Kenyon/Lake City Basketball

While watching the Lake City/K-W girls’ basketball game, announcer Blair Reynolds asked a trivia question referring to a Lake City alumnus who went on to play at the university and in the NBA. For many people, it was an obvious answer of Randy Breuer.

Randy Breuer’s reference brought back memories of Kenyon boys’ basketball from 1975-76 to 1981-82 when their cumulative record was 121 wins and 39 losses. In particular, in the 1977-78 and 1978-79 seasons, they won 37 games and lost 6. The Lake City Tigers led by Randy Breuer defeated the Vikings four of those times.

It was interesting watching the coaching match-up between Kenyon’s Rich Decker and Lake City’s Jerry Synder. They both had the philosophy of trying to give their teams every opportunity to win a game.

In Feb. 1978, Lake City came to Kenyon to play the last game of the season with a 17-0 record to the Vikings 16-1 record. The one loss came earlier in the season when Lake City won by 28 points. If Kenyon could win the game, they would tie the Tigers for the HVL title. With players like Mark Kurtzahn, Mike Kirchhoff, Scott Nelson, Brian Greseth, Dean Burow, Dirk Peterson, Bob Aase, and others the Vikings had the players to defeat Lake City.

That evening the Kenyon gym was packed before the B-Squad game with approximately 1300 fans. People I had never seen at a Kenyon basketball game were there that night to see Randy Breuer. Supt. Arlen Johnson possibly was concerned a state fire marshal might attend the game.

In an effort to give his team a chance to win, Decker used the game strategy of holding the ball in an attempt to draw Lake City out of its zone defense.

When the first quarter ended, Kenyon was leading 2-0 on a basket by Kirchhoff. At halftime, the game was tied 6 to 6, and at the end of three quarters, Lake City led 12 to 8. With 26 seconds left in the game, the Vikings were down one point. The outcome was Lake City 17 and Kenyon 12 in one of the most exciting basketball games I have ever seen.

That game was the closest any team came to defeating Lake City that season as they finished with an undefeated record and a state championship.

Speech

On Saturday the K-W Speech team participated in the Rochester John Marshall Invitational Meet.

Team members followed pandemic protocol and participated in a virtual format. Each team member was assigned a K-W classroom in which they competed. Many team members brought blankets to wrap up in during the competition as the high school’s heat was turned down for the weekend.

All six members of the speech team participated in the meet. Ashley Rechtzigel took fifth place in the Great Speeches category. In the Novice Division, Aspen Donkers received third place in Dramatic Interpretation, Izzy Chmelik third place in Poetry,and Jordan Blowers second place in Prose.

On Feb. 27, the Speech Team plans to compete in the Red Wing meet.

Ash Wednesday and Lent

In the monthly newsletters distributed by many of the ELCA Churches, Intern Lucas Shurson related the following anecdote about the distribution of ashes on Ash Wednesday.

“One of the more memorable parts of a class I took at seminary on worship came from Ash Wednesday’s lesson. Before anything else, the professor made it very clear that we were not to use water to mix ashes under any circumstances. As it turns out, mixing water and ash causes a reaction that creates sodium hydroxide, better known as lye. Naturally, drain cleaners don’t treat skin very kindly, so we want to avoid putting it on our foreheads. Mixing oil and ash is the right way to make the formula we use on Ash Wednesday. We don’t use pure ash on Ash Wednesday.

To get it to stick, we mix it in with other ingredients.

Wed., Feb. 17 is Ash Wednesday and the beginning of the Lenten Season, which will look a little different from in the past this year.

An Ash Wednesday Mass will be said at 7 p.m. at St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Kenyon.

The Hauge/Emanuel Congregation will meet at 7:30 p.m. at the Hauge Church on Ash Wednesday, with Lenten Services alternating between the two churches during Lent.

Lenten Services for the Vang/Dennison congregation begin with Ash Wednesday Service at 7 p.m. at Vang. All of the Lenten Services will be held at the Vang Church at 7 p.m. this year to meet safety guidelines.

At First Lutheran Church of Kenyon, a prerecorded service will be available on the church’s website and Facebook page on Ash Wednesday. Also, from 11 a.m. to Noon and 5 to 6 p.m. that day, parishioners may receive the Imposition of Ashes and Holy Communion in a drive-through format. All of the Lenten Services will be prerecorded and available on the First Lutheran website and Facebook page.

The Holden/Dale Congregation will meet at noon and 7 p.m. at Dale for Ash Wednesday Services. Before the noon service, drive-up ashes will be available from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. The remainder of the Lenten Services will alternate between the two churches.

Spring

With the cold weather of the past few weeks, it does not take much to look forward to spring’s warm days.

For observers of Spring Phenology, this is a beautiful time to watch the beginning of the changes as the daylight time significantly grows longer each day. At this time, we are seeing streaks of light in the morning eastern sky before 7 a.m. compared to an almost 8 a.m. sunrise on Jan. 1. Many people enjoy that in a few days, the sunsets start coming after 6 p.m. with visions of the long summer evenings.

An always positive sign noting spring’s arrival is when the Twins pitchers and catchers report to Fort Meyers, Florida, for spring training on Feb. 18. The first Grapefruit League game is Feb. 27, and Opening Day 2021 is scheduled for April 1 in Milwaukee. The ongoing pandemic makes it look like the season will start much like last year ended, with no fans in the stadium until summer.

Kevin Anderson is a guest columnist for The Kenyon Leader.

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