SPORTS & SCHOOL

 

 

Lady LAX lays 20-spot in home opener

Buffalo wins another Mississippi 8 meet

Bison drop opener

Bison girls third at WBL meet

Bison bats silenced by Wildcats

Boys golf shows consistency under rough conditions

Buffalo defeats Anoka-Hennepin

Bison tennis wins second straight conference meet

BHS students march to Capitol

BHS math teacher soon to showcase music skills

BHS Spring Musical: ‘Pippin’

Journal-Press Internet Sports & School - April 27, 2017
by
Rob LaPlante

Journal-Press Sports Editor Rob LaPlante may be reached
by phone at 763-682-1221 or click here to email him


Lady LAX lays 20-spot in home opener

By Rob LaPlante

Sports editor

With goals from seven different sticks, the Bison girls’ lacrosse team opened the 2017 season with a convincing 20-5 home win last Thursday over Rocori.

Midfielders accounted for 13 of Buffalo’s goals. Junior Claire Stevens scored five times, and sophomores Emma Carlson and Erica O’Borsky each had four.

The game was tied 2-2 before Buffalo scored 10 unanswered goals to take a 12-2 lead into halftime. The entire second half was played under running-time rules due to the 10-goal lead mercy rule.

The loudest cheer of the contest came in the closing seconds of regulation when sophomore forward Jayden Perry scored her first career varsity goal, making the score 20-5.

 “It’s fun to watch that we have so many girls that can score a goal,” said second-year head coach Megan Scherer. “I said this last year; these girls almost get more excited for each other when they score a goal than they do for their own goal, so that’s fun to watch.”

While offense and scoring depth was supposed to be a strength to this year’s team, Scherer was just as excited by the strong play in their own end.

Making her first career varsity start and making seven saves for the win was freshman goaltender Maddy Huebner. Also playing well in the back end were defenders: junior Danika Tweten, and sophomores Carly Wilfahrt, Saylor VanLith, and Grace Moran.

The only gray area coaches may try and fix from the opening contest was the number of free shots on goal. Three of Rocori’s five goals came on stick infractions leading to Spartan penalty shots.

“Defense is always something that’s tough to get a handle on, and something we are always working on with our girls,” Scherer said. “We always talk about playing defense with our feet and not our sticks. In the beginning of the game, some of the penalty shots were maybe some jitters. In the end of the game it might have been some girls getting tired.”

As for Huebner, her confidence and play got stronger as the game moved on. Only a freshman, Scherer expects her and the other young girls to continue to get better moving forward.

“Maddy handled it really well, especially early in the game,” Scherer said. “I was really proud of the way she handled those free shots, especially early in the game. I feel everyone handled the first game really well. They really tried to implement the things we’ve been working on in practice. There are still things we need to fine tune, but overall, they did the things we talked about.”

 

MONTI UPDATE

The Bison suffered their first defeat of the season with a 12-10 road loss Monday at Monticello.

Buffalo had the defending Greater West Metro Conference champions down 9-7 with 10 minutes left in regulation, but the Magic scored four goals over a five-minute stretch to take a 11-9 lead.

The game was a makeup from the original date of Tuesday, April 18.

COLUMBIA HEIGHTS

Tuesday’s home game against Columbia Heights updated.

 

Buffalo 20, Rocori 5

(Thursday, April 21 at Buffalo)

Spartans 2   3  --    5

Bison    12   8  --  20

Buffalo Summary         

Goals: Claire Stevens 5; Emma Carlson 4; Erica O’Borsky 4; Callie Stumpfl 3; Jilli Hovland 2; Bailey Braccini 1; Jayden Perry 1.

Assists: Stevens 3; Danika Tweten 3; Braccini 2; Carlson 2; Hovland 2; O’Borsky 2; Meghan Landsberger 1; Perry 1; Stumpfl 1; Erin Welch 1.

Goalie: Maddy Hueber (win) 7 saves.

 

Monticello 12, Buffalo 10

(Monday, April 24 at Monticello)

Bison    4   8  --  12

Magic   8   2  --  10

Buffalo Summary         

Goals: Claire Stevens 5; Emma Carlson 3; Erica O’Borsky 1; Callie Stumpfl 1.

Assists: Bailey Braccini 2; Stevens 2; Carlson 1; Stumpfl 1.

Goalie: Maddy Hueber (loss) 6 saves.

 

Girls Golf

Buffalo wins another Mississippi 8 meet

By Rob LaPlante

Sports editor

Three meets, three wins.

The No. 7 ranked (Class 3A) Buffalo girls’ golf team continues to live up to its pre-season billing with a first-place score of 333 at last Friday’s Mississippi 8 West meet at Riverwood National in Otsego.

Junior Hanna Morin earned medalist honors shooting a 79 on Riverwood’s par-72 course. Freshmen Sofia Morin was two strokes behind her older sister at 81. Senior Jordan Wurm finished with an 82, including a 38 on the back nine. Freshman Morgan Wurm was fourth at 91. Both Morins and Jordan Wurm carded the top-3 scores.

Another victory came being it was the first meet of the season where the Bison golfers didn’t have to battle through cold and rainy conditions.

“The sun finally came out and the layers were able to stay in the golf bag,” said head coach Debi Warpula.

While the weather was nice, heavy rain leading into the meet still made for standing water and soggy conditions.

“There was not much roll on the ball and the water hazards were overflowing on some holes,” Warpula said. “These conditions definitely made an impact on the pace of play. The girls still showed mental toughness, as the event was longer than usual.”

Buffalo’s 333 was 21 strokes lower than second-place Rogers’ 354. The Bison also edged the Royals by the same amount of strokes in the first conference meet at Pebble Creek. The Bison shot 351 that day.

After earning medalist honors in two straight meets, Rogers’ junior Paetyn Levis struggled with the conditions finishing ninth at 92. Levis and Hanna Morin are both ranked individually in the state.  

“Most of the teams in our conference have strong players, so we always need to play our best,” Morin said. “We have a great conference and all the girls are a lot of fun to play with. We consider them all friends and not just competitors, which is what makes golf such a fun sport.”

Morin came into the meet ranked No. 9 individually. Although her best golf has yet to come, Morin says she’s excited to see her name, along with the team get recognition.

“I tend to have a slow start to my season, but there’s always room for improvement,” she said. “It’s an honor to be ranked in the top-10 in the state, but what’s even more exciting is that our team is ranked 7th in the state and 4th in Class 3A.”

Buffalo had a week off for practice leading into this weekend’s 2-day invitational at Bunker Hills in Coon Rapids.

The Bison will face some of the state’s top teams and golfers on the same course the state tournament is held. Buffalo tees off at various times starting at 7:40 a.m. on Friday, April 28. The tourney concludes Saturday, April 29.

