Hillcrest is starting at square one. The goal is to drive Christians to see the story as if it was for the first time they heard it, rediscovering old truths in a new way. Former President Joel Egge called this, "making the familiar unfamiliar."
Hannah will start her high school coaching career at Hillcrest in a program that is in a rebuilding stage. Hannah brings a great deal of expertise, having served as a student-coach for the Hawkeyes following an injury that cut her collegiate season short.
A simple verse was stated, but little explanation given. The student had read the verse earlier that morning, but hadn't taken time to unpack the significance of God directing his thought process and actions through it. Coach Preston urged the young men to dwell on the context of the verse. After an initial pause, the silence was broken as comments flowed around the circle like popcorn popping. Some students drove deep into the relevance of the verse while others started tying in God directing their life, using the verse as a springboard.
Walking to my baptism on Thursday I did not have my immediate family with me. But, I had my other family with me. I had my friends who I made, and many people who adopted me as if their own child. They were walking with me into this impactful moment, and I knew in that moment that God was with me in many ways, and that I would never have to feel alone again.
Reggie stepped up and threw brilliantly, enabling us to take advantage of our pitching depth. He was in control the whole game, throwing just 76 pitches."
Hillcrest participates in the region knowledgebowl meet nearly every year. The past 5 times they've advanced to State. This year, the Comets brought half the competition, with three of the six teams representing red and white, nearly securing a trophy before the competition began.
Hillcrest held the top two spots after the opening written round. With two teams in the top oral round room, Hillcrest would be scrapping for points between their teams for much of the day.
Hillcrest's top team, consisting of Hans Holzner, Thomas Martinson, Daniel Preston, Luke Bowman, and Jake Steinle, remained in first place after earning 12 points to their friendly counterparts' 9. Hillcrest's other top team consists of Reggie Undseth, Sam Isaac, Sean McGuire, and Jack Nordick.
Hillcrest jumped out to a 12-0 lead on their way to a 17-7 victory over West Central Area in the first round of Section 6A baseball playoffs. Collin Erickson went 2 for 4 with 6 RBI including a grand slam to lead the Comet attack.
The Hillcrest Comets defeated the C-G-B Wolverines 12-2 Friday evening as Reggie Undseth had a perfect night: 3 for 3 with a walk, 3 runs scored and 5 RBI on two doubles. He also stole two bases in two attempts and handled 5 chances flawlessly at shortstop to back up pitcher Sean McGuire, who also had an outstanding night: 3 for 4 with 3 runs scored and 2 RBI, and a complete game on the mound allowing just 3 hits while striking out 7 Wolverines.
Friday marked the beginning of the final days at Hillcrest for many. The all-school picnic and clean-up day was followed by an afternoon at the ball field where the Lady Comets hosted a double-header against Clinton/Graceville/Beardsley (CGB). They left the 2017 regular season in the dust, scoring 17 runs over the two games, giving up only 3 to CGB, in a dramatic finish.
I had to ask them how to say it because I was saying it wrong. May 17th--Norway’s Independence Day or Syttende Mai is a big day for some of our students. Our 26 Danielson students dressed in their best and paraded down Vernon Avenue waving the little red, white and blue flags of their country. As they walked, they sang. People who lived along their parade route came outside to talk to them or wave.
For all the walks Hillcrest picked up Monday, a quick scamper home was the deciding move that bumped the Comets to .500 in the conference Monday night. Hosting Brandon-Evansville, Hillcrest showed great patience, picking up three walks in the final frame before shaking hands and huddling in the dugout with the win.
On Friday, the Hillcrest Comets were hosted by the WCA Knights in Barrett for a double header. The teams split with the Knights shutting the Comets out 4-0 in game one. The second game finished in dramatic fashion with the Comets coming from behind to take the victory 13-12 on a walkoff two run triple by senior pitcher Nicole DeKok.
It's a good day when the only run support a pitcher needs comes from her own bat, backed up by her catcher. On Tuesday, Comet ace Nicole DeKok hurled a no hitter, and founder herself on the bench after the 5th inning because the Comet bats 10-run-ruled Lake-Park-Audubon, forcing an early dinner and more time for homework.
If you could have heard your son or daughter stand up and tell of how Jesus has impacted their lives. If you could have seen them stand and belt out Happy Birthday to a 107 year old lady with party hats on their heads--going from person to person at the senior center, greeting and holding hands with the residents. If you could have seen the way your boys loaded and unloaded the bus over and over without complaint. You would have been surprised, maybe, if you heard how many references were made to missing and loving their parents at home and to hear how thankful they are for you. Together these memories form the patchwork of events that will forever be a part of the Hillcrest Choir Tour of 2017. We have much to celebrate!!
A trip like this begins with everyone in high spirits and feeling gracious towards neighbors and seat mates. But then there are the short nights. And the long days. And the lines to the bathrooms. And the people who talk too much. And chew too loudly. And who are not generous with their secret stash of treats. At the end of the day, everyone gets on stage in their black and white best and sings their hearts out about Jesus. And the irritations melt away as voices blend and harmonies meld. Musicians listen to the person on their left and on their right and adjust their pitch accordingly.
My particular group of ten girls was driven to a ranch that raises cattle, sheep, and operates numerous greenhouses. In the dark, we could have been staying anywhere, but this morning when we got up, we saw the sunrise over a lake with a mountainous backdrop. It took my breath away. People LIVE with this scenery before them every single day! Our host read Psalm 100 to us before feeding us a fabulous breakfast. I was struck anew with an appreciation for the body of Christ that has embraced us every step of the way.
We talked today about the difference the Holy Spirit makes in the life of a believer. Brash Peter, so quick to make promises he cannot keep finds new courage to stand before a crowd and preach with such boldness and authority, 3000 were added to the church in one day. “That same Spirit enables us to proclaim Him still,” admonishes our manager, Todd Mathison as he encouraged the students to continue to be open to God’s leading in unusual and spontaneous ways.
Throughout the afternoon, we heard more details and stories of our students proclaiming Christ--at the Rushmore monument to a group of Jehovah’s Witness students, on the waterfront in Seattle to a couple of young Vietnamese young men. We marveled and the students rejoiced in the knowledge that God had given them the words to speak and that seeds of eternal consequence were planted.
From the time we arrived late Saturday, Seattle has been met with rounds of gasping approval. Locals tell us, after days of straight rain, the sun came out for us, spilling over the mountains, sparkling off the water, and trickling off the rough rock faces along the roadside. We gasped at the house and marina in Bill Gates neighborhood. Students snapped pictures and video and some even called home in their exuberance.
Slumberers slouched against the windows, the arm rests, one another. Stockinged feet laced across the seats and above those sleeping on the floor forming an almost impenetrable web of gangly limbs. How do I know this you ask? Blame a 3 AM stop wherein I consumed a 20 ounce cup of coffee and felt the impending results long before any promise of a relief stop.