Ihrke then called students to consider the reality of the redemption and restoration offered to students through the finished work of Jesus Christ's life, death, and resurrection. In closing out the final moments of the chapel program, Ihrke called students to consider their life and the reality they've engaged in at Hillcrest. His message was a call to all to find themselves living in line with the reality of what they've engaged at Hillcrest Academy.
When John Vall approached his shot on hole one after swinging through holes 16, 17, and 18, there were voices echoing in the trees. His drive landed him 15 feet ahead of his golfing party, and his second stroke was smooth and confident as his party tried to engage him in conversation while he lined up his shot. His second shot landed his ball 20 feet from the pin, and as he walked up the slight incline for his third stroke on the par four, John conservatively played for an eight foot put that tapped in the cup while his party marked down another par for the meets top scorer.
Mikey played a tough front 9 on Tuesday at Tipsinah Moungs in Elbow Lake, MN. His golf partner, Noah Chase, was leading the pace through the first four holes. After a tough par four, where Chase shot two over and Mikey stroke for par, Mikey settled in and finished the front nine with steady pace, shooting par or one over to finish the front nine four over par, tied with perennial state golfer Noah Chase.
Over 200 runners registered to take park in the Bread & Jam Run. The goal was to reach a $10,000 threshold to create a named endowment scholarship in memory of Diane Ihrke. Before the runners arrived on Saturday the goal had been reached, with over $15,000 set to go directly to student scholarships.
The snow has thawed from Hillcrest's campus and two Comet runners are lacing up their spikes in the hunt for a bid in the state track meet this spring. After blasting out of the blocks in a series of events, Senior Eric Konynenbelt and Junior Michael Corbitt have their eyes set on a finish line that is almost one month away.
The Hillcrest Invitational Tournament (HIT) started over fifty years ago. While the Minnesota State High School League offered a tournament style offering for public schools, private schools were not eligible to participate in the high school league until 1974. Hillcrest turned to churches, asking church teams to venture to Fergus Falls to compete against the Hillcrest basketball teams.
The event raised $3200 by free-will donation. The donations will be evenly distributed to the families who experienced tragedy in the Hancock and West Central Area communities. The all-star game was organized by the conference athletic directors, with special arrangements made with Hillcrest and Craig Nersten, Hillcrest's Athletic Director.
Hillcrest has an incredible tradition developing in their Knowledge Bowl program. The academic competition takes classroom learning into a trivia contest setting that unveils students and schools who are accomplishing great things in the classroom. Over the past five years Hillcrest has placed in the top teams in the area, making their way to State competition.
In 2013 Hillcrest Knowledge Bowl continually worked their way into the top rounds. Eyes of underclassmen Reggie Undseth, Thomas Martinson and Daniel Preston were on Hillcrest's upperclassmen. When it was their turn, the 2013 underclassmen rose to the occasion, taking top honors in the high school division in their final years as Hillcrest students, passing the baton of a strong program to Sam Ihrke, Zak Zwiers, Jordan Konynenbelt, Danny Isaac, and Shantanu Mallick. The five are competing now for a state berth, hoping to follow in the path paved by the Hillcrest teams who have passed the baton.
As Hillcrest's top team is reaching for a state berth, there is another group waiting in the wings, led by Jack Nordick and Juliana Undseth who have made it a goal to beat their senior counterparts in one meet this year. They were close this week when they competed in the Sub-Region meet.
Hillcrest's two teams stepped into a field crowded with nearly 20 other schools vying for the opportunity to continue their season. After the written round, Hillcrest took their place in the top ten teams. They never left the grouping, ending the competition with both teams in the top six, the places necessary to hold in moving on to the Regional competition where the top three teams will move to the finale of the State competition.
Hillcrest's senior team is completing six years together as a knowledge bowl team. Their bond formed in Hillcrest's classrooms is now translating to a state run in their final year of knowledge bowl competition that will hold a torch of scholastic achievement high this year, set to pass to another group of budding scholars who stand primed to represent Hillcrest in academic competition for years to come.
"I'm gonna miss seeing the team every day," Paige Schultz revealed to a room full of grade school students at Morning Son Christian School earlier this week. Paige is co-captain of the 2017-18 Lady Comets Basketball team. She stood on stage Monday morning at the First Church of the Nazarene to share the impact playing basketball at Hillcrest has made on her and her teammates this year.
Every year the Hillcrest Comets bring a message to Morning Son's weekly chapel service. Traditionally the Boys and Girls basketball teams have done the services separately, sharing specific growth points related to their teams. Through the course of the past few years the two Comet squads have united to do more things together, including buddy groups where the teams will encourage each other and prayer partners, where the boys will spend specific time each week praying the Lady Comets.
Schultz and fellow co-captain Anna Murray spoke to the special bond the Lady Comets developed over their year playing basketball. They specifically mentioned how they encouraged each other in their relationship with Jesus Christ through times in prayer and simple words of encouragement that they shared on the court and in the locker room. The two noted that the love formed within the team went deeper than basketball, where friendships can be strained by mistakes on the court. They said that the Lady Comets held together because of their bond in Jesus Christ and their desire to represent Him on the court despite on court miscues.
The Lady Comets' presentation was sandwiched between the Boys' Basketball team's co-captains' presentations. Eric Konynenbelt introduced the Lady Comets, after players from both the boys and girls basketball teams told the room of wide-eyed grade schoolers their names, where they were from, and who their favorite superhero is. Eric gave a quick overview of the Basketball teams before passing the mic to the Lady Comets, who then passed the microphone to Sam Ihrke to close the service.
