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AS I SEE IT

Posted 3/22/16 (Tue)

By Neal A. Shipman
Farmer Editor

While many people would think that the fire danger in the spring of the year is low, that is definitely the wrong thinking. The springtime, or at least until the countryside starts greening up, can often be the period of the year when the chance of grass fires is the highest.
Just how dry the countryside is became very obvious on Sunday, March 13, when two grass fires burnt over 1,100 acres in McKenzie County. Which is why the McKenzie County Commissioners imposed a county-wide fire ban on March 15.
Folks, the countryside is tinder dry! And the danger of grass fires is not going to lessen in this portion of the state until we receive a significant amount of moisture and the grass starts to turn green.
So do your part when it comes to preventing grass fires and follow the county’s fire ban orders.

CLASS ACT AT THE STATE CLASS B BOYS BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT

If you have ever wondered why the State Class B Boys Basketball Tournament is the king of high school tournaments in North Dakota, then you just had to watch this year’s tournament to understand. Not only were nearly 10,000 fans who attended this year’s tournament at the Minot State College Dome treated to excellent basketball action, they also saw how Class B basketball is truly a class sport played by class athletes.
While the championship game, which pitted Four Winds-Minnewaukan against Minot’s Our Redeemer’s, was one of the most exciting championship games of basketball that fans have witnessed in years, it was the conduct of those athletes on the floor that was truly amazing. When a player hit the floor after being fouled or in a scramble for a loose ball, it was often a player from the opposing team that was there first to offer a helping hand.
Yes, there were fouls committed by both teams. And there was pushing and shoving that wasn’t called by the referees. But the players from those two teams didn’t let those non-calls detract from playing a style of basketball that for many fans will be long remembered. The Knights of Our Redeemer’s and the Indians of Four Winds-Minnewaukan are to be commended for making this year’s state championship game a class act. It was a championship game that was played with all of the intensity that one would expect a state title game to be played with. But it was also a game that showed just how much the players from both of these teams respected the game and their opponents.
But, for me, the thing that I will remember long after all of the memories of this year’s tournament fade away will be the sight of all of the players from Four Winds-Minnewaukan and Our Redeemer’s holding hands in a circle saying a prayer at the conclusion of the game.
Saying a prayer in public at the beginning or at the end of a high school game has come under criticism across the United States in the past several years. But Saturday evening, following the biggest game of their lives, these North Dakota high school basketball players chose to stand together, hold hands, bow their heads and thank God.
That’s why North Dakota’s State Class B Boys Basketball Tournament is a class act that can’t be rivaled. We have class athletes and we have class individuals.
Thank you to the Our Redeemer’s Knights and the Four Winds-Minnewaukan Indians for exemplifying all that is so good about Class B basketball.