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Posted 3/24/15 (Tue)


I guess to many across the United States, this is a great time of year. Oh, it could be because many are starting to calf. And you will find out if that $8,000 bull you bought last year is worth the extra dollars you spent. Many are starting to work on grain drills, clean seed wheat, and agonize over what crop, if any, will provide an opportunity for profit. That is, of course, if the rains come, the frost stays away, the grasshoppers are not seen, and a myriad of diseases don’t appear.
But to many, it is the culmination of the basketball year. March Madness is upon us. The Bison of NDSU made us proud, and although they lost, they played a great team closer than many expected. But then they are the Bison!
Many of my friends were glued to the TV this past week, studying brackets, placing wagers, and generally cheering for the underdogs as they played their hearts out.
In North Dakota, we crowned our high school champions. I’m a class B guy. I don’t even know who won the Class A. It’s always the major cities. Bismarck, Minot, Grand Forks, and Fargo. But once in a while, Class B will pop up with an underdog you have to cheer for. There was Epping decades ago. The Indian boys from Four Winds and Standing Rock. New Town and the Mandaree Warriors. The Berthold Bombers have been there.
And this year, you had to cheer for the New England Tigers! A bunch of boys from a small high school that had vowed when they were fourth graders that they would go to State. And they did it. My, oh my, what a wonderful group of young men. They lost a heartbreaker in their first game. In overtime. And they lost their second game. Again in overtime. And the third game they played their hearts out. But those young legs, after three games in three days, and extra minutes played, lost a step or two, and they didn’t win.
They didn’t win. But they dang sure didn’t lose. They can hold their heads high as they head down Highway 22 because they made us proud! And you know what. When the Bison won the Summit League and went to The Dance, no cars were burned in Fargo! In New England, when the Tigers were crowned Region champions and made that little town swell with pride, there were no riots!
I have a lot of friends in Rugby, the home of the Class B Champions! And I congratulate them. And I know that in Panther country, a caravan of friends and families welcomed that busload of champions home. And you didn’t need to board up the stores and hire extra security for the celebration! My hat goes off to all of you. You are true champions!