 

JV SUCCESS

A 3-way tie the same day in the junior varsity meet ended with Buffalo junior Hannah Willard, and Rogers’ Emma McKeon and Emma Springer, each shooting an 80 on the 18-hole, par-58 Vintage Golf Course in Otsego.

Willard shot 46 on the front nine and 34 in the back. Sophomore Emma Schultz fired an 85, and sophomore Hanna VanDenEinde carded an 89.

“It was fun to watch the girls celebrate their accomplishments with one another, especially Willard’s 34 on the back nine,” Warpula said. “What an honor for Coach Tim Murray and myself to sit back and watch these girls celebrate the small victories in each day with humble confidence.”

 

Mississippi 8 West Meet

(Friday, April 21 at Riverwood)

Team scores: 1. Buffalo 333; 2. Rogers 354; 3. St. Michael-Albertville 375; 4. Big Lake 397; 5. Monticello 418.

Bison scores: 1. Hanna Morin 42-37--79; 2. Sofia Morin 40-41--81; 3. Jordan Wurm 44-38--82; 4. Morgan Wurm 48-43--91; 5. Aly Peeler 46-48--94; 6. Kaylee Schultz 54-49--103.

Individual Medalist: Hanna Morin (Buffalo) 79.

 

Bison Yard South debut: Moorhead 2, Buffalo 1

First Pitch: LeRoy Erickson & Tom Bauman     First Hit: Eathan Soeffker (double)

Winning Pitcher: Braeton Wixo (Moorhead)      Losing Pitcher: Mitch Gabrelcik

First Home Run: Tyler Brown   First Run: Tyler Brown  First RBI: Tyler Brown

 

Bison drop opener

By Rob LaPlante

Sports editor

The much anticipated first home game ended in disappointing fashion for the Bison baseball team.

A 2-run seventh-inning rally propelled the visiting Moorhead Spuds to a 2-1 victory last Friday, spoiling Buffalo’s home debut, and the debut of the new Bison Yard South baseball field.

On a perfect afternoon weather-wise for baseball, junior first baseman Tyler Brown gave the home crowd a lasting memory with a solo homer to lead off the bottom of the second.

Brown’s blast traveled about 365-feet over the left-centerfield fence, and goes down as the first homer, run scored, and RBI at the new field. Brown also hit the team’s first homer in his first varsity at-bat in a 9-1 road win on April 6 at Big Lake.

“He’s a great hitter and great player,” said senior pitcher Mitch Gabrelcik. “It’s nice to have that power in the middle of your lineup. To have two home runs in two weeks is saying something.”

Brown’s run proved to be the only offense, as Gabrelcik and Moorhead starting pitcher Braeton Wixo were dueling in a 1-0 contest into the seventh inning.

What has haunted the Bison in a recent 0-4 stretch came back into play in the top of the seventh.

A fielding error by senior Ramon Vega Jr. led to Moorhead’s Ryan Stafford reaching first and advancing to second on his throwing error. Gabrelcik would get the next two outs without the runner advancing, but Stafford would score after a fielding error by senior second baseman Kurtis Kunkel.

The Spuds grabbed the lead 2-1 when Wyatt Gunkel hit an RBI single scoring Luke Gulbranson.

Gabrelcik suffered the loss, despite allowing no earned runs over seven innings. The bison committed five errors for the third time in the past four games.

“I feel bad for those guys, they make those plays all year,” Gabrelcik said. “You can’t just look at one play like that thinking it cost us the game. I left pitches up on 0-2 counts where those hitters shouldn’t have even been on base.”

Lost in the defensive woes is the lack of hitting. It was the Bison’s second straight 1-run defeat. They were shutout 1-0 last April 21 at Osseo.

“We need some guys to start hitting their way into the lineup,” Beilke said. “We have some spots in the lineup where we aren’t hitting. We need to contribute 1-through-9 in the lineup. When you score one run over 14 innings, you’re not going to win many games. We have to score runs to take pressure off your defense.”

 

STREAK ENDS AT FOUR

Buffalo’s win streak ended at four thanks to a complete-game shutout by junior pitcher Bailey Erickson, who improved to 2-1 on the season.

Erickson allowed just four hits, two walks, and struck out six for the win.

The Bison scored both runs in the second inning. Senior Hunter Brings recorded an RBI on a fielders choice to the pitcher. Gabrelcik followed with an RBI single.

Erickson’s performance marked the third straight complete-game by a Bison pitcher.

 

MUNOZ GAME

The Bison will host on Saturday, April 29 the annual Sam Munoz Memorial Game. Buffalo varsity and junior varsity teams will host Minnetonka at 4 p.m. at Bentifield Mills Park. The freshmen and varsity reserves will also have games at 1 p.m.

In conjunction with the games, a silent auction will be held, with door prizes, and concessions sold. There is no admission fee. This game is to commemorate the memory of former BHS student and baseball player, Sam Munoz. Money raised goes to a scholarship given in his name to a deserving BHS senior baseball player.

 

Moorhead 2, Buffalo 1

(Friday, April 21 at Buffalo)

Spuds   0  0  0    0  0  0   2  –   2   4   0

Bison    0  1  0    0  0  0   0  –   1   6   5

Bison hitters: Mitch Gabrelcik 1-3, SB; Eathan Soeffker 1-3, K, double; Kurtis Kunkel 0-3; Ramon Vega 1-3, 2 K; Josh Fussy 0-3, K; Tyler Brown 2-3, R, RBI K, double, HR; Nick Mueller 0-0; Hunter Brings 0-2, K; Jake Hendel 0-2, K; Jack Munsterteiger 0-1, K; Jacob Strong 0-0; Cal James 1-3. Totals: 6-26, 1 R, 1 RBI, 0 BB, 8 K. 

Bison pitchers: Mitch Gabrelcik (loss) 7 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 7 K, 77 TP. Totals: 7 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 7 K, 77 TP.

 

Buffalo 2, Princeton 0

(Monday, April 24 at Princeton)

Bison    0  2  0    0  0  0   0  –   2   7   1

Tigers   0  0  0    0  0  0   0  –   0   4   0

Bison hitters: Mitch Gabrelcik 2-4, RBI, K; Kurtis Kunkel 2-4; Eathan Soeffker 0-4, K; Ramon Vega 1-3; Josh Fussy 0-3; Tyler Brown 1-3, R, 2 K; Cal James 0-2; Jacob Strong 1-3, K; Jack Munsterteiger 0-0, R; Hunter Brings 0-2, RBI, HBP. Totals: 7-28, 2 R, 2 RBI, 0 BB, 5 K. 

