I’m Sarah Schmitt!
And I’m Steven Kellner! Welcome to a very special edition of the “Bear Facts”, where it’s March Madness on the basketball floor here at Bishop Garrigan High School.
JEFF: What an awesome ride it’s been for Golden Bear sports this past year. In the past twelve months we’ve had state champions in girls’ track, boys’ track, and dance. We’ve had state runners-up in football and baseball, and we’ve also gone to state in cross-country. Now it’s basketball season and—what else—it’s back to state for the Golden Bears. The Garrigan boys played their substate game last night, with a big rematch against perennial rival St. Edmond. We had to tape this show before that game, so this week it’s the girls we’re featuring on the “Bear Facts”.
And there’s definitely a lot to talk about with the Golden Bear girls. The girls had a good regular season, but they were a little disappointed when St. Ed’s ended up with the conference championship. That’s all St. Ed’s got, though, because in play-offs the Gales lost, but the Bears just kept on going. They won the district championship and then the regional crown, and now next week they’ll be making their third trip to the big “barn” in Des Moines.
The Bears play their opening game at state next Wednesday at 2:30. All the sportscasters keep talking about how they’ll be playing the top-ranked team in the state—Council Bluffs St. Albert. The girls haven’t let that shake their confidence, though. They’ve already beaten higher-ranked 2-A teams, not to mention all the 3-A teams they beat in conference play. Captain Angie Froehlich noted that St. Albert doesn’t play in a tough conference like the North Central, and they’ve never seen a team like Garrigan before. The Bears have shown that they can play with anyone, and we know they’ll give St. Albert the game of their lives next Wednesday.
A win on Wednesday will bring Bishop Garrigan back to Des Moines on Friday for the state semi-finals. The 2-A semis will be Friday at 2:30—once again in Veterans Auditorium. Their opponent will be either Hinton or West Marshall—a team whose name we remember from the football championships last fall. If they make it past the semi-finals, the state championship game would be next Saturday, March 11, at 6pm.
It’s no secret who’s been leading the Bears to victory all season long. Angie Froehlich is the lone Golden Bear senior, and when her season finally ends next week, she’ll retire with her name on almost every page of the record books. Angie grew up in a basketball family. Her brother O.J. played on the first Garrigan boys’ team to make it to state, and her father Tom Froehlich coached that team. Angie came to practices with her dad when she was back in grade school, and she played right alongside those varsity boys. She helped make them better, and they helped start her on the way to becoming one of the top female athletes in the country.
That was seven years ago, and Angie has just gotten better and better since then. Today she is the all-time scoring leader at Garrigan. She’s racked up over 1,000 points in her career, including 558 so far this year alone. She is also the team leader in assists, steals, and defensive rebounds. The coaches keep track of “team value points” for each player, and it’s no surprise that Angie has more than twice as many of them than any other girl on the team.
Don’t think for a minute, though, that the Bears are a one-woman team. Among the other team leaders is junior Michelle Vitzthum, who is the Bears’ leading rebounder overall. Michelle also has the best two-point shooting average of all the regular players. In three-point shots, Heather Stence leads the starters, while Kelly Kohlhaas has the team’s highest free-throw percentage. Sophomore Ashley Arndorfer plays strong on both offense and defense, and she also leads the Bears in blocked shots.
Rounding out the regular players are junior Sara Reding, who is always a threat to steal the ball; sophomore Jenna Becker, who is a great rebounder; and sophomore Teresa McGuire, who has been very consistent at the free throw line. Congratulations to the whole team, and good luck to Coaches Wieland and Froehlich and all the girls at state!
It takes hard work and practice to keep the team going, and some of the hardest workers at practice are the JV players who make up the varsity bench. Many of them have impressive stats, too. For instance, Jamie Loebig and Heather Fickbohm are both shooting a perfect 100% on three-pointers, while Mindy Buscher'’ 60% is the team’s highest two-point average. Sara Seeley, Shelley DeVries, Deanna Kohlhaas, and Alison Dornbier round out the varsity bench. Even when they’re not in the game, the girls like to have fun. Just watch them during free throws—when they have a precision routine that would make the drill team proud.
We’ll have a send-off for the Golden Bear girls next Wednesday at 9:00. The students will line the hallways, forming a tunnel for the girls to run through as they head out to the bus on their way down to Des Moines. The public is invited to join the send-off at the main entrance to the school—by the statue along McCoy Street. Once the tournament is over, there will be a welcome back ceremony next Sunday, March 12, at noon in the Garrigan gym.
Basketball certainly isn’t the only successful activity at Garrigan this year. Last weekend BGHS hosted the district individual speech contest, and the Bears earned twenty-two Division I ratings—the most in more than a decade. All twenty-two of these entries will now advance to the state speech contest in Fort Dodge on Saturday, March 18. Mary McCall and David Burrow are the speech coaches at Bishop Garrigan.
We’re hoping for some more success today from the Bishop Garrigan math team. They’ve already qualified for state, but they’re down in Iowa City today competing in a regional contest at the University of Iowa. Team members include juniors Angie and Lynn Kohlhaas; sophomores Bob Brandenburg, Rebecca McGuire, Jennifer Faber, and Mandy Rahm; freshman Rosalind Kirsch; and me—Steven Kellner. Good luck to Coach Daryl Kohlhaas and the Golden Bear math team!
Because of all the basketball news, we’re skipping our Senior Spotlight this week and moving on straight to the calendar. Since the boys were playing their big substate game last night, the final performance of the Pops Concert was postponed until tonight. You can catch it this evening at 7:30 in Friedmann Auditorium.
Tomorrow’s intramural basketball games will start later than usual—at 1:45pm—so the varsity players can get in some last minute practice. Then tomorrow night at 6pm, we’ll have the annual Drill Team Night.
Monday and Tuesday afternoon we’ll have parent—teacher conferences. Garrigan’s conferences will run from 3:30 to 6:30 each day in the Rochleau Center at St. Cecelia’s.
Tuesday afternoon the Bishop Garrigan Danz Squad will be performing down at Vet’s as the halftime entertainment for the state basketball tournament. You can see them Tuesday during the 1:00 and 2:30 games.
Lent begins next Wednesday. We’ll start the day with special Ash Wednesday services here at Garrigan. They we’ll have a big send-off for the basketball girls. They play their opening game at state Wednesday at 2:30pm.
Thursday the health classes have a field trip scheduled to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. Friday there’s no school at Garrigan or Seton, although Algona High is in session. The girls’ state semi-finals will be Friday at 2:30pm.
Finally, next Saturday we hope the girls are still playing basketball, with the 2-A championship game scheduled for 6pm.
That’s the “Bear Facts” for girls’ state tournament week. Thanks for listening, be sure to cheer on the Bears down at Vet’s, and then tune in again next Saturday for more news from Bishop Garrigan High School.