Friday, November 27, 2020

More catch-up (ketchup?)

No, not ketchup...catch-up! Playing catch-up...will be for a couple more weeks the way it looks. It's amazing how far behind you can get on work while owning your own business!

I believe all my sports photos taken this fall up through November 1 have been uploaded to the Bonanza Valley Voice online gallery. You can see some of those albums here: https://bonanzavalley.smugmug.com/BBE-fall-sports-20.

In other news...I have been racking my brain for the last three days fretting over what to anchor my December 3 issue of the Bonanza Valley Voice issue. Now it is past midnight, Friday night (technically Saturday morning at close to 1 a.m.) and I found it! I found the inspiration and the idea of what to do to bolster the next newspaper. I don't want to give it away, but here's a hint: it will be a story that is deeply rooted in music, and a long-standing tradition that carried through across multiple decades. 

It's gonna be fun to see what develops and is ultimately published next week!

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Taking hold

Just as B-B-E schools are set to make a big adjustment to the K-12 learning plan on December 1, here is the latest regarding the COVID-19 cumulative case count for local zip code areas. These figures are reported each Thursday by the MN Department of Health. This week's numbers were released this afternoon.

These are case count numbers for all of 2020, with lab-confirmed cases. A case does not mean an infection, but it does represent a varying level of danger for those who have co-morbidities or who have low zinc and/or Vitamin D levels.

I believe we must be mindful in two respects: (1.) be aware of the local COVID numbers. After waiting for 8+ months for this, now it is taking hold across the area. (2.) work to be healthy, safe and strong. We want everyone to be well both physically and mentally. If you think someone needs a pick-me-up, please reach out to them. Let's get through this!

I put the New London data in bold. They led the list with almost a 50-percent increase in total COVID cases from November 19 to November 26.

Belgrade 563132: 128 cases on November 19 to 159 on November 26 (24.2% increase) ...and Belgrade's zip code population is 2,622. (Weekly increase = 31)

Brooten 56316: 61 to 80 from 11/19 to 11/26 (31.1% growth) ...and Brooten's zip code population is 1,466. (Weekly increase = 19)

City of Elrosa 56325: 12 to 12 (no new cases in the last week) ...Elrosa's population is 197.

Glenwood 56334: 255 to 298 (16.86% growth)

New London 56273 - 235 to 352 (49.79% growth)

Spicer 56288 - 210 to 290 (38% growth)

Benson 56215: 235 to 304 (29.36% growth)

Sunburg 56289: 51 to 61 (19.6% growth)

Kerkhoven 56252: 54 to 65 (20.37% growth)

Murdock 56271: 45 to 64 (42% growth)

Willmar 56201: 2,054 to 2,442 (18.89% growth)

Alexandria 56308: 1,245 to 1,637 (31.49% growth)

  • In terms of population: the Glenwood zip code has 5,556 for population

New London's zip code has 4,772 for population

Murdock's zip code has 1,167 for population.

Sunburg's zip code has 705 for population.

Population is one more data set to consider.

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Wednesday, November 25, 2020

(VIDEO) Thanksgiving Eve worship in 2018

Featured below is video from the joint Thanksgiving Eve worship of Norway Lake Lutheran parish on November 21, 2018.




The video begins with Priscilla Erickson reading the lessons. She is a grandmother to two of our B-B-E Jaguar athletes: elementary-age Taylor Pieper and also sophomore Kaden Pieper, who was a key reserve on last year's sub-section finalist Jaguar boys' basketball team. Erickson also works as a cook at B-B-E high school. Taylor and Kaden were both featured in photos in the November 12 Bonanza Valley Voice with deer they shot near Spicer back in October.

Two minutes into the video, Pastor Wayne Kopitzke begins his Holy Gospel reading. He reads from the Bible's book of Matthew, chapter 6. Then around 4 minutes into the video, worshipers sing the Gospel acclamation. Pastor Wayne's sermon begins at the 4:40 mark.

Also! Please remember to call ahead if you are getting take out meals from the Padua Pub tomorrow for Thanksgiving dinner. Their advertisement was in last week and is in this week's Bonanza Valley Voice newspaper. The fine staff at the Padua Pub will go above and beyond to help serve us on a day when we should all give extra care and thought to take stock of what we have to be thankful for.