Bison pitchers: Bailey Erickson (win) 7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 6 K, 99 TP. Totals: 7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 6 K, 99 TP.

 

Track & Field

Bison girls third at WBL meet

By Rob LaPlante

Sports editor

A third-place score of 86 at last Friday’s six-team White Bear Lake all-girls’ invitational was a season-high for the Bison girls’ track and field squad.

Only Hudson (WI) at 156 and Roseville 152 scored more.

The Bison had three individual first-place finishes, including freshman Alexis O’Malley in the 400-meter dash (1:00.60), junior Amanda Montplaisir won the 800 run (2:22.02), and freshmen Josie and Katie Lavato each finished first (13.49) and third (13.57), respectively, in the 100 dash.

Injuries and cooler temperatures continue to prevent some athletes from performing at their best, but overall, Palmer said White Bear Lake was the season’s best performance for the girls.

“Alexis and Amanda both set personal records (PR),” said head coach Scott Palmer. “We had a lot of PRs being set. The girls came to compete this meet.”        

Junior Meredith Reynolds set a PR with a second-place time of 12:37.81 in the 3200 run. O”Malley, Josie Lavato, Montplaisir, and freshman Emma Latcham-Reiter set a PR in the 4x400 relay with a second-place time of 4:16.89.

 

White Bear Lake Girls Invite

(Thursday, April 21 at WBL)

Team scores: 1. Hudson, WI 156; Roseville 152; 3. Buffalo 86; 4. White Bear Lake 83; 5. Spring Lake Park/St. Anthony Village 72; 6. Tartan 52.

Individual results (1st & Bison)

100 Meter Dash: 1. Josie Lavato (B) 13.49; 3. Katie Lavato 13.57; 17. Gabby Grage 14.96; 20. Marielle Seeleman 15.97.

200 Meter Dash: 1. Kendra Ekereke (T) 27.97; 5. Katie Lavato 28.36; 12. Julia Lowell 29.46; 19. Jessica Schubert 35.32.

400 Meter Dash: 1. Alexis O’Malley (B) 1:00.60; 9. Ida Christensen 1:07.15.

800 Meter Run: 1. Amanda Montplaisir (B) 2:22.02.

1600 Meter Run: 1. 1. Emma Filipiak (H) 5:27.25; 7. Areefa Seepersaud 6:16.95; 15. Sophia Braun 6:54.80.

3200 Meter Run: 1. Frances Ryan (R) 12:23.29; 2. Meredith Reynolds 12:37.81; 4. Kaitlin Berg 12:53.58.

100 Meter Hurdles: 1. Ella Bowman (H) 15.18; 2. Amanda Sloniker 17.85; 4. Cece Miller 18.14; 11. Camille Ruehle 19.72.

300 Meter Hurdles: 1. Bailee Dierks (H) 46.63; 7. Amanda Sloniker 53.86; 11. Cece Miller 56.63; 16. Camille Ruehle 1:00.74.

4x100 Meter Relay: 1. Hudson 51.94; 4. Buffalo 54.26.

4x200 Meter Relay: 1. Hudson 1:46.62; 5. Buffalo 2:01.59.

4x400 Meter Relay: 1. Roseville 4:16.34; 2. Buffalo (Alexis O’Malley, Emma Latcham-Reiter, Josie Lavato, Amanda Montplaisir) 4:16.89.

4x800 Meter Relay: 1. Roseville 10:41.61; 4. Buffalo 10:57.26.

High Jump: 1. Teya Langston (R) 5-02; T8. Aivary Bouman 4-04; T13. Rachel Huss 4-02.

Pole Vault: 1. Allison Weiker (R) 10-09; 7. Rachel Huss 8-00; 13. Danielle Ruhr 6-00.

Long Jump: 1. Nathalie Doeur (SLP) 15-06.50; 11. Cece Miller 13-02.75; 15. Aivary Bouman 12-07.25; 17. Julia Gleason 12-06.75; 18. Hailey Sorenson 12-02.50.

Triple Jump: 1. Kady Kochendorfer (H) 34-08.25; 6. Hailey Sorenson 29-10.75; 15. Cassie McNitt 26-04.50.

Shot Put: 1. Jackie Krieger (SLP) 34-09; 16. Mackenzie Dircks 25-05; T19. Emma Forcier 23-04; 21. Samantha Filipi 22-06.

Discus: 1. Meleah Hansen (R) 99-06; 16. Emma Forcier 69-09; 19. Mackenzie Dircks 62-08; 22. Samantha Filipi 58-08.

100 Wheelchair Dash: 1. Miriam Probst (WBL) 35.78.

200 Wheelchair Dash: 1. Miriam Probst (WBL) 1:09.04.

Shot Put Wheelchair: 1. Miriam Probst (WBL) 12-09.50.

Discus Wheelchair: 1. Miriam Probst (WBL) 22-01.

 

MONTI INVITE

Wet and rainy conditions played a role in Tuesday’s Monticello Invite.

The Bison boys’ finished fourth at the six-team invite with a score of 105. Playing in their final home meet at Monticello’s Middle School Field, the Magic boys won their home meet scoring 147 points.

Unplayable grounds wiped away the boys’ pole vault competion.

Bison sophomore Isaac Basten was first in the 3200-meter run (9:40.00). The boys’ 4x400 (3:36.26) and 4x800 (8:20.87) relays also finished first.

Likewise, the Bison girls’ also finished first in the 4x400 (4:16.22) and 4x800 (9:49.91) relays.

Buffalo’s team score of 56 was goof for fifth place. Alexandria won the meet at 234.25. Monticello was second at 130.

 

Monticello Invite (Boys)

(Tuesday, April 25 at Monticello)

Team scores: 1. Monticello 147; 2. Alexandria 132.5; 3. Osseo 127; 4. Buffalo 105; 5. St. Cloud Tech 84.5; 6. St. Cloud Apollo 33.

Individual results (1st & Bison)

100 Meter Dash: 1. Nate Hoglund (M) 11.28; 8. Treyton Welch 11.75; 12. Joey Farniok 12.11; 16. Blake Gleason 12.23; 25. Alexander Duerr  12.89.

200 Meter Dash: 1. Jayden Lister (STCA) 23.22; 14. Dustin Sarvie 25.53; 17. Cory Knudsen 26.69.

400 Meter Dash: 1. Charlie Voller (M) 51.28; 9. Michael Tweten 56.53.

800 Meter Run: 1. Corey Moody (O) 2:02.63; 2. Alexei Hensel 2:05.25; 6. Travis Scotting 2:09.00; 8. Ethan More 2:10.72; 9. Anthony Urbanski 2:15.39.

