Sports and Activities
By: Isabelle Hemstad
The FHS speech team placed very well in their subsection meet on Monday, March 29th. The whole team will be competing in the sectional meet on Friday, April 16th for a chance to go to state. The top three competitors in each category will compete in the state meet on Saturday, April 24th.
The results from the subsection meet are as follows:
Mitchell Erickson - Humorous - 1st place
Isabelle Hemstad - Discussion - 7th place
Breanna Johnson - Prose - 5th place
Kaelyn and Kourtney Talley - Duo - 1st place
Gavia Yount - Creative - 1st place
By: Braden Skifstad
The Boys Basketball Team´s season looks different than a typical year. The players have to wear masks nearly all the time, new coaching staff, and a lack of spectators. When asked about how the season has started, Head Coach Don Rolando said “The season is almost done, there's only three weeks left and the players are working hard.” The first season as the Boys Basketball has started well as the team has a 5-6 record and with the end of the season wrapping up, the boys are working even harder. ¨Our players are working hard, we are really improving on defense and our offense is coming together.¨ Like other sports due to COVID-19 there are limited spectators to two tickets per player/cheerleader. When I asked Coach Rolando about how the spectators have affected the players he said “You don't get the same crowd noise, you do get people cheering but it's not the same.” The Broncos are also forced to follow the safety guidelines like wearing a mask when you play, being 6 feet in the locker rooms and when out of town you are not allowed to shower. With the playoffs right around the corner the Broncos are looking to go into the playoffs with some momentum. “The overall goal is to be the top team when it comes to playoffs.” The playoffs are the second week in march, everyone will make the playoffs, everyone in the section will be seeded 1-15. The Broncos started the playoffs playing the Eveleth Golden Bears. The team pulled off a big upset with a final score of 66-64. They then played the Esko Eskomos and lost 80-42. The Broncos finished the season with a 10-10 record.
Like many other activities, Winter Sports Week has looked a lot different this year than it previously has. This came as no surprise to athletes, students, and community members, but everyone has stayed positive through it all. The community is striving to do everything that they can safely even though we are limited as to what activities and events we can and can’t hold.
This year’s pepfest was virtual, but it still included what you might see at the pepfest in a regular year. Team captains of all sports and activities were included in answering questions about their team, when their next game or meet is and how to watch it, and also how they felt their activity was different with COVID restrictions. These captains participated in games just as the team would in previous years. We got to see the Boys’ Swimming and Diving captains as well as the Robotics captain compete in who could spin around in a hoola-hoop and jump rope ten times the fastest. The boys and girls basketball teams went head to head in a game of lightning. Last but not least, the cheerleading captains were blindfolded and the speech captains had to help them paint a picture of a horse. The pepfest video also included clips of Mr. Wood and Mr. McDonald face off in a juggling contest as well as Mr. Harnet playing some tunes on his bass guitar. Overall, even though the pepfest was not the same as it used to be, the school is still looking at the positives and was able to put together a very entertaining video for the community to see.
Included in the pepfest video was a virtual crowning of the Winter Sports Week royalty. Nominees included Jack Maxwell, Mitchell Nemec, Joe Talmage, Ashton Hielscher, Bryant Koenig, Ella Bahr, Kaitlyn Hostetter, Emma Erickson, Anna Windels, and Chloe Sullivan. The candidates all had the privilege to take part in the crowning as normal, the only difference being a crowd not being present. The girls all received crowns, and the boys all received black hats that either had “FHS” or “King” printed on them. During the crowning, Bill Mason crowned Mitchell Nemec as Winter Sports Week king, who then crowned the queen, Emma Erickson. Congratulations to these two seniors and thank you to Mrs. Line, Minnesota Honor Society Advisor, for providing the hats and crowns as well as bringing back Winter Sports Week Royalty.
Another concept that was different this year were the dress-up days for Winter Sports Week. With FHS doing the hybrid learning curriculum, not all students were able to participate in the fun dress-up days if they were not attending school. Monday and Tuesday students were able to wear flannel shirts for Monday and dress as a “tacky tourist” for Tuesday. Kids that go to school on Thursday and Friday participated in “Disney Day” on Thursday and “Jersey Day” on Friday. Students that are distance learners were sadly not able to participate unless they wanted to dress-up over zoom, which is still a great option! It is unfortunate that not all students were able to show their classmates their awesome outfits in person but we are so thankful to be able to have school in session for hybrid learning and to still include some aspects of the Winter Sports Week activities.
