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The Ortonville Independent
Ortonville, Minnesota
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March 12, 2002     The Ortonville Independent
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March 12, 2002
 

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J Andy Ross's AT THE BUZZER , touching story on r last year's Trojan loss to Hillcrest featured in statewide magazine Edi. note: The following article was written by Andy Ross, 2001 OHS graduate and member of the Trojan Basketball team. He originally wrote the article for a college term paper at Northwestern University in Minneapolis, where he is a freshman. One of the professors ,submitted it to the Baptist church officials in Chicago who felt it worthy of publishing in the March/April 2002 NewLife Baptist General Conference magazine with a cover shot of Andy on the basketball court. The article is a heartwarming story of faith based on the Trojan Loss to Hiilcrest for the 2001 section championship. ANDY ROSS is on the cover of the March/April 2002 issue of the New Life Baptist Church Conference magazine. He is a freshman at Northwestern College in Minneapolis and son of Dr. Robert and Mary Ross of Ortonville. The complete story appears below. morning every, as and black. g anyone could talk and teachers their faces seemed as if I good luck" every. point guard for Trojans, the Class A all 'record was 25-0. was a private Hiltcrest Lutheran ; Comel - the beaten  semifinals the Needless to for the bleachers I led the team a sea of the reaiorit  The rest of I were Cornet red. I -= bumps as our fans the to i.ay. ! could faster and the adrena- through my s= spa.ed the starting line- ,time to Play. margin yp basketball and Ihit threnter game. Our fans erupted. The two teams traded baskets for the rest of the first quarter. We held a one-point advantage when it ended. The second quarter was more the kind of game we wanted to play. As we began to relax, our defense stiffened and our offense ran more smoothly. We had the momentum and an eight- point lead until the last play of the quarter. With less than 10 seconds remaining, a Hillcrest player stole the hall and made a three-pointer at the buzzer. We still had a five- point lead going into hatfiime, but that last Play gave our o3oflts an lollrlou confidence boost. The third quarter was a replica of the first. We were never able to increase our five-point lead, but they were never able to diminish it. We would score, then they would stop us. Both teams were beginning to get discoura. by their lack of progress. The unthinkable happens The tension was building as the fourth quarter began. All we had to de was hamg en for eight mimae and Hill- crest's season would be over. lust eight more minutes! One minute passed, then two, then four. The Comets had  to make a mme. Tha lead was sdfl Fe points and Hillcr was running out of time. OUr fans cheered Ioer than ever as they anticipated victory. Then with about three minutes remain- ing in the game, the unthink- able happened. They hit a three-point shot, followed by a two-pointer and then another three. In complete shock, we were now down by three points. They proceeded to stop us again and added two more points. Our players and coaches did not panic. After another missed shot by my teammate, t threw a full- court pass and made a layup to go up by seven. Our coach called a timo-out with 1:30 left on the clock. Hillcmst hadjust gone on a lZ-Omn. !ridge bu, i saw the apprehension on my teammates" faces. Being a senior and a calm rain, I needed to say something. I peered into their eyes, vigorously stating: "Pick your heads up! This game is not over. We can still win. I don't know about you, but I don't feel like ending the season right now. We worked too hard to just roll over and die. Let's go!" I could see a glim- mer of hope return to their eyes. The team rallied behind me and was ready to take back the lead. The buzzer sounded and the game continued. ]-he final shot With about a minute left, lhit a l(!ng thr-pointer to eta tbe lead to four points. A CASTING CONTEST was just one of the adivities for children at the Sports and Leisure Show this year. The contest, as well as minnow races, were sponsored by the Big Stone Walleye Club. Above, Amanda Brown tries her luck. "Post" drops Copy this week from long-time reader and former resident, Rev. lhno A. Janssen, now of California: "Dear Jim, Two things come to mind on this cloudy morning in "sunny" California. One is my renewal of the They then made two free throws, but we countered with another basket. On our next possession, still down by four, ! found myself at the free throw line. I tried to remain calm. I made the first shot, but missed the second. My teammate snared the rebound and put it back for another two points. The deficit was down to one point, with only three seconds left. We quickly fouled the first Comet to touch the ball. The opposing player made both free throws to increase their lead to three points. With two aecond on the clock, the only dmt we could get off was a desperate half- court attempt that bounced Off the rim. Our season was over. Even more depressing, my high school career was over. It all happened so fast. Most of the fans and players stood silently in disbelief. I sobbed uncontrollably. All the time and effort I had put into" the sport was nullified in an instant, along with my e.