1600 Meter Run: 1. Corey Moody (O) 4:33.40; 4. Nick Oak 4:53.15; 7. Ryan Russek 5:03.92; 11. Joey Anderson 5:07.60.

3200 Meter Run: 1. Isaac Basten (B) 9:40.00; 3. Braden Benson 10:29.60; 4. Landon Tourville 10:30.00.

110 Meter Hurdles: 1. Mikhale Maier (M) 16.16; 5. Connor Boster 17.07; 10. Jacob Hagen 17.93; 17. Eli Koopman 19.41.

300 Meter Hurdles: 1. Tyler Sealock (O) 42.16; 3. Connor Boster 43.10; 7. Carter Patnode 45.14; 8. Jacob Hagen 45.29.

4x100 Meter Relay: 1. Monticello (Kalvin Beal, Tyler Jassman, Ryder Beckman, Nate Hoglund) 44.24; 4. Buffalo (Blake Gleason, Tyler Johnson, Treyton Welch, Joey Farniok) 45.99.

4x200 Meter Relay: 1. Monticello (Jack Hoaby, Ryder Beckman, Charlie Voller, Nate Hoglund) 1:31.17; 3. Buffalo (Carter Patnode, Nick Hanson, Riley Habisch, Blake Gleason) 1:35.24.

4x400 Meter Relay: 1. Buffalo (Carter Patnode, Nick Hanson, Tyler Johnson, Riley Habisch) 3:36.26.

4x800 Meter Relay: 1. Buffalo 8:20.87.

High Jump: 1. Justin Durr (B) 6-00; 9. John Leipholtz 5-01.

Pole Vault: 1. Postponed due to rain.

Long Jump: 1. Max Martig (STCT) 21-04; 13. Zach Rome 17-06.75; 17. Declan Thompson 16-00.50.

Triple Jump: 1. Ron Gray (O) 41-04.75; 13. Declan Thompson 34-08.50; 15. Blane Lindell 32-06.

Shot Put: 1. Bryce Ludwig (A) 51-03; 4. David Hanson 43-08.50; 13. Josh Muntifering 38-04; 26. Luke White 32-01.

Discus: 1. Bryce Ludwig (A) 152-07; 26. Josh Muntifering 77-08.50; 28. Luke White 74-03; 29. David Hanson 73-03.50.

 

Monticello Invite (Girls)

(Tuesday, April 25 at Monticello)

Team scores: 1. Alexandria 234.25; 2. Monticello 130; 3. Osseo 127.5; 4. St. Cloud Tech 98.75; 5. Buffalo 56; 6. St. Cloud Apollo 18.5.

Individual results (1st & Bison)

100 Meter Dash: 1. Jodi Lipp (STCT) 12.95; 3. Sydney Johnson 13.23; 6. Josie Lavato 13.60; 7. Katie Lavato 13.63; 21. Gabby Grage 14.50.

200 Meter Dash: 1. Kelby Olson-Rodel (A) 26.66; 9. Larissa Lynch 29.73; 11. Julia Lowell 30.14.

400 Meter Dash: 1. Kaye Paschka (A) 1:01.89; 18. Emma Weber 1:11.33; 19. Leslie Solis 1:14.92.

800 Meter Run: 1. Maddie McDermott (M) 2:28.87; 10. Kaitlin Berg 2:42.03; 13. Lila Hoover 2:47.91; 15. Alyssa Wallenta 2:51.20.

1600 Meter Run: 1. Maren Strootman (O) 5:40.72; 6. Meredith Reynolds 5:48.58; 12. Lily Hanson 6:04.88; 13. Areefa Seepersaud 6:05.22.

3200 Meter Run: 1. Aleah Miller (A) 11:43.75.

100 Meter Hurdles: 1. Gabrielle Bodin (O) 16.28; 9. Cece Miller 17.86; 10. Amanda Sloniker 18.15; 21. Camille Ruehle 21.66.

300 Meter Hurdles: 1. Syri Williams (A) 48.59; 10. Amanda Sloniker 54.94; 17. Cece Miller 58.41; 21. Camille Ruehle 1:03.68.

4x100 Meter Relay: 1. Alexandria 51.41 (Hannah Quitmeyer, Syri Williams, Kaye Paschka, Kelby Olson-Rodel) 51.41; 3. Buffalo 53.68.

4x200 Meter Relay: 1. Osseo 1:53.11; 5. Buffalo 1:57.77.

4x400 Meter Relay: 1. Buffalo 4:16.22.

4x800 Meter Relay: 1. Buffalo 9:49.91.

High Jump: 1. Nyalaam Jok (O) 5-02; 2. Kari Zumach 5-00; T16. Aivary Bouman 4-02; T16. Rachel Huss 4-02.

Pole Vault: T1. Kaethe Schroeder (STCT) 9-00; T1. Camille Ashfeld (M) 9-00; T1. Kennedy Bican 9-00; T1. Abigail Forester (A) 9-00; T9. Rachel Huss 8-00. 

Long Jump: 1. Jodi Lipp (STCT) 17-06; 13. Cece Miller 13-08.25; 14. Aivary Bouman 13-03.50; 16. Julia Gleason 13-02.

Triple Jump: 1. Jodi Lipp (STCT) 35-06; 6. Amanda Montplaisir 30-05; 11. Hailey Sorenson 29-03.

Shot Put: 1. McKenzie Duwenhoegger (A) 38-10; 22. Emma Forcier 23-03.50; 25. Samantha Filipi 21-05. 

Discus: 1. Kara Thomson (A) 113-08.50; 19. Emma Forcier 67-11; 25. Samantha Filipi 55-04.50.

 

Bison bats silenced by Wildcats

By Rob LaPlante

Sports editor

For the second time this season, the Buffalo fast-pitch softball team tasted defeat. For the first time this season, the Bison bats went silent.

Senior Cassie Lynch tossed a 2-hit shutout, leading Chisago Lakes to a 1-0 road win last Thursday at Buffalo.

Lynch fanned 12 and shutdown a Bison offense that had averaged 10.5 runs per game through the first six games.

“She did a good job against us,” Zrust said. “Unfortunately, she beat us with one pitch. She had a fastball and kept blowing it by us.”

Buffalo’s best chance to score came early in the game. But Lynch seemed to get a big strikeout whenever she ran into trouble. Buffalo stranded the bases loaded in the first inning, and left runners on second and third in the second.

After a couple uncharacteristically shaky starts, Bison junior Morgan DeMarais pitched well enough to win, but allowed the game’s only run in the top of inning four on an RBI single by Ellie Frischman that scored Madison Thornburg.

DeMarais allowed 10 hits, but only the one run while striking out nine.

