be missed by many. You are surely with the angels above us.


Random Monday notes, and sad news

Here's a web article taking the beginning of the Bonanza Valley Voice newspaper's state tournament story in the November 15 issue. It includes a short, action-packed video clip from towards the end of game three of the state quarterfinals.

Want to stay up-to-date with local events and happenings? Of course, read the Bonanza Valley Voice newspaper. You can also look at the newspaper's website community calendar, which is updated frequently throughout each week. The direct link is: It's another handy way to keep up to date on what's going on. The website is supported by all advertisers in the newspaper, and some businesses pay for specific website advertising such as Bonanza Valley State Bank of Brooten, Central Square of Glenwood, The Local Pantry of Brooten and Glacial Ridge Health System of Glenwood/Starbuck/Brooten. Please thank them!

On a very sad note, I want to get the word out on a Celebration of Life for Dan Freese that is set for Sunday, November 25 at the Sunburg Community Center from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Dan Freese was a member of the Brooten Class of 1984 and a very talented football and basketball player for the Brooten Buccaneers. I also noticed he was a junior attendant at the 1982 Brooten high school Homecoming coronation. In his junior year on the football team's pages, I see him listed as a 175-pound tackle, No. 77, in the 1983 Brooten yearbook. Brooten went 4-5 in 1982. Also in the 1983 yearbook, I see Dan as a member of the BHS student council.

Dan was just 53 years old and passed away a few days ago. Very, very sad! His obituary will be in this week's Voice.

Happy Winter, Bonanza Valley! I think winter is here to stay.


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Sunday, November 18, 2018

Busy weekend, busy Sunday!

I hope many of you can make it out to Crow River Lutheran church today...their BG/CR/G parish youth group is serving a turkey dinner from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.!

And the musical! Don't miss that either! The last show of three this weekend starts at 2 p.m. today.

I want to give a quick mention of the upcoming show "A Charlie Brown Christmas" in New London starting on November 29. Read more in this press release at the Bonanza Valley Voice newspaper website:



Saturday, November 17, 2018

Crushing it!!!!

The B-B-E fall musical performance tonight was an absolute success. They built on a very strong opening night performance in every category!

*Here's a little video from after tonight's performance:

"Big, The Musical" has just one more show. Come fill the seats at 2 p.m. on Sunday afternoon!

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Friday, November 16, 2018

Musical coverage! They were magnificent!

Stay tuned for coverage from opening night! Video, etc. should be available for viewing some time after midnight tonight.

Here's a short web article/review from opening night:

The musical's opening night was fabulous! They were terrific! Please share the link far and wide on Saturday and spread the word. They have two more shows, and you don't want to miss out on this! The cast is very young by high school musical standards, but they do NOT disappoint! Read more at the Bonanza Valley Voice newspaper website!


  • Before or after the musical shows, stop by Coop's Corner! They are a loyal supporter of our news and sports coverage. Please thank them with your patronage!

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Long, long list of events

Long, long list of happenings and events this weekend! It kicks off with the Belgrade Lions Fish Fry & Meat Raffle & Cash Raffle that is tonight at the Brother's Bar. Serving from 5 to 8 p.m.! Just in time for you to swing by there and then head to the musical at the high school!


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Thursday, November 15, 2018

Fall musical!

Don't forget! Make plans to attend one or more of the shows this weekend! Friday - Saturday - Sunday! The first two shows are at 7 p.m. both nights, while the last show is at 2 p.m. on Sunday, all at the B-B-E high school theater stage.

"Big, The Musical" and its B-B-E cast have been highlighted in this week's Bonanza Valley Voice newspaper.

*Below, a glimpse of practice on Thursday:

Also happening this weekend are multiple events across the area. Their advertisements are scattered throughout this week's newspaper.



Wednesday, November 14, 2018

(VIDEO) Worship at West Lake Johanna

Here's video from West Lake Johanna Lutheran church this past Sunday during morning worship:

SO, is today's weather our Indian summer?

Needless to say, since Saturday night's welcome-home ceremony for the volleyball team, the days and nights have blurred together. I hope to catch my breath tonight, for once!!!

Remember, coming up is FALL MUSICAL weekend! Read more: ...and also on pages 1 and 5 in this week's Bonanza Valley Voice newspaper!

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Tuesday, November 13, 2018

(VIDEO) Section 5A champions

This is re-posted from was taken off for a limited time heading into the state tournament and was probably only viewable for about a day and a half. Now you can listen again to senior tri-captain Ally Gruber talk about her Jaguars and what it took to win the Section 5A title on November 3 against a powerhouse Pine River-Backus team. Part of this interview was published in the November 8 issue of the Bonanza Valley Voice.

I'm not sure about you, but I'm still in a post-state tournament hangover! It hasn't really sunk in yet that it's all behind us. One thing is for certain: it was crazy fun! Thanks for the memories, Jaguars!

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Monday, November 12, 2018

Veterans Day programs - TODAY

As announced early last week, the B-B-E elementary school will host a Veterans Day program today, Monday, November 12 at 10 a.m. at the main gymnasium. It was moved from November 9 due to school closing - which was precipitated by the Jaguars volleyball team competing at the state tournament.