- year dream to win the state tournament. Oodof the game Back at Ortonville, our school and fans had organized a ceremony to congratu- late the team on the wonderful season that had just come to an abrupt finish. At one point they asked the players to speak. One by one, they respectfully declined. I was the last one asked. Holding back tears, I thanked the fans, Parents, band, cheerleaders, my coaches and teammates. I quickly ended my speech because I could not control my emotions any longer. I he fans started to applaud and I cried again. I felt so avdul that I did not talk to anyone for the rest of the night. lhat is, until I pray,.d to (;ud. I ,k:d I iim to e. thn pain I felL I did not know what could help me feel better; it (lie) was right in front of me the whole time. The next morning I woke up feeling much better than I thought I would or should have. It did not make sense that the game was not haunting me. Sometime later I realized what had happened-my priorities had changed. Basketball no longer held such importance in my life; Gtd did. Basketball was just a game; Cod was life. I real- ized that Cod used haskethall to teach me valuable life lessons like leadership and teamwork. This was the day I had been waiting for all of my life. Andy floss, now a hman at Northwestern College, attends New Life Community Baptist Church, Ortonville, Minn., when home on breaks. out our web site at www.ortonvilleindependent.com Meet our family at Pleasant View Friedrlch 1163 Barduson St. MN 56208 LueUa Friedrich moved to Pleasant View in Sep- tember, 1997. She moved here from her home on Rooney Avenue with the help of her sons Wayne, Jerry, Glen and Richard and their families. As a lifetime resi- dent of Appleton, LueUa enjoyed raising her family in the rural area with her husband, Herbert. Luella worked many hard hours as a housekeeper in Apple- ton and also at the Appleton Nursing Home. "The part of my Job I enjoyed most at the nursing home was pasaing meds," she commented. "l can't think of any- thing I don't like at Pleasant View," she added. "But the best part Is the friendliness of everyone here." Come check us out! Judy about living st Pleasant View - you'll be glad you dldlt 19, 2002 Independent, the other your published "Letters to Elisa". Each week you mention that I was a friend of the author, Dr. George Werner. Ours was a life-long ecumenical friendship. We were "P.K.s" (Preachers' kids) of the pastors of Odessa's two churches. "lMay Odessa has only one. But preachers' kids are not always "angels". Our friendship began in a disciplinary manner in our first year of high school. I folded up a sheet of paper in air attack shape and projected it into the air. It crash- landed on the arm of the girl in front of me who loudly yelled,'Ouch"] I was promptly sent to the principal's office. I was barely out of the room when I was joined by my new-found friend, George Werner. He had pulled a copy-cat act and was also sent to the principal's office. We were afraid because we hadn't met the new principal. He asked us two questions: I. What we did. 2. If wc were going out for basketball. After answering the second question in the affirmative, he let us go! Since our days in Odessa, we did many things alike. Upon graduation from high school we both entered the ministry, both servcd our first pastorates in New York, and received (]oct()rates IF()TTI (tlr respective clninaxies. (Jut last active cricc in the ministry separated us the most. While George served in southern Florida, I served in the San Francisco area of California. George passed away in 2000. Our friendship will continue in the portals above. I'm enclosing check for a renewal subscription. It's always enjoyable to read the news of folks who remain near and dear to us." II I I Only the Newspaper ,  ,, ,,,, P / Uke m good neighborl Only your newspaper 18 ltmre when you want and neod It. Look tn it for tips about gardening, lawn care, hob- blos, garro sales and all the oti'r Important news to your lifo and ttlesty. 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