“Morgan was better and threw a nice game,” Zrust said. “We went with some of her other pitches – primarily fastball and changeup.”

The loss puts Chisago Lakes (8-1 overall) atop the Mississippi 8 at 6-0. Buffalo is second at 5-1.

“That’s a tough one to lose, because technically that counts as two losses, since we only play them once,” Zrust said. “We have to hope for them to lose a couple times, but before we look at the conference, we have a lot of things to fix hitting wise. She was a good pitcher, but we’ve faced faster pitchers.”

 

BECKER 9, BUFFALO 8

The Bison (5-3 overall) dropped their second straight game with a 9-8 road loss in eight innings Monday at Becker.

A see-saw game saw Buffalo trail 4-2 early, only to score four runs in the fifth to grab a 6-5 lead. Becker led 7-6 after six and the Bison scored twice in the seventh for  an 8-7 lead. Junior Emily Hansen led off the seventh with her fifth homer of the season. Hansen was a perfect 4-for-4. Senior Nikki Goeb hit an RBI single scoring junior Sarah Hudson for the 8-7 lead. The Bulldogs forced extra innings with an unearned run in the seventh and won it in the eighth on an RBI walk-off single by Kaylyn Wiehle.

 

POSTPONED GAME

Rain washed away Tuesday’s road game at Cambridge-Isanti. Next up for Buffalo (5-3 overall) is a 4:30 p.m. home game Thursday, April 27 against North Branch.

 

Chisago Lakes 1, Buffalo 0

(Thursday, April 20 at Buffalo)

Wildcats           0  0  0    1  0  0   0  –   1 10   0

Bison    0  0  0    0  0  0   0  –   0   2   1 

Bison hitters: Katie Carlson 0-3, BB, 2 K, SB; Jordan Zrust 0-3, 2 K; Emily Hansen 1-3, double; Autumn Senger 0-2, K; Sarah Hudson 0-2, BB, K; Nikki Goeb 0-3, 2 K; Kenzie Johnson 0-2, BB, 2 K; Codi Zwack 1-1, BB; Mackenzie Pawelk 0-2, 2 K. Totals: 2-21, 0 R, 0 RBI, 4 BB, 12 K.

Bison pitchers: Morgan DeMarais (loss) 7 IP, 10 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 9 K. Totals: 7 IP, 10 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 9 K.

 

Becker 9, Buffalo 8, (8 innings)

(Monday, April 24 at Becker)

Bison         1  1  0    0  4  0   2  0 –   8 11   2

Bulldogs   1  4  0    0  0  2   1  1 –   8 13   2

Bison hitters: Katie Carlson 0-4, R, BB; Jordan Zrust 0-2; Emily Hansen 4-4, 3 R, 2 RBI, BB, HR; Autumn Senger 1-4, R, RBI, BB; Sarah Hudson 2-4, 2 R, BB, double; Nikki Goeb 1-3, RBI, BB, double; Kenzie Johnson 0-4, 2 K; Codi Zwack 1-3, BB; Shelby Stoll 1-3, R; Claire Boser 1-4. Totals: 11-35, 8 R, 4 RBI, 6 BB, 2 K.

Bison pitchers: Morgan DeMarais (loss) 8 IP, 13 H, 9 R, 7 ER, 2 BB, 7 K. Totals: 8 IP, 13 H, 9 R, 7 ER, 2 BB, 7 K.

 

Boys golf shows consistency under rough conditions

By Rob LaPlante

Sports editor

While the Buffalo boys’ golf team continues to seek its first meet victory, last Thursday’s performance at the Glencoe-Silver Lake Invitational showcased the team’s depth.

Buffalo’s score of 336 at Glencoe Country Club was second to BOLD’s (Bird Island-Olivia-Lake Lillian) top score of 332. Tri-City United was third at 384, and Glencoe-Silver Lake finished fourth at 404.

Cold, damp, and windy playing conditions prevented the Bison from achieving any scores in the 70s, but all six varsity players finished within five strokes of each other.

Also factor in the first time for all the Bison golfers playing at Glencoe Country Club, and head coach Paul Olson says the afternoon wasn’t all too bad.

“It was a style of course they were not familiar with; old municipal, with tight-wooded fairways, no rough and small crowned greens,” Olson said.

While scores were up, nobody on the team shot higher than 88.

Senior Luc Persson shot a team-best 83. Freshman Walter Ylitao and sophomore John Russett each fired an 84. All three golfers earned a medal for finishing among the top-6 overall. Senior Tom Russett just missed finishing seventh with an 85.

Other Bison scores were an 86 from sophomore Nate Persson, and 88 from sophomore River Goodmanson.

“The scores were indicative of the conditions, but having everyone in the 80s and three medalists was an accomplishment,” Olson said. The guys were disappointed in the outcome but it was good practice for some of the tight courses we’ll see later in the season. We are going to focus on the positives, learn from the mistakes, put it in the closet, and move on.”

 

MOUND-WESTONKA

Buffalo continued to venture to new courses and placed fifth out of 16 teams at Monday’s invite at Burl Oaks Golf Course in Minnetrista, hosted by Mound-Westonka.

John Russett finished third, individually, shooting a 78. Buffalo’s score of 337 was eight strokes back of second-place Orono’s 329. Minnetonka won the meet at 309.

Considering the playing field and plaing conditions, Olson was pleased with his team’s showing.

“Conditions were once again difficult. The course was set at nearly 6,800 yards, which is probably the longest course we will play during the season,” Olson said. “When combined with 30-mile per hour winds and showers, the course played even longer.”

“Players were using 3 or 5 fairway metals to try and reach some par threes,” Olson continued. “Overall, the scores were not indicative, I thought the team was striking the ball better, unfortunately each player got into some trouble that led to some big numbers on a few holes. John Russett played steady all day and shot a very solid round.”

 

M8 WEST MEET

Buffalo finished fourth with 322 points at a rainy Mississippi 8 West meet Tuesday at Pebble Creek in Becker. STMA won its second straight West Division meet at 298. Nick Andersen of Rogers was medalist at 70. Bison freshman Walter Ylitalo fired a team-best 77.

 

Glencoe-Silver Lake Invite

(Thursday, April 20 at Glencoe CC)

Team scores: 1. Bird Island-Olivia-Lake Lillian (BOLD) 332; 2. Buffalo 336; 3. Tri-City United 384; 4. Glencoe-Silver Lake 404.

Bison scores: 1. Luc Persson 83; T2. John Russett 84; T2. Walter Ylitalo 84; 4. Tom Russett 85; 5. Nate Persson 86; 6. River Goodmanson 88.

Individual Medalist: Mason Mages (BOLD) 77.