If you click on the following (short) link, you can watch the Thanksgiving Eve 2020 worship service at Norway Lake Lutheran parish: https://bit.ly/3q3c3Or. The service is posted at the Bonanza Valley Voice website. Also in that web article is a video clip from Thanksgiving Eve worship on November 22, 2017 plus a few extra photos added. 

Fun fact: the sanctuary building of East Norway Lake Lutheran is 145 years old this year. Wow! I don't know many buildings in our area that are 145 years old.





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Tuesday, November 24, 2020

(VIDEO) JV football action vs. Browerville

Here's a longer video clip from the Browerville game on November 11 on the home field. It begins with B-B-E's JV squad setting an offensive series.



A few minutes into the video, Brady Birch caught a pass and earned a nice eight-yard gain just as the fourth quarter started. Quarterback Luke Dingmann then converted on a run up the middle to move the chains (just shy of five minutes on the video) up to the Browerville 45-yard line.

A minute later in the clip, Dingmann zigged and zagged for a long gain of over 14 yards to convert a second-and-12 play. It set up the Jaguars with first down on the Browerville 32-yard line. Short gains by Ryan Jensen on a reception and Wyatt Engen on a pitch set up third and long. Toby Cebulla then caught a slant pass from Dingmann and had a nice seven-yard gain. The following play, a quarterback sneak with a short yard to go, was unsuccessful. 

Browerville ran just one play on their next series, and their ball carrier coughed up the football (loose ball seen briefly at the 9:55 mark). Davin Preble earned the recovery for B-B-E and put the Jaguar offense back in action at the Browerville 25-yard line. 

On first down, Dakota Detloff caught a five-yard pass. Talen Kampsen caught a pass for a two-yard gain. The third-down play resulted in an incomplete pass deep in the left flats. The fourth-down play pass attempt was broken up to turn the ball over on downs. Browerville took over possession on their 18-yard line.

The final drive of the football game saw Browerville losing yards on two consecutive plays. By then they were inside their own 10-yard line. They had a big gain on the next play, but by this point there was under 30 seconds left in the game. The game then ended with the last seconds of the clock.

The November 26 issue of the Bonanza Valley Voice is back from the printing press! It was printed one day early and will hit the mail routes tomorrow morning in both Belgrade and Brooten.




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Monday, November 23, 2020

Playing catch-up (ketchup?)

In a nutshell...lots going on in the past few days. All in all, we are very happy to keep the youngest learners in school at B-B-E. Beyond that I will need another week at least to get caught up with my fall sports coverage in print and online. The pressure cooker is on as I get the November 26 issue of the Bonanza Valley Voice to the printing press a full 24 hours earlier than usually scheduled. This week's newspaper prints on Tuesday morning (tomorrow).

Stay strong out there, Jaguar Country!

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Friday, November 20, 2020

Changes in B-B-E learning plan

In a nutshell:

Starting Tuesday, December 1, B-B-E students in grades 4 to 12 will begin distance learning four days a week.

Students who are in third grade and younger will continue on the hybrid learning model at four days a week in the elementary school building.

This tentative plan, which is dependent on keeping most staff and students out of quarantine and keeping everyone healthy and strong - is set to be in place through Christmas. This is a period of just over three weeks. (Three weeks and two days)

Overall this is a great compromise to navigate the rocky waters of the pandemic and state oversight. I wholeheartedly commend the staff of B-B-E schools for their efforts!

Other information will be published at the Bonanza Valley Voice website over the weekend.

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Thursday, November 19, 2020

Santa Day

The Belgrade and Brooten Santa Day events (scheduled for December 12) are "on hold" at the moment. Organizers are working on new plans that will not involve any type of public gathering of people.

The November 26 issue of the Bonanza Valley Voice will include more information. By the way, today the Bonanza Valley Voice climbed to 1,564 subscribers! A new all-time high.

I'll get more sports content posted tomorrow. It's been a wild week. We put out a robust 12-page newspaper on Tuesday, and that zapped a fair amount of my energy.

