BOYS HOCKEY 2020-21
Boys Swimming & Diving
FHS KNOWLEDGE BOWL
FHS SPEECH 20-21
GIRLS HOCKEY 2020-21
GIRLS BASKETBALL 2020-21
BOYS HOCKEY 2020-21
Boys Swimming & Diving
FHS KNOWLEDGE BOWL
FHS SPEECH 20-21
GIRLS HOCKEY 2020-21
GIRLS BASKETBALL 2020-21
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
BRONCO SWIMMING SEASON RECAP
By: Braden Skifstad
The Girls Bronco Swim Team wrapped up its season with the Section 7A swim meet, last Saturday. Jillian Bilben finished 5th in the 50 Yard Freestyle, Hayvn Pelland finished 4th in the 100 Yard Freestyle, and the Broncos finished 3rd in the 200 Yard Freestyle Relay. Due to the COVID-19 Safety Guidelines the section meet had to be changed from what it would've been in a normal year.
During this year’s section meet, three meets were happening at the same time; four teams in Hibbing, four teams at Denfield and three teams at Mesabi East. After each event all of the meets sent their results to Hibbing and Hibbing entered the final times into Meet Mobile, an app that provides live results of swim meets.
The Broncos ended the season with a 4-5 record. When asked about the guidelines for meets and practices, 1st year head coach Jennifer (JJ) McBride said, “The girls have to get temperature checks before practice, they have to be 6 feet apart whenever possible, and they have to have masks on the bus for out of town meets.” JJ being a first year head coach didn't know what to expect with the swimming season. “We did the best we could with what we were handed,” she said.
There were many things that looked different for the swimmers, the biggest being that there were no spectators; however, parents were allowed to come for the last meet of the season. The swimmers were allowed to bring two spectators to the final meet. The swim meets were also live streamed on Facebook so that people could watch the meets live. Although the girls didn't have a normal season they did have some good highlights during the season. “A lot of the girls dropped times in their events all season. One meet we had 22 personal best times,” JJ said.
Bronco Volleyball Season Update
By: Mason Pullar
After a rollercoaster start to the season, the Bronco Volleyball team is 0-3. They have lost to Deer River, Lake of the Woods, and Mesabi East. The next games are in Ely on November 2nd, and then they play Virginia at home on October 29th. There are 8 more games before playoffs that start the week of November 30th. The team is hoping to beat Virginia so they can get some momentum going into November.
Practice has been hard for the volleyball team this year, one of their coaches tested positive for Covid-19 so that led to players and coaching staff quarantining and getting tested, so they didn't have many people at practice if they had practice at all. They only practice Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Head Coach Sara Peterson said ¨Gaining chemistry on the court comes from playing together and getting to know the playing styles of your teammates. Being forced to constantly adjust our line-up has made chemistry and communication one of the hardest things for us to achieve. Moving forward, I'm hopeful that we're all able to be on the court a little bit more together and I believe that will help our team find much more success during competition.¨
I asked Coach Peterson what she expected out of the season and she said, ¨To continue to build our skills and find a rhythm to our play. Developing solid communication both during and between rallies is going to be a focus for us, as well.¨ Some of the changes that are happening on the court because of the virus are; only limited fans can be there, the players cant high-five or physically touch each other at all, and they cant shake hands with the other team before or after the game. The next game is October 29th and you can watch one of two ways; you can get a ticket from one of the players (they are each allowed to give 2 per game), or you can watch the live stream at home on YouTube.
INTERNATIONAL FALLS BRONCO FOOTBALL 2020
By: Matthew Rousseau
This past week I had the pleasure of visiting with the Bronco football head coach, Seth Ettestad. We discussed the team, their goals, the impact covid-19 has on the season and Coach Ettestad’s desire to become the Bronco football coach. We also discussed the Touchdowns and Turnovers cause.
Even though it may look a little different this year because of Covid-19, the Broncos are hopeful for a Successful football season. You may be wondering just how different football will look this year; Though there are a few changes that include checking the players temperatures, and having to stay 6 feet apart on the sidelines there aren't really any large changes that had to be made. The team cannot be in close contact for more than 15 minutes, so the team has developed 10 minute rotations during practice. I would also like to point out that the changes have been working, as I was told by Coach Ettestad that the team has stayed healthy so far.
With everyone being healthy, it means that the team can accomplish a lot during practices and work on things they may need to improve heading into their upcoming games. A few things that Coach Ettestad said they needed to improve on heading into the game against Mesabi East on Thursday, October 15th, were pass coverage, pass protection, and some basic route-running errors that resulted in a few sacks in the backfield. The team also has many strengths though, and when I asked Coach Ettestad what he thought the team's biggest strength is, he said “ I think that bond that they've developed and that passion that they have between each other is our biggest strength.”
When asked what the team's mindset is after the loss to Moose lake on Friday, October 9th, coach Ettestad said, “We had to review that Moose lake is a very good team, and they’ve been to state a dozen times in the last 15 years and that it’s ok to lose, but it's not ok to quit.” As for their mindset after getting a win, the coach said that they just have to keep their momentum.
The seniors that are leading the team this year are Riley Larson, Cullen Rein, Christian Hufnagle, Jack Maxwell, Cody Jantzen, Paul Harder, Bryant Koenig, And Tucker Hell. When asked what it means for the younger kids to have the seniors ahead of them coach Ettestad said, “I hope it’s as much of a learning experience as possible, that they see what it takes and the dedication it takes.” As a player during his high school years, coach Ettestad said “I learned a lot from the program, and I think that it taught discipline and respect and that led me to be the person that I am today.” As a coach he would like to give that back.
When I asked the coach to tell me about the Touchdowns and Turnovers cause he replied with great enthusiasm “Absolutely!” The Bronco football fundraiser “Touchdowns and Turnovers” will run again this season. This year the funds that are raised will support the local Vans for Vets program. This program provides transportation for our local veterans as they travel to their VA appointments in the Twin Cities and Hibbing. With Covid-19 limiting the amount of fans able to attend games, the team set up a go-fund me page and will also be selling t-shirts to support the cause. Last year the team was able to raise $8,000 for the Community Cancer Walk. So far this season they are off to a great start! “Our modern philosophy is that success is being a part of something greater than yourself.”- Coach Ettestad
One of the last things Coach Ettestad wanted to add was that “We just want the community to realize the levels and the layers of what we’re doing, like we don't just go out and toss around a ball, there's also the community effort of donating the time.” The team recently helped the local Food Shelf move, and hosts the Touchdowns and Turnovers cause to make as big of an impact as they possibly can in such a short season.
Hi my name is Matt Rousseau! Learn more about me HERE.