The sports teams all had at least one game during Winter Sports week. The boys’ hockey team traveled to Silver Bay and lost in overtime with a score of 6-5. Their Thursday game against Lake of the Woods was cancelled. The girls’ hockey team had a game on Saturday against Long-Prairie-Grey-Eagle/Wadena Deer Creek and lost 3-1. The boys’ basketball team had a home game against North Woods on Tuesday and lost 78-68. They also had a game in Cherry and lost 68-62 on Friday. The girls’ basketball team won on Monday against Bigfork with a score of 64-46 but their Thursday game against LBF was cancelled. The boys’ swimming team had a meet in Mesabi East and lost. The Knowledge Bowl team has not yet had any meets but are working hard with practice.
Winter Sports Week was definitely not the same as it normally would be, but there is not too much that is normal this year. Students were not able to attend and participate in the pepfest that usually includes games and challenges, interviews with entire sports teams, and a routine performed by the cheerleaders, but hopefully we will get all of this back as soon as possible. The only sports game that was played at home this year was the boys’ basketball game on Tuesday, but the rest of the teams traveled for their games. The team lacked a home crowd cheering them on. Spirit days to dress up were also quite different. This year has been very unfamiliar and challenging, but Falls High School is making sure that students get a great experience as safely as possible so that they can continue to learn in person. Although Winter Sports week seemed much different, we are so grateful to be able to play sports and attend school face-to-face. It’s important to stay positive during these times and see the good.
By: Isabelle Hemstad
FHS Boys’ Swim Team
There are a lot of unknowns for sports teams right now. Athletes, coaches, parents, etc, are asking things like: Will we even get a season? Will people be allowed to watch? And many other questions that we’ve never had to ask before. I decided to interview the Bronco Boys’ Swim Team coach and captains, to see what they were thinking about the upcoming season and the sport in general.
Interview with Steve Joslyn (head coach)
Interview with Captains:
It might not be surprising to hear that Cross Country, like almost everything else, was a little different this year. According to Paul Hjelle each day started with each athlete getting a temperature check. At the start of the season the runners were quiet, and not as outgoing as usual. The meets were different, with only 3 teams being able to compete at a time. If there were more than 24 runners, they staggered the start of the groups by a minute. At some of the meets there were 18 teams, and the meet had to be held 6 different times on that day. With fewer teams competing the meets were less exciting, and the meet schedule was constantly changing. This was frustrating for the coaches and runners.
Even with all the uncertainty this year the team still did exceptionally well. Anthony Scholler said,¨I feel the team did great this year. There was a lot of improvement from everybody. I hope to see this same kind of improvement next season.¨ When asked how she thought the team did this year Anna Windels, one of the Girls Captains, responded,¨I think we did fantastic. We had so many girls that performed so well, plus some returning runners who pushed themselves to get their PRs. I was really proud of us at every meet.¨
Anna Windels is a graduating senior this year. She was born in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, but has lived here for 17 years. She loves that International Falls is cold. Anna had the opportunity to take college classes at Rainy River Community College, and this has helped her challenge herself. She loves the small, tight knit teams that make Falls High School´s teams very fun to participate in. COVID-19 has taken a lot of the fun out of Anna Windels´ Senior year, but she is ready to graduate, although she will miss Cross Country more than she cares to admit.
As stated by Paul Hjelle, ¨I always try to be upfront and honest with the runners, and tell them that they can succeed. Every race becomes easier and before they know it, one mile becomes two miles, two miles become three as they build up their endurance. The captains provide leadership and are encouraging of them to do their best.¨
This year the Girls team took first place in three meets, they placed second in three meets, and they received third place at the IRCs at sections the girls placed seventh out of sixteen teams. The boy´s team tried their best this year, battling injuries throughout the season.
When asked what it was like seeing the seniors run over the past few years Hjelle responded, ¨When they are younger, you are never quite sure if they'll stick with it because of how difficult it is. As they gain experience, they gain confidence and mental toughness, as well as physical strength and maturity. Things get easier as they get older and stronger. Many Cross Country runners become lifelong runners because of their experiences as a runner in high school.¨
Anna Windels achieved her goal this year. She dropped nearly three minutes. She used to always motivate herself by saying, ¨Its only twenty five minutes of my life,¨ but she had to start saying twenty one instead of twenty five, because she ran mostly twenty one minute miles this year. Anthony Scholler, one of the boys captains, feels like he did good this year, but he hopes to improve more next year. He plans to run every day to build up his endurance.
Hi my name is Emma Saxton, and I am the author of this article! To learn more about me click here