The B-B-E high school Veterans Day program is at 1 p.m. today.

I hope to see a nice crowd at the programs!

Also, here's additional information on the upcoming fall musical at B-B-E...coming this next weekend!

*And updated at lunch case you missed it, you can watch the elementary Veterans Day program at the Bonanza Valley Voice newspaper website. Thank you to all the business sponsors who help keep our print and website coverage going each week! (Link shortened, click here:

I want to give a quick shout-out to the Terrace Sportsmen's Club. The Terrace Sportsmen's Club will hold its fall Holiday Bingo at 7 p.m. on Saturday, November 17 at the Sportsmen's Club hall in Terrace. Prizes include cash and meat (turkeys or certificates) with proceeds to benefit area food shelves. Same family fun you've come to expect! Concessions by members of the Busy Beavers 4-H Club.

Also! The Sunburg Fire Department invites everyone to their fall ham/turkey bingo and gun raffle on Saturday, November 17 at 7 p.m. at the fire hall/community center. Get your raffle tickets ahead of time from any fire department member for just $10!

Finally, the Bonanza Valley TrailBlazers snowmobile club 20th annual banquet and raffle is coming on Friday, November 16, with social hour from 6 to 7 p.m., and dinner to follow at 7 p.m. The cash raffle grand prize is $10,000! ($100 per ticket, talk to any member to purchase) Smaller raffles for various items are happening all night for $1 to $5 for tickets. The Pub will be serving chicken and ribs.


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Sunday, November 11, 2018

(VIDEO) Jaguars at state

Here's video from the end of game two against New Life Academy on Thursday. It was an anti-climactic win, but a win the Jaguars were glad to get. I didn't catch exactly how it ended, as the ball appeared to be tipped out of bounds by the Eagles. B-B-E won 25-20.

More coverage will follow later today - and a ton of coverage is forthcoming in the next issue of the Bonanza Valley Voice newspaper! The Jaguars are our ROCK STARS! And they deserve every bit of praise we can give them.

*Here's a video taken on Friday night from a production of the U of M Gophers athletic department; this was played at Maturi Pavilion following the Gophers volleyball win over Indiana in Big 10 play before a sellout crowd.

I had the good fortune of being able to attend the match with my family. I have much to write about from that trip; you will only be able to read what I say in my newspaper, though, in the upcoming November 15 issue of the Bonanza Valley Voice.

*Mark your calendars! The B-B-E theater department will hold the fall musical "Big" this next weekend: November 16, 17, 18 are the show dates. The Friday and Saturday show times are 7 p.m., and on Sunday they will perform at 2 p.m.

And again, thank you to our business community for the support of our newspaper's sports department!

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Saturday, November 10, 2018

(VIDEO) Welcoming home our ROCK STARS!

In case you missed it!

Here's the video from the Bonanza Valley Voice newspaper website: The video should be done processing and available for viewing shortly after 19:00.

Have a great night, Jaguar Country! Signing off for a few hours of much-needed family time.

Another huge THANK YOU and shout-out to the Bonanza Valley State Bank of Brooten for being our feature, premier sponsor of B-B-E Jaguars sports coverage at the state volleyball tournament. We couldn't do this without the loyal, steady support of our local business community!

*Update: Ally Gruber was named to the Wells Fargo Class 1A All-tournament team.

Other exciting news: sophomore Karsee Kampsen finished the 2018 season with 1,010 set assists. She surpassed 2,000 set assists with her first set assist in game one of the Medford match on Friday. It gives me goosebumps knowing we have such a tremendously talented setter for two more years!

Also, in the Class 2A state championship match today in St. Paul, No. 4-seeded North Branch won 3-2 over favored and No. 3-seeded Marshall Area. The game five score? That score was 19-17. Unreal. I can't imagine the tension in the air late in that game five!! North Branch, champions of Section 7AA, went through the state tournament getting 3-2 wins in all three matches. They won in the semifinals over top-seeded Kasson-Mantorville 15-13 on Friday. On Thursday in the quarterfinals, they defeated No. 5-seeded Watertown-Mayer by a 15-8 score.

And I want to give a quick flashback post to 2010, the last year the Jaguars made it to state. That was also an exceptionally exciting season to be a part of!

This season marks just the second time in school history (B-B-E era) that the Jaguars have gone as far as the state Final Four round. In 2008, the Jaguars won the opener over Martin County West. They lost a crushing heartbreaker 3-2 to heavily-favored Windom in the semifinals. In the third-place match, they lost 3-0 to Ada-Borup.

And the clock struck midnight for my University of Minnesota-Morris Cougars volleyball team. Seeded No. 3 in their five-team conference tournament, the Cougars pulled off three straight upset playoff wins - ALL of them larger in magnitude than the previous - all the way to the Round of 32 in the NCAA Division III tournament. They beat No. 2-seeded UW-Superior in the UMAC semis, then No. 1-seeded and (at least) six-time defending UMAC champion University of Northwestern (St. Paul) to advance to the school's first-ever volleyball national tournament. UM-Morris then stunned No. 8-ranked (nationally) and No. 1-seeded (region) Gustavus Adolphus in the opening round of the Central Region tournament by a 3-0 sweep.

