Waseca County Pioneer 111 W. Elm Ave.

Waseca, MN (507) 837-6767


What a great school year it was

As JWP athletic director Paul Brunner announced last week, the Bulldogs and other area schools have officially finished all of their sports activities. The senior athletes have ended their high school careers and are all now enjoying their summer.
What a school year it’s been. It was the first year when things were really back to normal. Yes, technically, 2021-22 was the first normal year, but there were still concerns about Covid-19. I think this year was the true first year that everyone stopped worrying about it. There were no threats about it canceling activities, not a lot of concern regarding exposure. It felt like Covid never happened, like the way things were in 2019.
The JWP boys’ basketball team improved and won its first playoff game since 2020; the girls’ basketball team also improved and won its first playoff game. Every other team improved in some way, especially the baseball team who earned a positive record for the first time since I started covering JWP sports for the newspaper.
Oh, and both track teams took their subsection titles while every single golfer made it to the state tournament. No big deal or anything. Let’s not forget that seventh-grader MaKenzie Westphal not only broke school records in track, but made it to state in both track and cross country. And when MaKenzie wasn’t breaking school track records, someone else on the track team was nearly every week.
Of course, we have to talk about Waseca. They ended their year on the highest of notes by winning the track and field State AA championships. The girls’ hockey team also had a pretty good season, finishing with an even record for the first time in a while. It ended on a tough note, but hey, if you’re going to get beat in the first round of the playoffs, having the eventual section champions beat you makes the loss not hurt so bad.
Both basketball teams had pretty good records this season. The boys finished the season 21-7 and lost to number 4 ranked Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial Knights. Waseca girls’ basketball went 16-10 and lost to New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva in the Subsection Semifinal. Eventually, NRHEG lost to Lake Crystal in the championship. We won’t talk about the football team; let’s just say that with the season they were having, they deserved better.
Speaking of NRHEG, though, they have great athletes, too. I don’t really follow them, but ever since I’ve been in high school, I’ve learned that three things are guaranteed in life: death, taxes, and NRHEG having an exceptional girls’ basketball team. I don’t remember the Panthers ever having a bad basketball team.
But, with all those sports seasons at an end, all there is to cover sports-wise is Janesville legion baseball and the Waseca Braves. We won’t be printing multiple-page sports sections again until the weather eventually cools off and we get football action again. To be honest, I can use the break.
Hay Daze was once again a great weekend to cover. I met up with some old classmates including Emily Borneke Lee. You may remember her as the Miss Janesville first attendant in 2015, but many people may know her sister, Erin, better; she runs the Miss Janesville Organization.
Congratulations to this year’s royalty, Maya Olson, Little Miss Janesville, Sophia Coulsey, Miss Janesville, and her attendants Abby Sobolik and Lydia Huelsnitz. I hope you get used to seeing a 5’8” dude with a buzzcut and glasses taking photos of you at all the parades this summer. To Miss Janesville 2022 Ava Appel and attendant Ariana Aguilar, I hope you both enjoyed your reigns and showed what Janesville’s all about. Also, I hope you didn’t mind me taking pictures of you at every single parade you were in like a small town paparazzi. It’s what I get paid to do, you know.


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