News & Notes

Bulldog hockey to host Hockey Fights Cancer Night on Jan. 18
Kurt Hildebrandt

The Minnesota River Boys and Girls Hockey teams will host a Hockey Fights Cancer Night on Friday, Jan. 18 when the teams take on Big South Conference rival Windom at the Le Sueur Community Center. Game time for the Girls is 5:30 p.m. with the Boys game immediately following. This event is in conjunction with Youth Hockey Night. All youth players wearing their Bulldog jersey and accompanied by a paying adult get in free. Boys Varsity players will be available after the game to sign autographs. 

The night will be dedicated to supporting the fight against cancer in numerous ways:  

  • Players on both teams will use lavender-colored hockey tape and have Hockey Fights Cancer decals on their helmets. Lavender is the color designated by the American Cancer Society to support all types of cancer.
    Hockey Fights Cancer "I Fight For" cards will be displayed as a Wall of Hope in the hallway outside the rink. Fans can purchase their own "I Fight For" cards for $1.00 each. 
  • There will be two Split-the-Pot raffles - one during each game.
  • A Walking Taco Meal Deal will be offered for $5.00
  • Hockey Fights Cancer/Minnesota River Bulldog T-Shirts will be available for $20.00 each. 

This is the first year youth hockey teams have been invited to join forces with the NHL for Hockey Fights Cancer, an initiative to raise money and awareness for hockey's most important fight. All funds raised will go to the American Cancer Society to support patient services such as the ACS Hope Lodge and Road to Recovery programs.


The Saint Peter Public Schools Logo
Kurt Hildebrandt

Juniors Sarah Conlon and Ethan Niemeyer are this year's nominees

Two members of the Saint Peter High School junior class, Sarah Conlon and Ethan Niemeyer, were recently announced as the the school’s 2018-19 ExCEL Award nominees.

2018-19 SPHS ExCEL award winners Ethan Niemeyer & Sarah Conlon.

  The 2018-19 SPHS ExCEL Award nominees are Ethan
  Niemeyer (left) and Sarah Conlon (right).

The ExCEL (Excellence in Community, Education and Leadership) Award program recognizes Minnesota high school juniors who are active in school activities, who show leadership qualities, and who work voluntarily in their community. The award is sponsored by the Minnesota State High School League and Wells Fargo.

Every member school of the League is invited to nominate one girl and one boy for the ExCEL Award. The ExCEL Award recipients will be selected by an independent panel of judges from schools throughout Minnesota. Nominees must:

  • be a junior in high school
  • make satisfactory progress toward graduation
  • participate in a MSHSL fine arts and/or athletic activity
  • hold a leadership position(s) in their school
  • ​​​​​​​work voluntarily in their community

“Sarah and Ethan are great representatives of our school for this award,” Jordan Paula, Saint Peter High School activities director, said. “Ethan took on a huge responsibility with our West Side Story production and really led the entire cast and crew as Student Director. Combined with the success in the classroom and community service we’re confident he’ll continue to do big things within the St. Peter community. Sarah’s leadership on the court, in the classroom and in the community show she has a passion for service. Being involved in athletics and in the arts is a picture of getting involved at our school. We’re fortunate to have her as a student for another year and have high hopes for both her and Ethan in the future.”

Here are brief profiles of the two SPHS ExCEL winners:

Sarah Conlon

Conlon, the daughter of Michelle and Jerry Conlon, has balanced her schedule at SPHS with a wide range of academic, fine arts and athletic activities all the while maintaining a grade point average of 3.812.

“Being the ExCEL Award nominee from SPHS is a really great honor because I know how many great candidates there are,” Conlon said. “I’m very thankful for this opportunity.”

The junior standout has also been involved with a variety of activities including serving as a junior class officer, being on the A honor roll since her ninth grade year, serving as a leader with the Project for Teens group as well as helping out with the the Courage and Kindness retreats.

Conlon has also been very active in the arts having participated in Varsity Choir as a freshman, Saints Chorale as a sophomore, and this year she is a part of the SPHS Concert Choir. That interest in music carries over into her church where she has helped as assistant director for the Christmas program.

Athletically, Conlon is a two-sport standout for the Saints earning multiple letters already in girls basketball and volleyball, including serving as captain for the latter during this past fall. She was named a member of the Big South All Conference team in volleyball this year.

Among her volunteer activities at church includes teaching Sunday school and Vacation Bible School, youth group member, as well helping mow lawn, doing landscape work, painting, and cleaning there. Outside of church and school, Conlon’s other activities includes coaching and officiating for youth volleyball, interning at North Elementary, working at the Nicollet County Fair, Relay for Life and Celebrate Me Week.

