It is always an honor to be asked to speak at graduation. Being chosen this year was a bit surprising to me. I can only think that members of the class of 2017 must have been present on the playground, at some break in ECFE no doubt, and heard my last speech on the football field in 2002. Or perhaps they saw the speech I gave to my own graduating class 25 years ago in Willmar, Minnesota. Even though that speech was given before the existence of the internet, it has since been posted on YouTube.
Pine River-Backus had two teams compete at the round robin Wednesday, Feb. 12, at Staples-Motley High School — one team placed third and the other was fifth. Fire Nation, consisting of seniors Colton Dabrowski, Ryan Sweeney, Amanda Fleming, Chantelle Peterson and Jake Shetka, placed fifth; and Emergency Exit with freshman Josh Sweeney, sophomores Elijah Albrecht and Kade Renwick and junior Shannon Osier, was third. They took on 25 other teams from Little Falls, Nevis, Upsala, Verndale and Bertha-Hewitt.
The Pine River-Backus Knowledge Bowl team competed in the third and final round robin event Monday, Feb. 25, against Aitkin, Staples-Motley, Crosby-Ironton, Royalton and Menahga at Staples-Motley High School. Meghan Wheeler, Meg Stevenson, Trent Crimmins, Erin Fisker and Isabel Lawrence took third place as team Nous Lavons Avec L’Herissons. Jake Shetka, Troy Fetter and Ashley Johnson, as team Jeg Vet Ikke, took 19th. Overall 26 teams competed in the meet.