In the Round of 32 against St. Ben's today, the Cougars won two fiercely-contested 25-23 sets to go up 2-0. They were soundly defeated in game three, fought for a closer game four and then were in a very competitive game five before midnight struck. Game five: St. Ben's 15, UMM 11. They finish the year 23-12 but graduate just one senior off the 20-person roster.

  • Finally, lost in the shuffle of the past 100-hour week I just went through was a shout out and congratulations to Ridgewater College and B-B-E 2018 graduate Morgan Gronli for their run to the NJCAA Region XIIIA tournament. The Warriors fell in the semifinals last weekend. They finished tied for second place in the seven-team MCAC Southern division standings at 8-4 with M-State Fergus Falls. Their final overall record was 13-13.

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Welcome home for the Jaguars *Time changed to 5:30!

5:30 p.m.!

Spread the word! Mass emails, texts, social media, etc. Put it all to work!

5:30 p.m. tonight, at the B-B-E high school! We as a school and community will welcome back our beloved B-B-E Jaguars volleyball team with a special ceremony at that time.

And please attend!

Finally, in the afternoon now, and here's a video uploaded early this morning. It shows the start of the state semifinals on Friday.

Time to hit I-94 again and head home. Home sweet home, what a nice sound that is right now!

Lots of snow out there. Not a fan! Lots of vehicles spun out too on the way home, the last one I noticed was by The Roadside Tavern by Roscoe.

And once again, thank you to our many local business sponsors who have contributed to the financial muscle that helps power the Bonanza Valley Voice sports department!

Fall Sports the Bonanza Valley Voice... this link will be added to a few future posts. It is only current through the Royalton win on November 1.

Remember to click on the header above ("Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa") for updated posts.


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Day III of state volleyball (UPDATES)

It's Saturday morning and we're ready to rumble! Day III of the state volleyball tournament!
Those getting up early this morning went outside to frigid, 11-degree temperatures. Good grief! It was generally in that 11 to 13 degree range whether you were in the Cities or back home in Jaguar Country.

We had the good fortune of staying at a wonderful hotel on the outskirts of the Cities on Friday night after taking in the U of M Gophers vs. Indiana volleyball match last night at the Sports Pavilion.

Time to prepare for a final trip back to the X. After today's third-place match, I won't be back there until the state wrestling tournament next March.

The teams traded tons of mistakes, and near the end the Jaguars had more miscues than Ada-Borup. Final score: Ada-Borup 25, B-B-E 22.

We are getting underway in set two at 11:53.
*Update: the game is tied 9-9 with B-B-E calling a timeout. The Jaguars had a 9-5 lead.

At 12:10, Coach Weller called his final timeout. The Jaguars are trailing 19-16.

Game three final score: Ada-Borup 25, B-B-E 23. The Jaguars fought valiantly near the end but came up short.

SET THREE: this game will start at 12:23.
*Coach Weller called his first timeout. The Cougars have a 10-8 lead after trailing 7-4 not that long ago.

*Update: Coach Weller just called his final timeout, and the Jaguars are in aneed 18-13 hole.

Final score: Ada-Borup 25, B-B-E 16. ***Welcome home ceremony is tonight at 5:30 p.m. at the high school! Please spread the word and also attend!


THANK YOU to the Belgrade Hardware store for helping sponsoring our sports coverage!

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Friday, November 09, 2018

Step VI: running out of steam

After a tremendous start and a 25-23 win in game one against Medford today, the B-B-E Jaguars volleyball team ran out of steam down the home stretch and fell in the next three games to drop into the loser's bracket of the Class 1A state tournament. The scores of the final three sets were 25-19, 25-21, 25-16 in the Class 1A state semifinal match.

I have a mountain of photos and also video of the post-match press conference with Coach Weller, Brittany Berge and Emily Knight. I highly doubt I'll get to any of that until I get back to the comforts and advantages of working from my home office or downtown office.

After the loss, I told a handful of players how proud I was of them and how it was still fun to see them in action out there, minus the moments where we were falling behind. They continued playing with energy, passion and determination right up to the Tigers earning match point. They hung tough, they hung together - the loss was a team loss. That is sports. You win as a team and you lose as a team.


Up next for B-B-E: they will play Ada-Borup for third place at 11 a.m. on Saturday back on Court 1 at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. It will be a rematch of the 2008 third-place match, which was won by the Cougars by a 3-0 set score. Ada-Borup lost 3-1 in their semifinal match today to Minneota (23-25, 25-16, 25-16, 25-14). The Cougars are 31-2 overall and won the Pine to Prairie Conference title with a perfect 9-0 mark.

Let's go, Jaguar fans! Come out and cheer them on one last time!

Ada-Borup has carried somewhat of a chip on their shoulders all season after getting to state last year and falling 3-2 in the consolation semifinals. Their game five score in the loss to Cook County was 15-13. They got to game five after winning game four 29-27. Earlier in that match, Ada-Borup won game one 28-26 before dropping sets two and three.