 

Mound-Westonka Invite

(Monday, April 24 at Burl Oaks)

Team scores: 1. Minnetonka 309; 2. Orono 329; 3. Hutchinson 331; 4. New Prague 331; 5. Buffalo 337; 6. Waconia 338; 7. Annandale 341; 8. Dassel-Cokato 354; 9. Mound (Black) 368; 10. Delano 371; 11. Litchfield 371; 12. Rockford 373; 13. Mound (White) 385; 14. Monticello 386; 15. Watertown-Mayer 387; 16. Glencoe-Silver Lake 409.

Bison scores: 1. John Russett 78; 2. Tom Russett 84; 3. River Goodmanson 87; T4. Nate Persson 88; T4. Walter Ylitalo 88; 6. Luc Persson 89.

Individual Medalist: Ben Sigel (Minnetonka) 74.

 

Mississippi 8 West Meet

(Tuesday, April 25 at Pebble Creek)

Team scores: 1. St. Michael-Albertville 298; 2. Rogers 311; 3. Monticello 321; 4. Buffalo 322; 5. Big Lake 359.

Bison scores: 1. Walter Ylitalo 77; 2. Luc Persson 80; T3. River Goodmanson 83; T3. Tom Russett 83; 5. John Russett 82; 6. Nate Persson 87.

Individual Medalist: Nick Andersen (Rogers) 70.

 

Buffalo defeats Anoka-Hennepin

By Rob LaPlante

Sports editor

It was a memorable win, with a memorable catch.

The Bison Adapted Softball team rallied for a 9-8 home win last Thursday over the Anoka-Hennepin Mustangs.

Anoka-Hennepin jumped to an early 5-0 first-inning lead, but the Bison answered with four runs in the bottom half of the inning.

After a shaky start, the Bison defense and senior pitcher Kail Dornbusch pitched three straight scoreless innings before the Bison grabbed a 7-6 lead in the fifth. The defense was highlighted by a great play in the field by senior second baseman, Cieara Menk, who snared a hard liner, which she bobbled several times before recording the out.

“Cieara showed off her new-found confidence by making a great over the shoulder catch at her new second base position,” said co-head coach Ruth Clarke. “Her catch rallied us out of a tight inning, and inspired the team to tighten up their defense and work together.”

Buffalo trailed 8-7 heading to the bottom of the seventh, but rallied to score two runs for the win. The winning score came on an RBI single by eighth-grader Nathaniel Westphal scoring eighth-grader Brandon Powers.

It was the first time in Clarke’s 13 years coaching the team that Buffalo has defeated Anoka-Hennepin. The Mustangs have won three state titles since 2010 and have made state 15 straight years.

“They are one of the top teams in our division,” Clarke said. “It was so exciting how the team pulled together and did so well batting and in the field. We have never come close to beating them, so this was a game to remember.”

Menk was also a star offensively, going 3-for-3. Junior Park Gilmer was had a hit and three RBI. Junior Amber Bloom was 2-for-3 with a double and run.

“We played our best overall game,” said co-head coach Dave Kaufmann. “Players were making smart plays on defense and our batters were more confident. This win felt pretty good.”

Prior to the Anoka-Hennepin win, the Bison (2-2 overall) had another big test, only the defending state champions were too much in a 16-1 road loss last April 18 at North Suburban.

“It was another tough game,” Kaufmann said. “North Suburban had some strong hitting that we couldn’t match. 

Buffalo’s lone run came in the first inning on an RBI hit by Dornbusch scoring sophomore Austin Peterson-Lomker.

Westphal went a perfect 2-for-2.

The Bison played at Osseo on Tuesday, April 25 (recap next week). Next up is a 4:30 p.m. road game Thursday, April 27 at Robbinsdale Cooper.

 

Bison tennis wins second straight conference meet

By Rob LaPlante

Sports editor

After a slow start, the Buffalo boys’ tennis team is nearing the midpoint of the season gaining momentum.

The Bison won their second match of the year with a 5-2 road win last Thursday at Cambridge-Isanti. The win came one match after a 4-3 road win last April 18 at Big Lake. The back-to-back victories ended a streak of eight straight losses.

Knowing his singles lineup consists of one freshman and one seventh grader, Bison head coach Ben Watkins wasn’t overly concerned with an 0-8 start, but admits, the recent wins have been nice.

“The wins are great, but we have a pretty great group of guys on this team,” Watkins said. “They really understand that it’s not about the wins and losses right now, and that we’re trying to build something by the end of the year.”

In Buffalo’s defense, a few of the early defeats came against some of the state’s top teams. Hibbing and Mound-Westonka are both rated among the top-10 schools in Class A, and other unranked teams have experienced players who qualified for last year’s individual state tourney.

“I would much rather lose a match and get a ton better than beat a team and get nothing from it,” Watkins said. “With that said, wins can change the dynamics, and some of the guys need to start building some confidence so they can see how good of players they’re capable of being.”

Buffalo’s recent surge has been sparked by its all-senior doubles lineup.

In both recent wins, the Bison took all three matchups, including a 6-1, 6-2 victory at No. 1 by Grant Wykle and Jack Stevens against the Bluejackets. Following suit was a 6-2, 6-0 straight-set win at No. 3 by Saami Larson and Josh Skarin. Stone Goodmanson and Cade Stensby sweated out a 6-2, 6-7 (6-8), 10-2 victory in the two hole.

While Watkins has been reliant on his experience from his doubles lineup, points at the singles have been hard to come by.

Seventh-grader Turner Marr won his fourth match of the season with a 6-1, 6-1 victory at No. 3. Marr’s wins heading into Cambridge-Isanti were the only points this season won at singles, prior to junior Noah Stenmeitz posting a 6-2, 6-1 win at the No. 2 position. Freshman Logan Miller lost a 10-8 third-set tiebreaker at No. 4 singles, and junior Nick Immel was defeated 6-2, 6-0 at the top spot.

Immel is still searching for his first victory at a challenging number one spot in the lineup.

Although he’s shown signs of frustration, Watkins trusts Immel in that top spot, and is confident a few victories will soon follow.  

“Playing number one means that you never get a match off, and any time you don’t bring your best, you’re generally going to walk off the court disappointed,” Watkins said. “Nick has done a tremendous job this year of staying positive, but you can see he does get disappointed at times. He’s not seeing the success that he would like to see, but he’s still our best player, which means he’s playing number one.”

Immel went through a similar stretch last season playing his first year at the No. 1 singles spot. He finished the season strong and earned his first career section win playing in both the team and individual tournament.

“Nick is an awesome leader, and even though he might not be winning a lot of the matches, our younger guys watch him and see how he competes and see how he keeps his head up and doesn’t give up,” Watkins said. “That’s worth more than winning a match to us.”