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Tuesday, November 17, 2020

(VIDEO) Football playoffs underway

Here's the link to view tonight's playoff game: https://youtu.be/mSQ-5DXui8U. Kickoff was at 6 p.m. at Dressen Sports Complex in Browerville.

In the first quarter, the B-B-E Jaguar defense held on fourth down inside their own 25-yard line. The Tigers coughed up a lost fumble, and B-B-E took over on their own 19-yard line. However, on the first play of that series, the Tigers picked off a pass and ran it in for a touchdown. The two-point conversion was no good, with the score then sitting at 14-0 Browerville.

On B-B-E's next drive after the kickoff, Jamison Reed had a 17-yard reception to get the Jaguars to the Browerville 42-yard line. Then on second down, Santos Sorenson had a gain to get his team to third-and-five. The third down play yielded no yards. Then on fourth down, Reed hauled in a 37-yard touchdown in the right corner of the field to put the Jaguars on the board with 1:27 left in the first quarter. The two-point conversion was broken up.

On Browerville's following drive, the Jaguars held on defense as the clock wound to just two seconds left in the first quarter. Browerville punted as time expired in the quarter, and the Jaguars were then set up on their own 39-yard line to start the second quarter.

On that drive, the Jaguars gained five yards on three plays. On fourth down, the Jaguars attempted a picket fence-style pass play. The pass was completed, but the conversion fell two yards short. Browerville took over on downs on the B-B-E 48-yard line.

On Browerville's following drive, they lost a yard on their first play. On their next drive, the quarterback broke free on a broken play after nearly getting tackled for a big loss. The play set up third down and five to go. Mason Gode then carried four yards to set up fourth down and one. Gode carried again, and he busted free to the B-B-E 32-yard line. Gode then carried for 12 yards to set up first down on the 20-yard line.

Mason Gode then scored on a 15-yard run with 6:37 left in the first half.

Halftime: Browerville 28, B-B-E 6.

Both teams traded touchdowns for a wild start in the third quarter. After the Tigers expanded their lead to 36-6, the Jaguars scored with 11:32 on the clock to make it 36-12.

Browerville set up their next possession after the kickoff return on the B-B-E 48-yard line with 11:22 left in the third quarter. The Tigers drove inside the 10-yard line and gained first down-and-goal with five to go with under six minutes on the clock. They scored with 5:02 left in the third quarter. The PAT kick was wide right, making the score 42-12.

After the kickoff, the Jaguars set up on their own 35-yard line. They converted a fourth-and-one play to get near midfield. Then on third-and-eight at the Browerville 49-yard line, quarterback Tanner Shelton gained one yard to get to fourth-and-seven. Shelton threw a deep ball, but the Tigers intercepted it to gain possession on their own 26-yard line.

Final score: Browerville 48, B-B-E 18. That puts the book end on the fall football season.




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Monday, November 16, 2020

Football playoffs

The B-B-E Jaguars football team travels to Browerville for the opener of the Section 4A playoffs. The game will start at 6 p.m. at Dressen Sports Complex, located behind the Browerville school campus.




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Sunday, November 15, 2020

B-B-E staff to be honored

Some time after 7 p.m. tonight, B-B-E will be featured in a special Minnesota Rural Education Association awards ceremony:

https://www.ruralproud.org/?utm_term=0_b731c7620b-d8ba754fb7-62131895.

Coverage of this award will follow in the November 19 issue of the Bonanza Valley Voice newspaper.

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The wind howls, and my mind wanders

The wind is howling like mad right now across the Bonanza Valley area. It's out of the northwest, gusting 20 to 40 miles an hour, and it is raw!

I hope you and your family were able to take in some type of church worship this morning. I was pleased to drive around Brooten and see a nice collection of vehicles outside our three churches: Trinity Lutheran, Brooten Community (Christian Reformed) and St. Donatus Catholic churches.

I enjoyed time spent at "The Church of KaDe Shack" and some fine fellowship with the good folks gathered there today for Tom's wonderful breakfast buffet. I really enjoyed visiting with Lars Terhaar and Joe Tensen from the Sedan area. Don't quote me, but I believe Lars graduated from Brooten high school in 1980. Joe graduated from B-B-E in 2007 and was a Section Final Four wrestler as a senior.