Also noteworthy: the Cougars out of Section 8A had to beat two favored teams in the 2017 Sub-Section 8A-West tournament before sweeping a very good Lake of the Woods team in the section finals. In the regular season, Ada-Borup finished in third place in their conference behind champion Fosston and runner-up Fertile-Beltrami. Ada-Borup beat Fertile-Beltrami 3-1 in the playoff opener played in Fertile; they later swept Fosston at Bagley high school in the sub-section finals.

Regular season scores against those two teams in 2017? Well, interestingly enough, Ada-Borup lost both of those matches by 3-0 scores while heading to a third-place Pine to Prairie Conference finish. Ada-Borup finished 21-12 overall in 2017 with an 0-2 mark at state.

Against Fosston in Fosston, Ada-Borup lost 25-18, 25-21, 25-12 on September 28, 2017. Then a week later in Fertile, Ada-Borup lost 25-23, 25-20, 25-21 to Fertile-Beltrami. Just two days after the loss in Fertile, Ada-Borup traveled to the Alexandria tournament where they went 1-3. In the final pool play match that day, Ada-Borup lost 2-1 to our B-B-E Jaguars. Game scores between Ada-Borup and B-B-E on October 7, 2017 were 13-25, 25-17, 15-9, as the Jaguars responded with gusto after getting lit up in game one.

*Note: Saturday's third-place match will be aired on Smooth Magic 107 FM of Glenwood.

Moving on to the title match are top-seeded Minneota (35-1) and unseeded Medford (29-5).

In the consolation semifinals of Class 1A, Mayer Lutheran responded to their stunning quarterfinal loss to Medford by taking out New Life Academy 25-13, 25-19, 25-17. Carlton ended the season of New York Mills in quick fashion by scores of 25-16, 25-13, 25-19 to advance to the consolation championship.

Mayer Lutheran and Carlton face one another at 9 a.m. on Court 2 at Xcel Energy Center to open up action on Saturday.

In Class 2A, top-seeded Kasson-Mantorville (31-3) was upset by fourth-seeded North Branch (28-4) in a 3-2 loss in the semis; K-M lost 15-13 in game five.

In other news...huge, huge upset in Division III college volleyball! My University of Minnesota-Morris Cougars shocked top-seeded and Gustavus Adolphus in a 3-0 sweep tonight in the opening round of the Central Region tournament. The Cougars (23-11) advance to the Round of 32 in the NCAAs to face St. Ben's on Saturday at 4 p.m. back in St. Peter. UMM's powerful game limited the attack by the Gusties to just a .127 hitting percentage. Gustavus had 22 attack errors on the night.

You can read more on the region tournament website: Featured in the web article is a post-match interview of three Gustavus Adolphus players.

I predicted UMM would pull off the win. I just had that feeling. They have been getting better and better since their heartbreaking five-set loss to University of Northwestern on October 10. They now face a team who will have some revenge on their minds, as St. Ben's lost to UMM earlier this season. UMM was 8-8 in that earlier-season meeting on September 25 in St. Joseph, while the Blazers were 13-4. The Cougars won 25-17, 25-23, 21-25, 25-23 to inch above .500. They've lost just three matches since then.

St. Ben's looks to go deep in the NCAAs after losing in the opening round in 2017. Their last Sweet 16 appearance was in 2012.

Below, here's the post-match press conference in St. Peter tonight, courtesy of the Gustavus Adolphus athletics department, featuring UMM head volleyball coach Joe Sussenguth, junior setter Layne Herrmann and senior middle Rachel Mathias:

Other updates, posts, etc. won't happen until Saturday night.


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State SEMIS! coming up... (STATE VIDEO)

Good morning, Jaguar Country! A short reel is coming before we head to the X.

Match time is 3 p.m. today at Xcel Energy Center! Read past posts to catch up if you missed anything.

Remember: Smooth Magic 107 FM of Glenwood has the call with exceptional, LOCAL coverage of our beloved Jaguars.

*AND A SHORT yet AWESOME REEL! (Hi-Def, new version added early Saturday morning)

*Made it! 14:35 and on the arena floor!! The preceding match between Minneota and Ada-Borup is right near the end of the third set. The Vikings are winning. **And now we're in the fourth set, Minneota up 5-0. Then their lead is 6-5. Who knows what's gonna happen here.

*I predict our match with Medford will start after 15:15.

Stay tuned!!

**Update: this match will start at 15:30!! B-B-E vs. Medford! State semifinals!!!

 ...we're gonna get rolling at 15:36 with first serve!!!

B-B-E calls timeout...trailing 17-14. The Jaguars did have a 10-9 lead. **Final score: B-B-E 25, Medford 22.

SET TWO: the Jaguars started hot but are struggling now in a 9-5 deficit. Then a timeout is called by Coach Weller, with the Jaguars trailing 10-5. Too many errors right now.
*Update at 16:17...Coach Weller called his last timeout. The Jaguars are in a deep hole, 16-8.

Now the Jaguars are trailing 23-13. *Final: Medford 25, B-B-E 19.

The Jaguars are trailing 16-15 in a pivotal set. Let's go!!

Final score: Medford 25, B-B-E 21. Now we dig deep!

Update at 17:13: Medford is ahead 15-13, and B-B-E has called a timeout.

