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Young Life hosts Cake Auction
Roy Koenig, Sports Analyst
sports wrap, roy koenig, owatonna, sports

Start the day on Saturday, April 20 with a baseball-themed dessert at the Steele County Young Life Cake Auction. Bid on some Twins tickets for later this season.

Then head to Target Field to see a Major League Baseball game. And stay for the Owatonna Huskies contest against Red Wing in downtown Minneapolis. Make sure to bring a sweatshirt.

The 46th annual cake auction is at Trinity Lutheran Church from 8-11 a.m. View the cakes and vote for the best baker. Two games of “Too High; Too Low” for a Yeti cooler and Beats headphones start at 11 a.m. A Chick-fil-A food truck will be on site 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Online bidding begins Friday, April 19.

Add-ons that come with the cakes include food, goods and services from local businesses, cool vacation stays, Twins and Wild tickets, Kenny Chesney tickets, golf packages for inside and outside, and the unique Fishing Betting Game – designed and built by Larry Kriesel, father of Young Life director Lindsay Thompson.

She says it’s a gift to see the people who support the program.

“Not only our alumni who have moved away still participate and donate or buy. It’s just a reminder of how lucky we are that our community gives so much back to the people that live here and the organizations such as us at Young Life,” said Thompson.

While all the bidding occurs online, Thompson encourages people to come out to get a true feel of the efforts behind the event.

“It’s a time for us to be together. Buy sale cakes for $50 and bring them home. At 11 a.m. you can participate in our games and hear from our kids that have been impacted by the ministry. You can walk through and see all the items being donated. You can see who they are donated by, what they entail and the hard work that gets put behind making sure Young Life continues in Owatonna.”

“This has been a really neat year. We have so many kids participating in our discipleship groups, more than ever as well as coming to our weekly clubs,” Thompson said. “Kids are hungry to learn and grow and be around adults that encourage them and lift them up and pray for them.”


Huskies at Target Field

Saturday also happens to be the day OHS baseball squares off with Red Wing at Target Field at approximately 4:30 p.m. following a Twins game against Detroit that begins at 1:10 p.m. One ticket gets you into both games. And when you purchase tickets through Owatonna baseball, you benefit the local program.

Coach Tate Cummins says it’s a great opportunity.

“It’ll be incredible. One of those moments you get once in your life. You happen to do really well, you get to state, you play the championship there. But only eight teams get to do that,” said Cummins.

When he shared the news with the team over the winter, he was met with “Are you kidding me? Are we really going to play at Target Field? That’s as good as it gets. It’ll be a memory that they cherish forever,” he said.

Mark Arjes with Youth 1st has a great working relationship with the Twins.

“We started hosting Playball! Minnesota youth clinics in 2010 here in Owatonna. Each year, the attendance grew, and we built a solid relationship with the Community Fund directors. We started asking about supporting our sportsmanship and umpire initiatives, and they began providing some financial assistance through their grant program, as well as tickets to take teams to Target Field. The Twins started hosting some high school games a couple of years ago. I heard about it through my contact in the group sales department last spring and asked if Owatonna could participate…I approached coach Cummins and connected him to the Twins,” said Arjes. Target Field will host 12 high school games this season.


State speech

Up for debate is whether there is time to stop at the State Class AA Speech Meet on Saturday as well. OHS has eight qualifiers. Ava Kleeberger and Emma Green are in Duo, Calista Seiler in Prose, Nora Johnson, Vitaly Bauer, and Reuel Borkenhagen in Humorous, and Elijah Leon and Ayoub Farah in Discussion.

Blooming Prairie’s Kolby Vigeland competes in Great Speeches at the Class A meet on Friday, April 19. Both events are at Shakopee High School. There is no cost to attend. Competition begins each day at 10:15 a.m. with awards scheduled for 5:30 p.m.


A cha-cha for cha-ching

Wow. That was so much fun. And we were the best dancers, at least in the eyes of our elementary-age super fan Kylee Reedy. Dancing with Our Steele County Stars to benefit Healthy Seniors was held Saturday night. Mainstreet Owatonna Director Lisa Cochran and I opened the show with a “Space Jam”-inspired cha-cha that electrified the crowd – if I say so myself.

At intermission, Kylee approached me and proclaimed us her favorite. That means we got at least one vote from the audience. I was easy to spot with my Bugs Bunny ears. She also climbed the great staircase to locate Cochran and seek her out. After the show, she was at the stage to give us high fives.

At the beginning of the whole process, I was nervous about the prospect of performing a dance on stage in front of a packed house of over 800 people in the Wenger Performing Arts Center at the new Owatonna High School. But the routine devised by dance instructor April Dahl and consistent practice, including a few sessions at Four Seasons Centre, left us feeling confident at showtime.

The event raised over $67,000 for Healthy Seniors with many sponsors. Special thanks to our financial backers RE/MAX, Graif Clothing and Souba Greenhouse. Steele Threads designed and donated our uniforms. Scott Limberg of Owatonna Live shot our intro video with OHS tech guru Eric Hancock providing the voiceover. Congratulations to the winning couple Emily and Jeremy Saufferer, top fundraisers Delana Sevier and Ray Hoeve, all the other competitors and dancers, and the audience that supported this great cause.

I feel a special bond with my fellow dancers even though most of our practices were held individually. If you’re asked by Edna Ringhofer of Healthy Seniors of Steele County to take part next year, say “Yes.” It’s a guaranteed good time.


Like brother, like sister

Jenna Gleason, a junior at Dordt University in Sioux Center, Iowa and an OHS grad, qualified for the NAIA Nationals during her first meet of the spring track and field season, setting a school record in the process. Gleason surpassed the previous mark in the hammer throw by six feet with her toss of 49.58 meters. She has since broken that record. The national outdoor meet is in May in Marion, Indiana.

Justin Gleason, a freshman at Northwestern College in Iowa, competed at NAIA Indoor Nationals in the long jump in South Dakota in March. He qualified for the outdoor meet with a personal best leap of 7.31 meters (23 feet, 11.75 inches) in the first meet of the spring season.

Proud mom Debby Gleason is the girls track coach at OHS.

“Now we get the chance to drive around and watch our college kids perform and compete. He’s off to a good start as a freshman, so it’s really fun. It’s hard not to coach and just sit back and truly be the parent role for that. Jenna’s a thrower. That’s what’s fun when you get to college, and you get to add hammer and javelin and weight throw and all these fun things,” said Gleason.

Jaci Burtis, OHS Class of 2023 and a freshman at Dordt, took first place in the 800-meter race at their season-opening meet. Her twin Jeni is also a distance runner for the Defenders. play-by-play schedule

Thursday, April 18
Medford softball vs. Blooming Prairie, 4:30 p.m.
OHS baseball vs. Century, 5 p.m.

Monday, April 22
Huskies’ boys lacrosse vs. New Prague, 7:30 p.m.

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