Sam revealed some of the things the Boys basketball team studied in their devotion times during the season. While many teams will reflect on their record and successes, the Comets took their time to unpack the ways God used the sport of basketball to unveil the character of God and to form virtues in the Comet players.
Sam closed by highlighting specific lessons the team learned together in their time on the court and in the locker room as they not only worked on their basketball game but also spent time in the Bible. Sam mentioned how the group was challenged to consider the correlation the Corinthian church had to their modern day life as a student in the team's Bible study in First Corinthians. Sam said they were challenged to live and develop characteristics that align with the Bible versus reflecting the world.
After the Comets finished their presentation they gathered in the hallway leading down to the grade school classrooms. The room of students filed out to high five the more than twenty Hillcrest athletes who shared on the growth, encouragement, and lessons they learned in their time as a Comet basketball player this year.
Three pieces of art made by Hillcrest students will be on display in Fergus Falls after the Lakes Region Arts Council independently selected the pieces from Hillcrest's swath of high ranked pieces at the MSHSL Art competition this week.
Vision Sphere, by Sylvia Venberg, was a show stopper at the competition. It earned the top ranking Best in Category distinction for the drawing category. Sylvia also earned a Superior ranking for her drawing Broken Silence. Vision Sphere is one of the three pieces that will be on display from Hillcrest at the Fergus Falls gallery.
Trevor Antunya's photo Spider Dew also won a Superior rating. Antunya paired the rating with his other photography submission Cattail. Joining Antunya in the photography category was Elias Pribbenow, whose Touch of Friendship received a Superior rating, as well. Spider Dew and Touch of Friendship will be on display alongside Slyvia's Vision Sphere drawing.
Hillcrest had a number of other students bring home the honored Superior rating from the area art competition. Kyle Tran earned a pair of Superiors with his drawing, Venom, and his painting, Maelstrom. Sylvia Venberg earned a second Superior rating with Broken Silence.
Hillcrest artists who are honing their skills and received recognition for the positive pieces were Juliana Undseth and Dylan Amundson. The two earned Excellent ratings for their pieces in the sculpture category where Undseth presented Fox & The Crow, and Amundson presented Bi-Wing Fighter.
The three pieces selected for display in Fergus Falls will be on display from March 12th-April 28th in the Lakes Region Arts Council Gallery on Lincoln Avenue in Fergus Falls. The show floor is open from 9am-5pm week days. There is a formal reception for the show on April 28th from 11am-12:30pm for all members of the community.
Over 480 students gathered for the Tri-College math competition at Concordia in Moorhead last week to gauge the areas top math students. The mathematics departments from Concordia College, NDSU, and MSU-Moorhead organize the regional competition each year, and over the past twelve years Hillcrest has placed a team in the top three positions. The 2018 teams looked to continue the decade of momentum Hillcrest students have built in the classroom.
On Tuesday night Principal Jeff Isaac gave a ten minute overview of the Hillcrest program using the school's recently updated School Profile. In his opening, Principal Isaac referred to an academic survey that shows students who engage in the Bible four times or more per week have a natural decrease in the likelihood of participating in premarital sex, pornography, smoking, getting drunk, and having suicidal and destructive thoughts. He noted that Hillcrest students engage in Bible training in every class every day, making the point that attending Hillcrest offers a longterm health and social benefit.
After the written round, Hillcrest was seeded in third and fourth place. Hillcrest's younger team continues to set the bar for the written round. Jack Nordick, Juliana Undseth, Yohan Jee, Carter Mitchell, and Sylvia Venberg sat ahead of their upperclassmen teammates. Zak Zwiers, Eric Konynenbelt, Danny Isaac, and Shantanu Mallick.
Seniors Paige Schultz and Anna Murray embraced at center court as head coach Hannah Clark talked about their leadership and the attitude they bring to work hard and unite their team in daily practices. The girls' smiles beamed, with Paige's parents by her side, a clear testimony to the girls' enjoyment in the game of Basketball. The warm engagement at center court was recreated after the final buzzer as the two led their team to a strong victory on Senior Night.
Before the starting lineups were announced Coach Gregg Preston called his seniors to mid-court to address them. With the stands sitting on every word being spoken about the Comet leaders, the character of the class of 2018 was on display. It was a short treatise to reveal why so many Comet players focus on the game of life after the final buzzer of their last night in a Comet uniform sounds.
I’ve loved being on worship team," Halli noted. She is seeing that God has equipped her to share His love with others, and He is showing that His love is vast and spreads into every heart and soul. "Meeting people from all over the world, I love the relationship they have with Christ, and the community around the Hillcrest.”
Seventh grad student Hope Adams is prepping for one of the most competitive rounds in spelling bee competition. After working through three preliminary rounds of competition, Adams is preparing to face a host of the regions top spellers with her sights set on the State competition.
Hillcrest's first team, Zak Zwiers, Eric Konynenbelt, Dan Isaac, and Shantanu Mallick started the meet back in twelfth place. The written round hit the first team hard and placed them far down the hall from Hillcrest's second team, featuring Jack Nordick, Jake Rasmussen, Carter Mitchell, and Juliana Undseth, who placed in a top room ranking fourth in the competition after the written round.
The quick sprint for the Comets into their locker room was done underneath a scoreboard that showed a 22-20 halftime lead for the Comets. Tough defense earned Hillcrest the lead, but the Rothsay Tigers showed the Comets they were there to play, sticking out their own defensive stands to hold the Comets to 22 points behind an athletic effort that locked down the Comet post game with a solid zone defense.
The snow surrounding Hillcrest's sand volleyball court looked like a massacre of snowmen. Gloves, hats, and jackets darted the hillside. Students from South Korea joined friends from Minnesota and North Dakota in shedding winter gear Sunday night on Hillcrest's broomball court.