*Update: the Jaguars fell 25-16 in game four as they suffered just their fifth loss of the season.

I am very proud of my Jaguars! Even though we lost, I can't say enough about how wonderful this team is. And they're not done!

Next: the third place match tomorrow at 11 a.m. They will face Ada-Borup.

I am heading to the U for Gophers volleyball vs. Indiana! It's also Senior Night for their program.




Thursday, November 08, 2018

Scouting Medford

The Medford Tigers volleyball team is heading to the Class 1A state tournament Final Four round in their first-ever appearance at the big show.

Medford's enrollment (9-12) is 237, making them (overall) one of the biggest schools in Class 1A. Royalton has a figure of 238 for that same statistic.

B-B-E, meanwhile, has an enrollment (9-12) of 180.

For what it's worth, New Life Academy's enrollment figure for MSHSL purposes is 235 - also making them one of the largest Class 1A teams in Minnesota.

Back to the topic of Medford...if you have time to kill, here's a good way to do just that! I stumbled across this tonight and was thoroughly impressed! Too good not to share, from way back in October of 2010 in Medford, MN:

*The best part I think: at about 1:40, the Tiger does an incredible mid-court backflip! Marvelous! Whoever is the mascot there is someone truly loving life. MAJOR PROPS. MAD RESPECT.

More to follow after a late-night bite to eat!

I'll be updating this web article a few times tonight, at the Bonanza Valley Voice newspaper website (something you should also be checking a couple times a week!)

Noteworthy: in reading I've done tonight in Medford, I ran across a story from September 2017 about their non-conference, five-set win over Pine Island. Pine Island led 13-12 in game five before the Tigers ended it with a 3-0 run. The article mentions six players who contributed heavily to the stat sheet. I cross that list with the 2018 roster, and four of them are on this year's team, including both setters. They lost last year's libero to graduation. As a whole, Medford is certainly battle-tested with a good crop of veteran players.

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Step V: WIN!

They know how to smile and enjoy life - but when it's game time - they mean BUSINESS!

*The B-B-E Jaguars volleyball team won their Class 1A state quarterfinal match this afternoon 25-12, 25-20, 25-15 against New Life Academy of Woodbury to move on!

The Jaguars (27-4) will play Medford at 3 p.m. on Friday in the Class 1A state semifinals! They had 46 kills in today's match compared to 23 by NLA.

*Added early Friday morning: here's the sports photo gallery from the Bonanza Valley Voice for all fall sports this year:

**Added at 20:38! Help this blog post (and HD video) go viral! I put a lot of time into it.

**Added at 22:55! Here's the player introductions from Xcel Energy Center today:

Unseeded Medford won 3-2 over heavily-favored and No. 2-seeded Mayer Lutheran today 25-18, 14-25, 21-25, 25-15, 19-17. They will be a formidable opponent standing in the way to a berth in the championship match. A scouting report is being assembled later tonight. *Update: you can see what I'm putting together on Medford here ...or just click at the header on this blog and it will refresh.

Oh, and a side bar: Mayer Lutheran has won the last two Class 1A state titles. This season has their 15th trip to state. Medford was a state tournament rookie until today.

Medford is 28-5 overall and champions out of Section 1A in southeastern Minnesota. They prevailed 19-17 in an incredible game five today to stay in the winner's bracket. Wow! The Tigers were rated No. 10 in the last QRF calculation. They will be tough as nails. I can't re-hash how that match went and do justice to the drama of what went down. Here's a good summary that I found tonight: An incredible set of stats that really jumped out at me: Mayer Lutheran had 17 ace blocks compared to just four by Medford.

OKAY, JAGUAR COUNTRY! Let's get a HUGE crowd to Xcel tomorrow! Our Jaguars have earned every last bit of support we can give them.

Time to head back.

*Stopped in Monticello. I was hoping to be close to home by now. Roads are bull $!#@! Snow, ice-covered. Video posting will be delayed by a mile. After 22:00 most likely. (Okay, time to take a breath and get back on I-94)

*21:53 - After pit stops in Monticello and Grand Depot-St. Cloud, I finally made it home. I have quite a bit on the to-do list, and I do have to get at least six hours of sleep to be fully up for the Friday that is to come!

*Video added! This huge video uploaded from my office while I was headed to St. Paul today. It's Hi-Def! Good stuff! (Above) ...and! a huge THANK YOU and tip of the hat to Fauskee Oil of Brooten for helping sponsor the Bonanza Valley Voice's sports coverage of the Jaguars at state. We can't do this without the terrific support of our B-B-E business community! You're all awesome!

##ConquerEveryDay. God is good! 

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SMALL TOWN PROUD (video) **MATCH updates!

Here's the latest work from the Bonanza Valley Voice newspaper's sports department (lo-def):

Time to head to St. Paul!!!

*Update: here's what I was told will work to view the match online (from the MSHSL):

And as always during the playoffs, you can listen on the radio or on the Internet (TuneIn or at their website) with the superb, local coverage of Smooth Magic 107 FM of Glenwood. Thank you, Brady!

I hope to arrive early enough to get a new blog post set up that will have match updates. Stay tuned!! GO JAGUARS!!!!!