 

CHISAGO LAKES PPD

The Bison’s originally schedule home meet this past Tuesday against defending conference champion Chisago Lakes was postponed to 4 p.m. Monday, May 1.

Next up for the Bison (2-8 overall, 2-1 M8) is a 4 p.m. road matchup Thursday, April 27 at Monticello.

 

Buffalo 5, Cambridge-Isanti 2

(Thursday, April 20 at C-Isanti)

Singles: No. 1 – Jay Gislason (CI) def. Nick Immel (B) 6-2, 6-0; No. 2 -- Noah Steinmetz (B) Rigo Mork (CI) 6-2, 6-1; No. 3 -- Turner Marr (B) def. Max Walz (CI) 6-1, 6-1; No. 4 -- Jacob Zacharais (CI) def. Logan Miller (B) 6-4, 5-7, (10-8).

Doubles: No. 1 – Jack Stevens/Grant Wykle (B) def. Ethan Roddy/Wyatt Jones (CI) 6-1, 6-2; No. 2 -- Stone Goodmanson/Cade Stensby (B) def. Matthew Didier/Kenny Knudson (CI) 6-2, 6-7 (6-8), (10-2); No. 3 -- Saami Larson/Josh Skarin (B) def. Tristan Day/Henry Abraham (CI) 6-2, 6-0.

 

BHS students march to Capitol

By James Didier

Guest columnist

Earth Day 2017 didn’t disappoint this year.

With clear, sunny skies and temperatures hovering around 70 degrees, a crowd of people gathered near the State Capitol on Saturday, April 22 to celebrate Earth Day, and to support science.

It was the March for Science, and depending on which news organization you follow, you’ll hear that anywhere between 10,000-50,000 people were in attendance. Coming from someone who was there, it was big! As we approached the Capitol building, the only thing that could be seen for blocks on John Ireland Boulevard was a sea of heads with no end in sight. What made the March for Science so special for me wasn’t the weather or the large turnout, it was the fact that students from Buffalo High School decided that it was an important enough event for them to attend.

The idea was simple -- rent a bus to make the round-trip journey to St. Paul and invite anyone interested. To be honest, the challenges were many. In order to get down to the Minnesota Science Museum on time we needed to leave the high school at 8:30 a.m., not a small task for high-school aged students on a Saturday morning. Another hurdle was marketing the opportunity. It turns out the old-fashioned approach of using posters and word of mouth doesn’t attract a lot of attention for this generation. Nonetheless, a group of passionate students came out to enjoy the day with classmates and support science.

For each person, the march meant something different. Some chose to make it about education while others marched for policy. Some people marched for specific advocacy groups while others marched for the integrity of our governing body. What the marchers on Saturday had in common was an appreciation for cultural norms, specifically those dealing with science. We are a great nation in large part to the scientific innovations that we have pioneered. These advancements wouldn’t have been possible if it weren’t for the things that participants marched for on Saturday. Things like public funding for research, uncensored data, and policy making based in honest scientific evidence.

Every day in my classroom I teach science, but sometimes within those lessons the totality of science’s impact on our lives is lost. On Earth Day, the students that came along got to see first-hand how important science is to their fellow Minnesotans and the myriad of ways that it impacts them each day.

 

BHS math teacher soon to showcase music skills

Kilgore to perform Gershwin classic

By Rob LaPlante

Sports editor

David Kilgore chose to pursue his second passion in life as his career job, where he currently is a math teacher at Buffalo High School.

Kilgore’s first passion will be on display when he performs the piano on Thursday, May 4 to George Gershwin’s famous 1924 piece “Rhapsody in Blue” during the BHS Spring Band Concert.

The concert will mark Kilgore’s first ever live performance of this piece, but “Rhapsody in Blue” is no stranger to his music vocabulary

“It’s not my favorite piece, but it’s definitely up there,” Kilgore said. “Sergei Rachmaninoff’s ‘Piano Concerto No. 3’ is my personal favorite – it’s the very first piece I listened to. That is levels beyond what I can do, but it’s a dream to play it.”

At the age of nine when he was in third grade, Kilgore’s grandmother taught him how to play his parents’ piano. Later gigs followed playing offertories and preludes for a local Presbyterian Church. He also performed at various weddings and funerals.

“Back when I first started, I didn’t really want to play a whole lot,” Kilgore said. “But once I got to high school, I just started enjoying it a lot more.”

Kilgore graduated from Centennial in 2011. While music was already in his DNA, forces beyond his control kept him away from it.

“Music by far was my first love,” he said. “But sadly, when I was in high school, I watched my music directors get cut due to budget cuts. I always wanted to become a music teacher, but coming out of high school, I wasn’t confident in that career. I knew I wanted to teach and help students, so I chose math as my career, which was my second passion.”

He eventually would earn his degree majoring in Math and minoring in Physics in 2015 from Bethel University in St. Paul.

Much like high school, Kilgore still took time to continue to keep music in his life.

“When I was in college, I didn’t want to give up music, so I did private lessons for a year,” he said. “In fact, I was looking to play ‘Rhapsody in Blue,’ but couldn’t make it work because of student teaching.”

No longer being a student, Kilgore and his wife, Michelle, moved to nearby Waverly where he began teaching math two years ago at BHS.

Even at the professional level, Kilgore was unwilling to let his musical background go to waste.

He currently works technical crew doing lights and sound for a number of musical concerts, including this year’s Spring Band Concert.

It wasn’t until last school year when BHS music director Scott Rabehl took notice of Kilgore’s interest and talent in music.

“He took the job as the auditorium manager and we quickly learned that he has a vast array of experiences in the arts. He’s a fantastic French Horn player, and obviously a great piano player,” Rabehl said. “He was down here playing in practice rooms before and after school and we had this idea that maybe he could play ‘Rhapsody in Blue.’”

It wasn’t until this past fall when the band found its clarinet player (Joey Patterson) for an opening solo that he seriously decided to ask Kilgore to be a guest piano player.

The two began rehearsing for next week’s concert this past Monday. Even though Kilgore is familiar with the Gershwin piece, he admits, working with a band has its challenges.

“I’ve played a solo version before with other pianists, but I’ve never done it with a band or orchestra,” Kilgore said. “Normally I decide my own rhythms, styles, and tempos. But with Scott conducting, I have to mold into him and he has to mold into me. It’s a challenge, but it’s unique because it’s something I’ve never experienced before.”

Seeing a math teacher walk into his music room and perform top-notch music comes to no surprise to Rabehl.