Lars's dad was Oscar Terhaar, who was born in September 1923 in South Dakota. Oscar's parents were Ben and Anna (Zenner) Terhaar. Their family lived in Lake George Township near Elrosa at the time of the 1930 census, and by 1940 they were living in Chippewa Falls Township, which is located southwest of Sedan in Pope County.

By 1940, the Terhaar family had 11 children! Wow! Ben and Anna Terhaar raised their children on farms near Buckman, Elrosa, Grove Lake and Sedan as they navigated the tumultuous times of the roaring 1920s and the Dust Bowl-ridden 1930s. Their oldest child was Gerald, who was born in 1921 and passed away in July 2018. Their youngest child was Anna Marie, who was born in 1939 and now lives in California.

Oscar would go on to be a very skilled, talented and in-demand carpenter who built numerous homes across our area. One of the houses he built was the one that caught fire on Halloween, owned by Brad and Amy Goodwin.

One of Oscar's little sisters was Ruth, who later married Ozzie Stepan in September 1945. Ruth was three years younger than Oscar, and she and Ozzie put 10 kids through the Brooten school system across the 1950s, 60s and 70s. Ozzie drove school bus across that same stretch of time, and he had the good fortune of having the bus route that made the trek deep into Norway Lake Township to deliver kids to Brooten from my childhood neighborhood.

Ozzie passed away in December 1987, and Ruth passed away last year in October. They are both remembered in the highest regards by all who knew them. They were "the best people" you could know.

One of the youngest children of Ben and Anna Terhaar was Kenneth, who was four years old in 1940 and eventually became a very influential and well-respected dairy farmer and Brooten school board member. Ken, or "Kenny" as we affectionately called him, graduated from Brooten high school in 1952. He was part of a group of students at that time who walked the hallways of Brooten high school before and after a grand remodel, renovation and addition project that took place in 1950-1951. Across that two-year period, Brooten high school added numerous classrooms, a band/choir room and an Industrial Arts shop. Later in his life, Kenny had a front-row seat to the good and the bad that made up the process that married the Brooten and Belgrade-Elrosa school district. I would go out on a limb and label him one of the "wiser" and "cooler heads" in that process, and we can all be thankful he had a strong hand in guiding our communities through that era. I don't know where we'd be today if the two former rivals (sometimes "bitter" rivals) hadn't come together to form what is known today as District No. 2364, home of the B-B-E Jaguars and an area I call Jaguar Country. I could be wrong (although rare, it's happened before), but I don't know if the two schools would still be on the map had they remained independent.

But I digress.

Kenneth passed away just over a year ago in October, just three days after his sister Ruth died. We all miss him dearly. He and his wife, Ginny, put five kids through the Brooten school system, with the youngest two graduating from B-B-E high school (Greg in 1990 and Daman in 1996). And before those two, the Terhaar family saw Nick, Andrea and Gretchen earn diplomas from BHS in the 1980s.

Out of my 1,561 families who subscribe to the Voice, I can easily say that hundreds and hundreds of them know one or more of those five Terhaar kids. They all contributed in countless ways to both athletic and Fine Arts programming at Brooten and B-B-E. They all were very well-known, popular and extremely friendly and personable to all who knew them. The Christian values embedded in their upbringing are a testament to their parents, Ken and Ginny. Did I mention how much we miss him? Yeah, we really do miss Kenny. It was always an extreme honor to see him, smile at him, wave at him and visit with him.

Daman was a very good friend and classmate of mine starting in Mrs. Hauge's kindergarten class in September 1983 all the way through 12th grade and graduation at B-B-E high school. Having friendships like his are what made my time in the local school system full of joy from start to finish.

A small school like B-B-E depends on the effort and dedication that was given by parents such as Kenny and Ginny, and in general, by families such as any local family who has the last name of Terhaar. I hope and I pray that when writers of local history look back on the early 20th century, they will be able to write about my peers in the same light that I'm writing about the Terhaars right now.

Of course, time will tell. Time always has the ultimate say!