Below....I will post state quarterfinal updates as often as possible! The match will be started by 15:05 in my estimation, and perhaps as late as 15:10.

We are ahead early!
Final: 25-12 Jaguars win! It was closer early on.

With NLA calling an early timeout, the Jaguars have a 9-4 lead.
*NLA is on an 8-2 run. The score: BBE 17, NLA 15.
**The Jaguars won game two 25-20.

The Jaguars are in a big hole early on. ***AND THE JAGUARS WIN BY SWEEP!! MOVING ON!!! More information will follow in a NEW blog post.

*We play Medford at 3 p.m. on Friday!!


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Wednesday, November 07, 2018

(VIDEO) Elementary pep fest

Update coming with a new video reel!

Here's the highlight reel of today's elementary pep fest for our state-bound B-B-E Jaguars volleyball team! It was a very moving and memorable ceremony that included Preschool to sixth grade students. With the right browser, it can play in Hi-Def (720p) resolution.

Time for a short break, then back at it later tonight!!


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A wonderful, heart-warming pep fest

The elementary pep fest was outstanding! I was moved by it.

Time to get the November 8 issue of the Bonanza Valley Voice to the Post Office...!

Catch up on what you missed for state tournament updates here at the Bonanza Valley Voice website...the T-Shirt orders are closed as far as I know. I will check again in the morning at the office to see if more can be ordered. I believe they have many extra available for sale.

Here's some video from the elementary pep fest:

Here's footage from after the Pine River-Backus match, just before everyone headed on the link to open up a YouTube player:

It will be between 19:30 and 20:00 tonight before I get a highlight reel posted from today's wonderful pep fests that were held at both school buildings. I also need to get a copy of the updated Bayer's Gas and Grocery logo posted as a thank you for helping sponsor coverage of the volleyball team's trip to state! Please share the link to this blog post and other posts on this sports blog as much as you are able to! **Just shy of 19:00 now, and iMovie is piecing together the photo and video clip collection. Stay tuned.

*Update: based on how fast iMovie is working right now with the pep fest highlight reel, it will be ready for posting by about 20:00 tonight! The reel video will be posted in a new blog post. Click on the "Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa" header at the top to refresh the page and see the latest update.


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Narrow defeat for school levy

The B-B-E school levy referendum failed by a very narrow margin last night. With all 21 precincts reported, 790 voted no compared to 736 who voted yes.

To put it into perspective, the school district has approximately 900 parents. If you look at it with this thing called "simple math" - you'll see that 900 is bigger than 790.

As you would expect, I have much, much more to say (and much to report on other races) - the bottom line is: parents and other stakeholders in the school district need to step up and take ownership. Take responsibility. This is OUR school district. We are not just magically guaranteed a school district that is B-B-E. It takes work to keep it going. A strong, passionate effort to keep us going into our next 30 years. I will work tirelessly to get information on the school out to the public. However, I need a return favor, and ask that people go out of their way to #1 - subscribe to the Bonanza Valley Voice and #2 - take time to read it each week.

Other election results:
In the city of Brooten: Senator Amy Klobuchar narrowly won 128 to 112. (She had a much larger margin in Belgrade) In the other U.S. Senate race, Republican Karin Housley won 133 to 102 over Tina Smith. Congressman Collin Peterson won 141 to 105. State Representative Paul Anderson won 158 to 87 over Padua-area farmer Ben Schirmers.

Governor-elect Tim Walz lost Brooten 136 to 100 to Jeff Johnson. Doug Wardlow cleaned up on Attorney General-elect Keith Ellison by a 139-to-82 vote margin.

For Stearns County Sheriff, sheriff-elect Steve Soyka won Brooten over Dave Bentrud by a 129-to-105 vote margin.

Time to switch gears to newspapers, and pep fests!



Tuesday, November 06, 2018

Another crazy day - imagine that! *ELECTION RESULTS

Tuesday has been no less crazy than Monday was. I am standing near the center of the storm that is a 100-hour work week. At LEAST!

The state volleyball T-Shirts were delivered late this afternoon to the elementary school office! They look amazing! The B-B-E Jaguars volleyball team were the first to get their hands on them. They held practice tonight just shy of two hours before heading out the door before 6 o'clock.

For a limited time, you can watch this post-match video of a Bonanza Valley Voice interview with tri-captain and senior Ally Gruber after the Jaguars punched their ticket to state!

Now much of my attention shifts towards Election 2018 coverage.
Below will be live blogging posts throughout the night with the time posted as shown (military time) so you'll want to get comfortable with the 'refresh' option on your web browser!
21:05 - Bangor Township in Pope County is the first B-B-E precinct to appear on the Secretary of State website. Its results have the B-B-E school levy losing 38 to 23 votes.

21:29 - Rolling Forks Township in Pope County (far southern edge) has reported in two votes. Those two voters canceled one another out (one yes, one no) - and now the B-B-E school levy is losing 39 to 24.