Her future plans include attending college and possibly majoring in an education-related field. She also plans to play basketball at the collegiate level as well.

Ethan Niemeyer

Niemeyer, the son of Heidi and Michael Niemeyer, has kept busy during his time at SPHS with a variety of academic and arts activities as well as maintaining a strong sense of giving back to his community.

“It's just a great feeling knowing that what I am doing is recognized and viewed important by the school,” Niemeyer said. “It really helps me know that I'm doing something right.”

Academically, Niemeyer has been a member of the A honor roll throughout his high school career and has a 3.967 GPA. He has also spent time working in an internship program with the SPHS chemistry program.

In addition to his strong academic record, the junior standout really shines through in his participation in arts-related activities. Niemeyer, who plays the alto saxophone, has been a member of the SPHS band in several capacities including being a member of the Concert Band, Jazz Band, Marching Band and Pep Band since his freshman year.

This past fall, Niemeyer took over duties as student director for the SPHS fall play (West Side Story) after working on the soundboard his 10th grade year (Footloose).

His volunteer activities outside of school include working at his church as a Vacation Bible School helper, youth group member, church work day helper, and Christmas decoration volunteer. He also has given of his time to Operation Christmas Child, Adopt A School, providing blankets for Women’s Health Center, as well as helping clean up an inner city neighborhood in Kansas City during a youth trip.

Niemeyer’s future plans include attending college and majoring i something in the medical field.

SPHS to bring “West Side Story” to local stage Nov. 15-18
Kurt Hildebrandt

                                                                                 (Photo courtesy of Lauren Mayer & Breeley Ruble)

New online ticketing system in place for admission to this year’s fall play

Saint Peter High School’s theater department will be presenting the “West Side Story” on November 15-18 on the Performing Arts Center stage with shows at 7:30 p.m. that Thursday, Friday and Saturday, with a special 2:30 p.m. matinee showing that Sunday.

Reserved tickets can be purchased online at or by clicking on the “Quick Links” tab in the upper right hand corner of the Saint Peter Public Schools’ website (

“West Side Story,” which ran on Broadway in the late 1950s for 732 performances and was later made into a movie that won the Academy Award for best picture in 1962, is set in the Upper West Side neighborhood in New York City in the mid 1950s, an ethnic, blue-collar neighborhood. According to Broadway. Com,“Billed as a modern-day Romeo & Juliet, West Side Story follows two gangs who battle to control their turf on New York's Upper West Side. The situation gets complicated when one gang member falls for a rival's sister.”

The cast of 49 and a crew of 15 for this year’s fall play have been busy rehearsing and working for their opening performance, according to co-director Scott Hermanson.

“They have been spending hours polishing the music and learning their choreography,” Hermanson said. “This show is a challenging endeavor for the students.”

Hermanson is co-directing with Karen Steinhoff, with Robbie Deering directing choreography. The technical directors are Mike Reeser and Deering.

“West Side Story made its debut on stage over 60 years ago, and the story is still as powerful and relevant as it was then,” Hermanson said. “It forces us to confront issues of race, immigration, intolerance and discrimination. As we continue to see an increase of hate and intolerance in our country and in our world, we must confront the reality of our reactions and their consequences.”


Riff – Kaiden Burmeister
Tony – Will Tauer
Action – Liam Dixon
A-Rab – Kyle Fogal
Baby John – John Borgmeier
Snow Boy – Josh Ellerbeck
Big Deal – Matthew Springer
Diesel – Isaac Peterson
Gee-Tar – Jaden Neubauer
Mouthpiece – Nils Berglund
Tiger – Sean Sneer
Graziella – Gloria Toupence
Velma – Breeley Ruble
Minnie – Marina Sawyer
Clarice – Michaela Hahn
Pauline – Megan Beran
Anybodys – Claire Dimock
DeeDee – Aurora Severson
Pearl – Sky Gassman
Lulu – Allie Pettis
Jet Girls – Julia Marlow, Kia Maas, and Breanna Hagen

Bernardo – Isaac Sawyer
Maria – Amelia Wernsing
Anita – Lauren Mayer
Chino – Noah Faulstich
Pepe – Chandra O’Brien
Luis – Gabe Wilson
Indio – Obie Alcantara Alvarez
Anxious – Jason Creel
Nibbles – Momo Abdi
Juano – David Doherty–Bohn
Toro – Calvin Alderman
Moose – Gavin Fuller
Rosalia – Isabel Panciera
Consuelo – Eva Kracht
Teresita – Katie Engeldinger
Francisca – Madi Abels
Estella – Rosie Hernandez
Margarita – Penelope Panciera
Shark Boy – Matthew Witty Frank
Shark Girls – Izzy Lind, Bryanna Harroun, and Jadzia Lahn