“He’s fantastic. But, we have a lot of great musicians walking around this building teaching things other than music – he’s the newest example,” Rabehl said. “There are a lot of musicians here that played or sang at the college level and continue to be amateurs with it. It’s so great to put our teachers on stage with the kids, because it shows our students that they can keep making music even as adults.”

The Spring Band Concert begins at 7:30 p.m. and features the Freshmen Band, Varsity Band, and Concert Band. “Rhapsody in Blue” will be performed near the end of the concert.

Kilgore says he’s excited to perform, particularly with a talented group of students that he admits, blows most high schools away when it comes to music.

“I didn’t know what to expect when I attended my first concert here, because I really enjoy listening to bands,” he said. “I was curious to see what level this school was at. I remember my first concert thinking ‘wow, they are in tune, they are together, and it feels like a group that just meshes.’ I’ve known some of these kids from math classes, musicals and plays. It’s just special to make music with them.”

 

BHS Spring Musical: ‘Pippin’

Seniors last performance brings circus atmosphere

By Rob LaPlante

Sports editor

Senior Jack Soden can somewhat relate to his own character he plays in this year’s Buffalo High School spring musical, “Pippin.”

Pippin is a story revolving around a young prince who longs to find passion and adventure in his life. To prove his loyalty to his distracted father, King Charles, he decides to go to war. When one of the Leading Players in the show convinces Pippin to fight tyranny, Pippin kills his father and takes over the throne.

Realizing he made a mistake, he begs the Leading Player to bring his father back to life, and they oblige. Pippin then falls in love with Catherine – played by sophomore Mallory Rabehl. He later second guesses himself and wonders if he should settle down and pursue a peaceful life or continue to make magic with the dazzling troupe of performers.

“Without a doubt, I have many similar traits as Pippin,” Soden said. “As a senior about to graduate, I find myself somewhat anxious for the future, unsure of what path to follow.”

Soden plans on attending the University of Minnesota, with potential majors including economics, journalism, and psychology. He also plans on joining one of the university choirs on campus.

Knowing this musical will be his final acting job of his high school career, Soden remembers fondly as a youngster coming to previous shows, and knew then that he wanted to pursue the stage.

“My favorite show as a kid was definitely ‘Seussical.’ I used to dance to the soundtrack with my brother in the living room, and after watching BHS’ recent production of ‘Les Misérables,’ I became jealous of the kid (Jonny Miller/2016 graduate) who played Gavroche,” Soden said. “I was thinking to myself, ‘I could do that.’ So, that summer I played Louis Leonowens in Buffalo Community Theatre’s production of ‘King and I.’” After that, I continued to do many shows with BCT and the high school.”

Senior Emily Twardy is also a senior who knew from a young age she wanted to pursue acting.

“I knew I wanted to be in theater since I did my first play when I was six,” Twardy said. “I was a pumpkin in ‘Cinderella.’” I fell in love with performing. I loved being able to get on stage and know that this was something that I had helped to create. From then on, I’d been involved in as many shows as I could.”

Twardy plays Fastrada in this year’s spring musical. Fastrada is Pippin’s stepmom, as well as the queen.

“Fastrada is a woman who knows exactly what she wants – power,” Twardy said. “She uses her charm and beauty to manipulate everyone from King Charles to Pippin. She is dedicated to gaining the throne for her son, Lewis (played by junior Seamus Filkins), through whatever means necessary.”

Like Soden, Twardy is likely performing in her final major acting role. She plans on attending next year the College of St. Benedict’s in St. Joseph where she will pursue a degree in mathematics.

“While I won’t be majoring in theater, I still plan on being heavily involved in the theater department,” Twardy said. “It is beyond incredible for me to be a part of Pippin. It’s such a fun show, and I’m glad I got to do it my senior year.”

As director, it’s hard for Tracy Hagstrom Durant not to get emotional when the spring musical hits the schedule. While it is a judged show, she also knows spring musicals are the final hurrah for a lot of her cast members.

Soden and Twardy are joined as lead cast members with fellow seniors: Jonah Schmitz (Leading Player), Brandon Bednarek (Leading Player), Katie Swartzer (Leading Player), Calista Cherches (Berthe), and Mallory Rabehl (Catherine).

“It is always a particularly intense and emotional experience, because it is the last show for all of our seniors,” Hagstrom Durant said. “It is sad for me, because I have spent four years with many of these kids, but it is also the reality of what I do for a living. It is also my goal, as an educator, that I help get kids ready to move on to the next phase of their educational journey. I just hope they stay in touch with me so I can follow them.”

Many of Hagstrom Durant’s former students do keep in touch. Bekah Herdklotz graduated in 2011 and has returned to take on the lead technical director for the 35-person tech crew this spring.

Another area Hagstrom Durant enjoys watching is how the experienced seniors pass on the culture and success of the fine arts department to the first-timers and the younger underclassmen.

“We are again being led by a good set of experienced students – strong seniors,” Hagstrom Durant said. “That being said, this is a first BHS musical for many kids, and I love watching them find their footing in our program.”

“The kids are all being challenged to develop some skills specifically related to the circus theme and that has been a blast. We brought in two former professional Ringling Brothers clowns and also a professional magician to work with our kids,” Hagstrom Durant continued. “We also have several BHS gymnasts in our show which is cool. They have been teaching us so much. Ingrid Nelson (senior) is again our student choreographer and she is a gift – a dream.”

The circus theme is something that everyone involved has had fun with.

A number of wooden swords were made by students for the musical, and the costumes and sets have a number of energetic bright colors.

A couple things that excite Twardy the most about the show is the stunning music, and a particular scene where she performs magic.

“My favorite part of the show is the magic tricks. I get to do a little bit of card acts on stage, which is exciting for me,” she said. “Personally, I’ve been doing magic tricks for three years now, so this is a really cool piece to have in the show for my senior year. As for the music, it is energetic and funny, while also haunting and beautiful.”

Despite a circus atmosphere, Pippin is a story of a young man struggling to make the right decisions in life.

“It’s a deceptively dark show,” Twardy said. “While on the surface, it’s light and funny, the show touches on some very dark themes. It’s been a challenge to focus on both the darkness, without losing focus on the over-the-top funny parts.”

Like Twardy, Soden also has a moment in the show that he can’t wait to perform.

“‘Morning Glow’ is one of my favorite songs in the show,” he said. “The music is composed so brilliantly with a beautiful melody and powerful chords accompanying. I cannot wait for the audience to experience it.”

Tickets for Pippin cost $5/adults and $3/students. Doors open 30 minutes prior to the show. The first show begins at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 27 at the BHS Performing Arts Center. Other shows begin at 7:30 p.m. both on Friday, April 28, and Saturday, April 29. The final show is 2 p.m. Sunday, April 30.