21:35 -  the tally was 216 no to 165 yes with seven of 21 precincts reported. We now have some Stearns County precincts in. In Crow Lake Township, the levy got a 58-54 positive vote. In Crow River Township, it got a 59-54 negative vote. In Getty Township, it passed 4-3. In Lake George Township (rural Elrosa), it lost 41-27. In Lake Henry Township (probably the furthest precinct to the east) it lost 16-7. In North Fork Township, it failed 39-35.

Overall, as of 21:46, the B-B-E levy is trailing 312 "no" to 234 "yes" votes.

21:51 - more precincts from Pope County have come in; Chippewa Falls Township failed the levy 14 to 10; in Gilchrist Township, the levy failed 71 to 37; in Lake Johanna Township, the levy failed 36 to 26. The updated tally shows the B-B-E school levy failing 433 to 307.

22:15 - with the city of Belgrade reporting, the levy outlook has improved in dramatic fashion. Voters in Belgrade passed the levy 152 to 98. This makes the overall count 531 no, 459 yes. Brooten cut the deficit approximately in half.

Right now we need the city of Brooten to come through with a great number, plus the rural precincts in Kandiyohi County to at least come in "even" - right now I am extremely upset with the city of Elrosa failing it 61 to 25. I couldn't even report it after I saw it, as I was too angry. I saw that number about an hour ago. In 2010, the city of Elrosa gave a 38 to 38 vote on the B-B-E levy. They didn't help or hurt that year. Would they rather pay Melrose or Sauk Centre taxes?

22:37 - the Secretary of State website is currently down.

23:15 - the B-B-E school levy failed 790 to 736. That's all she wrote. It's official and ready for my printing press.

Other reporting...the city of Brooten voted in favor of the B-B-E levy by 46 votes: 134 yes to 88 no. In Kandiyohi County precincts, the levy was voted down by 19 votes. In Pope County, voters turned it down by a margin of 63 votes. Overall, the B-B-E levy passed by 28 votes to the positive in Stearns County precincts.

In other news, Stearns County has a new sheriff-elect. Steve Soyka won the race for Stearns County Sheriff tonight. He received 34,771 votes compared to 26,309 for Dave Bentrud.

More to follow.


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State tickets, other info!

Avoid the lines and buy ahead of time!

The first charter fan bus is almost full! Let's get those calls and e-mails in to get a second charter bus filled up too!

Also, if families need school-age child care on Friday, they can contact the Jaguar Kids Connection and register for day time child care (until 5:15 p.m. that day) as a drop-in. Call 320-346-2278, ext. 1319. Or e-mail Josie Dingmann as another option to inquire about that option!

This video clip was taken during the end of a timeout in game three of the section finals...Pine River-Backus held a 15-12 lead at this point. It was the lone set of the night that the Tigers won.

Have you voted yet??

Also! Lost in the shuffle of the last couple days...B-B-E will have school on Monday, November 12. The elementary will hold a Veterans Day program at 10 a.m. that day!

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Monday, November 05, 2018

Crazy day

It has been a crazy, crazy day - not even close to getting through my Monday check list. And there's still National Honor Society induction tonight.

The B-B-E Jaguars volleyball team had an excellent practice today. They are excited and gearing up for the Class 1A state quarterfinals and a very tough opponent: New Life Academy of Woodbury.

I have also heard from the B-B-E Central Office that T-Shirt orders are coming in like crazy! And fan bus sign-ups are coming in as well. Let's ramp it up, everyone!!

As they say: onward and upward!

*Late Monday night now...not much time to do any blogging or video work. Busy powering through my big volleyball story. I missed the entire NHS induction ceremony (barely) but did enjoy the cake and punch they served afterward! Look for a photo of the new NHS members in this week's Bonanza Valley Voice newspaper.

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FAN BUS info for state! and T-SHIRTS!

Below is a video clip from November 2010, the last time the Jaguars played at state! The players are being introduced here at Xcel Energy Center prior to the state quarterfinals match:

*Below: very important information to share with everyone!*

The band bus and fan bus(es) will leave on Thursday and Friday at 11:30 a.m. both days from the high school (11:15 a.m. elementary departure). This is for riders of school bus fan buses. Once the school knows how many adults/students are riding as fans, they will order up the appropriate number of school buses to carry the band and fans. DEADLINE for signing up is NOON on Wednesday this week***

Band members are allowed into the game at Xcel Energy Center at no charge. The cost for fan bus riders is $5 for the bus, and STUDENT tickets will be for sale at Xcel Energy Center for $10 per match. Students in grades K-6 may ride the fan bus but only with an adult, $5 for child and $10 for adults (bus cost) - then tickets must be purchased at Xcel (adult prices $16 per match).

**To register for the fan bus, parents (and for their K-6 children) should contact Tessa Schoenberg via e-mail: **For 7-12 grade fan bus riders, they need to contact Mrs. Bertram at the high school office in person, or e-mail her at Again, the deadline is NOON on Wednesday! Please try to sign up on Tuesday if you can! But don't contact the school at 1 o'clock on Wednesday and expect exceptions to be made!