Doc – Dan Clark
Schrank – Drew Dixon
Krupke – Mike Reeser
Glad Hand – Tamara Mayer

Stage manager: Ethan Niemeyer
Stage right assistant stage manager: Hannah Wohlers
Stage left assistant stage manager/rigging: Brad Doherty-Bohn
Light Board Operation: Haydon Grams and Jack Leonard
Sound Board Operation: Bennett Combs, Jonathan Haas, and Mikinley Prafke
Props Manager: Hannah Wohlers
Shift Crew: Milena Lund, Ben Moberg, Garrison Rushing, and Madi Winsell
Spotlights: Amelia Dickie, Audrey Kennedy, and Kaylee Moreau

SPHS fall play tickets available for purchase online starting Nov. 1
Kurt Hildebrandt

New system to allow theater goers to choose their seats ahead of time

SPHS fall play tickets are now sold online

  SPHS fall play assistant director Robbie Deering (left) assists cast
  member Chandra O'Brien with online purchase of fall play tickets.

The opening of the new Saint Peter High School in the fall of 2017 created a lot of excitement and nowhere was that more indicative than last year’s SPHS fall play production of "Footloose" in the school’s new state-of-the-art Performing Arts Center (PAC).

The cast and crew of that show performed in front of sellout crowds for each of the three evening performances, and some people even had to be turned away from some of the performances. On top of that, the large turnout also created congestion in the area outside the PAC prior to the show.

A new online ticketing system, being implemented for the first time for this year’s SPHS fall play production of West Side Story, should help alleviate many of the problems that arose last year. Showtimes for this year’s fall play are 7:30 p.m. for Thursday, Nov. 15; Friday, Nov. 16; and Saturday, Nov. 17; and 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 18.

All tickets for this year’s fall play moving forward will be sold online as reserved tickets, and those wanting to attend one of the four performances are now being encouraged to use the new online ticketing system to buy tickets through the new website -- starting on Thursday, Nov. 1. The system is been operated through Saint Peter Community and Family Education.

The new system will require those purchasing seats to choose their seat locations as well, based upon ticket availability. No general admission tickets will be sold for the fall play. The cost for the fall play tickets is $12 per person and $2 for Saint Peter Public School students and staff. SPHS activities passes are not accepted for admission to the play. 

“After hearing about last year’s situation, we did some research into different software packages that are available for online ticketing systems,” Tami Skinner, Saint Peter Community and Family Education director, said. “We did a lot of comparisons of different systems, and found out the one that worked best was from Affinety Solutions, which is also the same company that has handled our Community Education online registration program for the last 15 years or so. This software is an added feature for the program we have been using, so it is nice to have that continuity.”

The new system allows users to either set up an account, which will save information for future purchases, or register as a guest. According to Skinner, with either option users will need to provide an email address.

Once the purchase is complete, the tickets will be emailed to the person who made the purchase and they can either print off copies of the tickets with the barcode or they can bring up the barcode on their smartphone. Event staff with handheld scanners will scan each ticket as playgoers enter the PAC.

“What’s nice about this new system is if somehow a person loses their ticket, we can still look them up online at the box office and print them out a new one,” Skinner said.

Other options to purchase tickets are to call the Community Education office at 507-934-3048, ext. 1, or by stopping by the Community Education office in room 207 at the St. Peter Community Center (600 South Fifth Street) and they will be emailed to the buyers. Tickets, if available, can be purchased at the PAC box office on the evening of the show, but Skinner encourages people to buy ahead of time.

“We are anticipating that this will be a popular show, so there are no guarantees that there will be seats available at the box office.  It’s best if they buy ahead of time starting on November 1,” she said. “The cost is the same online as it would be at the box office."

Anyone needing more information or having further questions about fall play tickets should contact the Saint Peter Community Education office at 507-934-3048.

The Saint Peter Public Schools Logo
Kurt Hildebrandt

Please visit: to register for Saint Peter High School and Middle School (grades 7-12) extra curricular activities including speech, Mock Trial, Academic Decathlon, basketball, gymnastics, hockey, and wrestling. Girls hockey practices begin October 29; gymnastics, boys hockey and girls basketball practices begin on November 12; and boys basketball and wrestling begin on November 19.

The Saints’ activities calendar is your best source for game/event information. To track the schedule(s) for your student’s activities go to and use the “Notify Me” feature under the calendar on the right side of the page.

If you have any questions, please contact the SPHS Activities Office at 507-934-4212, ext. 6025.

One other reminder, the Saint Peter Booster Club online store is also open with all the latest in Saints’ gear available for purchase at A portion of those proceeds go back to the high school and help support Saints’ students and the activities programs.