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Volleyball action tonight

The Eden Valley-Watkins Eagles are in town tonight to face our B-B-E Jaguars volleyball team

Action can be followed online by clicking here: https://youtu.be/wqe8vZ8d2TQ.

I see in game one that the Eagles have an 18-14 lead.

*Update: after EV-W won game one 25-19, the Jaguars took game two by a 25-23 score. The third game was won by the Jaguars by a 25-20 score. The Eagles were tough as nails for the first two games. The Jaguars had to really battle to pull out a win in game two.

Here's video from the final points scored in game two tonight:


*Update: the Jaguars have a 12-7 lead in game four.

Final score in game four: B-B-E 25, EV-W 16. The Jaguars improve to 9-1 on the season. I'll work on getting some volleyball video posted later tonight.

Eden Valley-Watkins is now 5-4 overall.

  • Here's a short video clip from the second quarter last night. I hope to get more video posted over the weekend from recent varsity action.


Tomorrow we'll learn the playoff match up for the football team, when the Section 4A seeding is released. The playoff rankings will be done by coaches' vote.




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Wednesday, November 11, 2020

(VIDEO) More video from the K-M-S game

Tonight the B-B-E Jaguars football team hosts state-rated Browerville with a 7 p.m. kickoff. You can watch the game as kickoff approaches in this embedded video player. This will disappear once the live stream ends after the final horn sounds:



Looks like I screwed up and posted the wrong video code... my apologies.


Below, video from the second quarter of last Friday's game:


Bundle up if you're going to the game!

**Halftime tonight: Browerville 30, B-B-E 0. The Tigers led 8-0 at the end of the first quarter.

Final score: Browerville won 45-0. The Jaguars put up a good fight in the first quarter and the second half. They will travel for next Tuesday night's playoff game. Details TBA.

Good night everyone! Tonight is a school night. Get your rest, and take the necessary steps to keep your kids both healthy and in good spirits!!


THANK YOU to our local business sponsors to help provide sports coverage in the Bonanza Valley Voice newspaper...in print and online.




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Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Volleyball at Paynesville

The No. 5-ranked B-B-E Jaguars volleyball team is at Paynesville Area tonight for a border battle with the Bulldogs.

The YouTube live stream link to use for watching tonight's JV and varsity action is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rv9YxjYpSDU.

**Update: the Jaguars won 3-1 to improve to 8-1 overall. Five Jaguars earned five or more kills, which shows terrific balance. Great job!

Game scores were 25-13, 21-25, 25-20, 25-15. That's all I have to report tonight.

Brooten has received over five inches of snow tonight. Good grief!!!!!

Time to get back to production of my November 12 newspaper issue.





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Monday, November 09, 2020

Seventy-eight years ago today

On November 9, 1942, Mr. and Mrs. Bernard (Ben) Nelson of Brooten received a hand-written letter from their deceased son, Arnold, who was killed in action that fall in World War II at the age of 29.

The Nelsons received word via telegram that their son was killed two days earlier, on Saturday, November 7. The message stated that Private Arnold Nelson was killed in action in the Southwest Pacific area on Monday, October 26. Pvt. Nelson's letter to his parents was written a few weeks earlier on October 18.

Can you imagine? How awful. Private Nelson was a high school graduate (high school unknown, but it was not Brooten) and at the time he was inducted into the Army, he was a poultry plant worker in Sauk Centre.

Adding to this tragic loss of life for Brooten was the unknown whereabouts of two young soldiers from the Brooten area who were missing in action in the Philippines as of that time.

You can read more about Pvt. Nelson and this tragedy in the November 12 issue of the Bonanza Valley Voice newspaper.

Veterans Day is on Wednesday this week. A "fair amount" of newspaper resources have been devoted to Veterans Day coverage and coverage relating to past wars fought by the U.S., and this has limited my time devoted to sports coverage. To best use my time, I am focusing on World War II coverage this week. 

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Sunday, November 08, 2020

(VIDEO) More footage from the first half

Here's more video from what was a very good first half of football:

The Jaguars host Browerville next Wednesday night, November 11.