*If there's enough interest for a chartered fan bus, those buses will be leaving the high school at 11:30 a.m. on both days (11:30 a.m. elementary departure). If interested, you need to contact Tessa via e-mail at The cost of riding the chartered fan bus each day is $20, and riders will still need to purchase admission tickets at Xcel Energy Center ($16 adults, $10 students)...the charter bus will depart 30 minutes after the completion of each match. To make this happen, the school needs 40 riders paid and signed up by Wednesday at NOON this week.

Also! This was added early Monday afternoon...T-shirt order information. T-shirts will be available starting Wednesday morning. Click here to read more information and get your orders placed!


P.S. - dont' forget! That the B-B-E Theater department asks the public to attend at least one of their musical productions of "Big" - November 15-16-17 at the high school!

AND! Veterans Day. Let's not forget about that! The elementary Veterans Day program will be at 10 a.m. on Monday, November 12. Please attend! This is moved from this week Friday, when it was originally scheduled to be held.

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Sunday, November 04, 2018

(VIDEO) B-B-E wins section title!

My head is still pounding.

Over 24 hours have passed since the Section 5A tournament came to a close, and the thrill and excitement of what happened still really hasn't faded. Maybe it hasn't even sunk in yet? Who knows.

Here's a couple hours' worth of computer work that you can enjoy thanks to the support of Bonanza Valley State Bank of Brooten! This higher-resolution version is viewable depending on your browser; it plays in "low-def" on older browser formats.

I just received an update of information from the B-B-E school administration. Please share that a Pep Fest and send-off ceremony will be held at 11:50 a.m. on Wednesday this week at the high school! The team departs after that for St. Paul.

More to follow. I will share fan bus info. later this evening.

Have a great week, Jaguar Country!


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Shout out for our musical!

Real quick, here's the show dates for the B-B-E Theater's production of "Big" - Friday, Nov. 16 and Saturday, Nov. 17 both at 7 p.m. and then Sunday, Nov. 18 at 2 p.m. for a matinee show!

...and another mention of the soup and sandwich supper at Grace Lutheran Church of Belgrade. It will be from 4 to 7 p.m. tonight (Sunday).

**16:50 on Sunday afternoon and I'm finally putting together video and photo material from last night. More to come! Here's one small sports summary at the Bonanza Valley Voice newspaper website that has a video clip of the Jaguars accepting and raising their team trophy last night: It is included in the large iMovie production that is forthcoming.

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Scouting New Life Academy

I've read limited information so far, but I do know that one of New Life Academy's leading hitters is senior middle Lauren Schumacher. Just like the Jaguars, they have four seniors on the roster. Other top hitters are senior outside Kate Rogers and junior outside Elli Wiertsema. They also play an eighth grade hitter, outside Annika Forbes. NLA has four juniors on the roster and just one sophomore; rounding out the list are four freshmen and their lone eighth grader.

In 2017, the New Life Academy Eagles of Woodbury finished as consolation champions (fifth) in Class 1A. They had two competitive sets in the state quarterfinals with state runner-up Minneota in a 25-20, 25-10, 25-21 loss. NLA then beat Pine River-Backus 25-21, 25-20, 22-25, 25-14 in the consolation semifinals; in the fifth-place match, NLA beat Cook County 25-19, 27-25, 25-22 while finishing 20-14 overall.
Against Pine River-Backus in the consolation semifinals, Kate Rogers had 18 kills, and Elli Wiertsema had 17 kills. It was a noteable win for NLA, whose star middle hitter, senior Mackenzie Roettger, sat out most of the match with sore lower back muscles. Their junior setter last year, Bethany Breiholz, had 48 set assists and returns as one of their senior leaders this year. NLA had 100 defensive digs against PR-B's powerful attack, led by Wiertsema's 25 digs plus then-sophomore Hannah George's 23 digs.

Make no bones about it, NLA will have the state tournament experience in their favor on Thursday.

In 2016 in the Section 4AA playoffs, NLA was seeded No. 6 and earned an upset win over No. 3-seeded St. Paul Central in the quarterfinals. They lost in the semifinals 25-13, 25-10, 25-18 to No. 2-seeded Hill-Murray to finish 13-17 overall in a year where they were loaded with eight seniors.

In the 2015 Section 4AA playoffs, the Eagles advanced all the way to the championship match, in which they lost 3-2 to Hill Murray. The game five score? 16 to 14!!!!

Five of their graduates since 2015 have played at the college level, including UW-River Falls, University of Northwestern-St. Paul, UM-Duluth and UW-Stout - all very strong college volleyball programs.

The NLA Eagles volleyball program was founded in 1986 and is just a few years older than our B-B-E Jaguars volleyball program (of course, our team has its roots dating back to the mid-1970s when the Brooten Buccaneers and Belgrade Redmen volleyball teams were started). Their school was founded in 1977.

Here's a small historical summary from their school website: the Volleyball team got its start in 1986. Since that time they have won five Conference Championships (two consecutive championships in 2014 and 2015, also in 2018) and have had 39 players named All-Conference players. In 2015, Abby Thor was named All State player and Ms. Bader Player of the Year Finalist. In 2017, the NLA Varsity Volleyball team went to state for the first time, grabbing fifth place. They were conference runners-up in 2017 and took third in 2016.

Here's a story from the end of their 2016 season:

More to follow after lunch! I've gotta get on video editing too!


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