Students find athletic atmosphere in other activities


Keenan Schember

Sophomore Alyssa Brinza gets ready to return the serve in a recent ping pong practice.

The sports here at BSM are very well known and loved by many students, but so are other activities that aren’t necessarily considered sports. Some of these activities that students love are ping pong, bowling, ultimate frisbee, and clay target team.

Ping pong is a very competitive game that needs good focus and practice.  The team’s practice consists of about 15 minutes of warmups with a partner.  Then they do a variety of things, such as matches against teammates, practice with double partner, small competitions, or practicing with a robot depending on what Coach Hansen has set up for that day. With all of the practice they put into it, it definitely pays off at the matches.  The team goes and plays other high school teams from around the Twin Cities.  This year they have played one match against Orono and came out with a win.  “It’s a true test of mental toughness and true skill in the art of table tennis,” senior varsity ping pong player, Michael Kelly, said.  “And if you’re not sporting mid calves and mid thigh shorts, you’re doing it wrong.”

The players really love being on the team and playing in matches. “I really like the speed of the game, you’ve got to have great reflexes and hand-eye coordination.  It’s also a really great way to stay in shape and to keep your body in peak physical performance,” Kelly says.

Also for many on the team having good chemistry with your doubles partner is a major key to performing well.  For Kelly and his partner, 2015 Minnesota State High School Doubles Tennis Champion, Paige McLeod, they have developed a lot of chemistry that helps them play well in their matches.

If you’re not sporting mid calves and mid thigh shorts, you’re doing it wrong.

— Michael Kelly

Bowling is also a activity at BSM that has become pretty popular. Many new members joined the team this year and had a great experience.  “I joined because my dad bowled varsity in college and was a collegiate champion,” senior varsity bowler, Mitch Melquist, said.  

The new members love the experience they went through this fall on the team.  “It’s always been a fun pastime, but when it came to playing on a team I couldn’t resist,” Melquist said.

Most people on the team have bowled before, but some just come to love it more than others.  “It’s always been a real passion of mine, I’ve loved the sport for a while,” senior junior varsity bowler, Mason Deterding, said.

When it comes to actually bowling, the team has to put in hard work if they want to perform well in their matches.  “[We] work hard, bowl, condition sometimes, it depends on the practice,” Deterding said.  When it comes to the matches they are there to perform well and have fun.  

For some, the practices are very intense.  “Our matches are cutthroat, you can’t have phones, you have to focus, one wrong move could cost you the match,” Deterding said.

One wrong move could cost you the match.

— Mason Deterding

For others it is more about having fun.  “Our competitions are very laid back, it’s almost like you are bowling at the lanes with your friends,” Melquist said.  In result of the focus or having fun at competitions, both JV and Varsity team ended up performing well.  “Pretty well, the JV red team lead by myself, Riley O’Connor, Annika Mueller, and Anna DeGiulio, worked well together and I think we won every match in straight sets,” Deterding said.

Clay Target Team is also an activity that many students at BSM have started participating in. It’s not all about the shooting, but more about the experience and having fun. “I enjoy the activity because I like the community and just shooting a few times during the week is really fun to me,” senior member, Cole Engstrand said.

Also for a lot of the students they have grown up around guns and hunted throughout their life.  “I have shot guns and hunted my whole life so it was just natural for me to want and join,” Engstrand said.

The students that have become members get a better understanding and experience of clay target team at practice and competitions.  “We talk most of the time and then shoot 25 shells twice-so two rounds totaling 50 shots,” Engstrand said.

Competitions, however, are a little different than the matches.  “The competitions are crazy-thousands of people walking around, talking, and sharing the popular past time,” Engstrand said.