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Saturday, November 07, 2020

Strong first half fizzles after halftime

As anyone who watched or attended the second half of last night's game knows, the second half did not go well for the B-B-E Jaguars football team. They still had the game within reach in the third quarter, but the bottom fell out in the fourth quarter.

After trailing 6-0 at halftime, the Jaguars lost 32-0. The Jaguars played a terrific first half defensively, with K-M-S's lone touchdown coming on a 61-yard interception return.

Below is video from the playing of the National Anthem, the pre-game huddle, the game's opening kickoff and the first few minutes of the first quarter:


More to come.

The Jaguars totaled 127 yards of offense, with 125 of them coming through the air. Ultimately, four turnovers brought too tall of a hurdle to overcome.

Last night I learned that Smooth Magic 107 FM will broadcast next Tuesday's volleyball match at Paynesville.





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Friday, November 06, 2020

Game Day - (Game Night) - Friday Night Lights V

Tonight the B-B-E Jaguars football team hosts Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg under the lights of the high school football stadium. Kickoff is at 7 p.m., and later I will post the link or embed the video in this blog for people who can't attend to watch from their phone or device.

Below is video from the end of the Parkers Prairie game last Saturday in Alexandria:

The Jaguars stopped the Panthers on downs, and they took over on their own 21-yard line with 4:14 left in the game.


Below is a video featuring action from last night's home volleyball match:

I'll get football updates posted here later tonight. I hope you and your family were able to enjoy the super incredible weather we had today. The high topped out above 75 degrees! Wow! More warm weather is coming on Saturday and Sunday. Enjoy it and soak it up while we can.

Final score: K-M-S 32, B-B-E 0.




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Thursday, November 05, 2020

Volleyball vs. the Cubs

The B-B-E Jaguars volleyball team won the first set tonight against Kimball Area. The final score was 25-16 in this Central Minnesota Conference match.

The Jaguars won game two  by a 25-16 score. They were tied early in the set at 7-7. 

In game three, the Jaguars opened up early leads of 3-0 and 6-1. 

*Final: B-B-E 25, Kimball Area 13.

As a team, the Jaguars had 13 total ace serves with a 93 percent serving percentage. Offensively, they hit at a 21.8 percent clip and were led by nine kills each from Karissa Jones and Kailey Fischer. Jones hit at a robust 35 percent clip with just one attack error.

Here's a video clip I haven't had a chance to post until tonight. It features the final points scored in the Royalton match played one week ago on the home court:


With tonight's win, the Jaguars improve to 7-1 heading into next Tuesday's border battle match at Paynesville. Tonight I hope to take a look at the CMC standings and get that posted.




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Catching up

I've been buried deep in catch-up mode this week. It has been an especially intense week stretching back to last week. I had to move about one-and-a-half mountains to get the November 5 issue ready for press. It's been pretty crazy nuts! But not necessarily in a bad way. There's no better way to explain it besides using the words "crazy nuts" - example: I used my voice-to-text feature while driving home from Alexandria last Saturday after the Parkers Prairie game. I "wrote" a rough draft of my sports column Couldn't Be Prouder while "talking" to my e-mail. 

Then I managed to not edit the whole thing, and I did a very poor job at that. Anyway, here's how the last paragraph should read:
I have to commend all of our kids and the school staff for keeping your spirits up. We are so proud of each and every one of you. You are all wonderful people.

Earlier in the column, the third paragraph should have read like this:
I also know that our community is immensely proud of our teams. Our Jaguars are just super nice kids as well as super competitive and talented student-athletes. What our kids have done to fight through what we are all fighting through while keeping our school open and keeping our teams playing is truly incredible.

I did a very poor job of enunciating the column via my voice-to-text artificial intelligence on my phone. Then I managed to not clean it up with a hard edit on my computer when I had the chance. I've been moving about 100 miles an hour for the latter part of October and now into November. There's been a lot going on, and mostly good things, which should make any newspaper man happy. I'm just bothered by the fact that I've never butchered a column that badly. What made it to "press" was pretty rough.

I suppose if butchering a sports column is my biggest problem of my week - then I'm doing pretty well.

