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Chapman: Children shining bright

By Staff | Sep 19, 2014

As much as I love the warm weather and down time of summer, the paper just isn’t the same without school and scholastic sports. This week’s paper highlights some great examples of the handwork and inquisitive nature of students in our area.

If you missed last week’s football thriller against rival Harvey-Wells County, find someone who taped it. The Panthers trailed late in the game for the first time this season, but erased the six-point, fourth-quarter deficit with a pair of exhilarating touchdowns.

The go-ahead score came with about 30 seconds remaining in the game. Quarterback Brad Heidlebaugh waited as long as he could before heaving a Hail Mary and trusting his fellow 6-foot-4 senior Zach Miller would get it. Miller did just that, and over double coverage at the goal line.

Miller, a soft-spoken leader on and off the field, had a monster game and followed the game-winning touchdown with monster sack on the Hornets’ next play from scrimmage. He popped up and pumped his chest as the home sideline went nuts.

On the following play, Miller applied pressure from the left side and senior defensive end Reid Mundahl closed in from the right. Mundahl, whose story is well known, blocked the H-WC pass with his one hand and then caught the ball for an interception to seal the win. Most defensive lineman struggle to haul in batted balls with two hands! Mundahl, also soft-spoken and a great example for our younger athletes, showed an incredible amount of grit.

The game, which was a grueling defeat for winless H-WC, ended the way all sporting events should – with a great amount of sportsmanship.

RHS coach Scott Grochow and H-WC coach Bret Dockter, both Anamoose natives, shared an embrace and encouragement.

On the front page, you found a story about area junior high students learning about the environment, ecosystems and the importance of proper management of the rich landscapes in North Dakota.

As the students waded into the Balta Dam in search of small creatures, one student said: “Man, I could stay out here all day!”

We live in a rapidly developing state, where proper protection of our lands is being put to the side because of the lucrative energy industry. The excitement of our youth on North Dakota Eco Ed day should give us hope that tomorrow’s leaders will cherish and value one of the most underrated, yet most beautiful states in America.

If your child was on the field trip, ask them what they learned and help foster that love of the environment embedded in us all. If your child wasn’t on the trip, consider taking them to the dam or one of many National Wildlife Refuges in the state. The biodiversity in this “fly-over land” would astound many skeptics.

Rugby Public Schools also took an important step in updating the tobacco-free policy. Tobacco companies are relentless in finding new ways to entice young people. The schools are doing their best to educate and dissuade tobacco use.

Couple that with appreciation for the environment and society is likely to see a much more eco-conscious generations.

We have much to be proud of in our communities and it starts with the children.

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