Back to tonight...I did a search for a possible live stream link for B-B-E Jaguars JV football at K-M-S and came up empty. The Jaguars and Fighting Saints play a JV game this afternoon (4:15 p.m. kickoff) at the Murdock field. It is the last game for our JV Jaguars.

*Update: my sources out of Murdock told me that K-M-S has a 6-0 lead after the first quarter.

Halftime: K-M-S 6, B-B-E 0.





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Monday, November 02, 2020

Volleyball match cancelled

Tonight's volleyball match has been cancelled due to COVID-related reasons. The B-B-E Jaguars still held evening practice, so thankfully the issue was not on our end.

No word on if or when it would be rescheduled, but I know the fall season has built in a window where make-up matches could be played.

I am unaware of any breaking COVID-related news in terms of B-B-E schools. Last week we were notified of what I believe is just our 11th case regarding a student or staff member since school opened on August 25. 

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Sunday, November 01, 2020

Imagine all the students over the years...

Imagine all the students over the years between the fall of 1984 and the spring of 2016 who had the distinct honor of being taught Phy Ed (and health and science) by Mr. Brad Goodwin.

And imagine the hundreds upon hundreds of students from 1985 through the present who have been taught Home Economics (now Family and Consumer Science or FACS) by Mrs. Amy Goodwin. She taught at Brooten high school, the B-B-E school system and for the past 24 or so years, Sauk Centre high school.

I don't think there's one former student of theirs out there who was not positively impacted by having them as their teachers. 

Beyond that, imagine how important Phy Ed is today? And FACS? We live in an age where adults have no concept of exercise or cooking. In our schools, Phy Ed and FACS both counteract those epidemics that are running rampant through American society.

End rant!

Fire update (VIDEO)

The house fire in Brooten is being investigated by Xcel Energy and the Minnesota state fire marshal. Their reports will include incredible, bizarre timelines of what happened.

I know our B-B-E community will take care of them. We will move mountains for the Goodwin family. We all know that they would do anything for the school and our community, and the same goes in reverse. We love the Goodwins. They are the best people.

Here's the first video I recorded last night. It was just a couple minutes shy of 8 o'clock. Fire trucks continued rolling in after this.


I am happy to report that the Goodwin family is "in good spirits" and are as thankful as anyone that no one got hurt. They were very concerned about the fact that children could have been harmed by what took place. We are extremely lucky that no family is involved funeral planning. It could have easily gone very, very differently.

Unfortunately, and tragically, their house received extensive damage, and our entire B-B-E community is very, very sad about that. Their house was literally attacked by at least one power line. That's the simplest way to explain it. The house was under attack, and it happened quickly and in an unforgiving manner.

Whether you see the damage in person, or you see it just through my videos, please understand that this fire started on the roof and went down. It was very, very strange. Once it burned long enough on the roof, it was impossible to prevent it from burning what was under the roofline.

Once the roof started on fire, the Goodwins were unaware of what was taking place right outside. The wind was howling and gusting over 50 miles an hour. It's a situation of this: you hear a large explosion, or a boom, and your instincts tell you to stay inside. You stay in the safety and comforts of your own house. If trouble is brewing, you will be warned somehow, right? You don't go outside during a bad storm. You shelter in place, right?

In this case, a Good Samaritan warning came from a neighbor who told them to get out almost immediately after the roof started on fire. Even then, loose and live power line(s) were a threat to anyone outside the house. They were able to find shelter at a neighbor's place as the fire departments went to work. As I said last night, this was a three-alarm fire with Brooten, Belgrade and Elrosa responding. 

This was an extremely dangerous situation for nearly four hours until Xcel Energy finally disconnected the live, loose wire that had been glowing brightly next to a pine tree in the back alley.

Below, a video taken this afternoon:



A Brooten fire department member said it best today: "This shows how much you have to respect and fear the power of electricity." If a wire gets loose like it did last night, anything near it is a "sitting duck" and easy prey.

Just over eight years ago, I wrote on this sports blog about the incredibly tragic accidental death of Coach Rich Vos. He passed away on October 16, 2012. I think of that to put this into perspective. What happened last night was awful. I am just so glad we are not mourning the loss of life right now in Jaguar Country.

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