Making preparations for Christmas and Winter Sports

By: 
Chuck Kajer, The New Prague Times

The last few months have seemed to go by in a blur at the newspaper. It seems like it was just a short time ago when we were preparing for the school year and fall sports to begin and elections to take place, and now they’re all over, we’ve already jumped into the winter sports season and are preparing for the holiday season.

We began planning our Christmas editions in mid-October and last week we published the first of our two Gift Guides that we will have. This week’s paper is coming out a day early due to the Thanksgiving holiday, and we have an ad for “Small Business Saturday” running in this week’s issue of The Times.

We encourage you to look at the ad on Page 14 and to patronize these shops. While it may be convenient to shop online or fun to go to the Twin Cities and spend a day shopping for bargains, keep in mind that the local businesses are the ones that support the community.

They are the ones local organizations go to for donations and sponsorships. They support local schools and local youth activities. They are your neighbors and deserve to be considered when you are looking for presents for family and friends.

We’ve already begun preparations for our annual Christmas edition. This special section features drawings from area school children that are sponsored by various businesses around the community. It has become a tradition in our newspaper and had a great response not only from the children whose artwork is featured, but also from the businesses that make it possible.

The section will also include messages from area pastors, photos of holiday events and more. We would like to include a few feature stories on area residents and their holiday traditions. If you’ve got a story idea, please call the newspaper at 952-758-4435 or email news@newpraguetimes.com.

The Times wishes everyone a Happy Holiday Season.

A change of seasons

The fall sports season at New Prague High School ended last week with Ellen Popple competing at the State Swim and Dive meet. The fall season included a strong showing by the Trojan volleyball team, state tourney appearances by two athletes (Sydney Siegle in cross country and Popple in diving) and marked improvement by the Trojan boys and girls soccer teams. While some of the Trojan sports struggled, the athletes worked hard and showed their dedication with strong efforts throughout the season. The Times staff thanks all the coaches for their efforts in helping us tell the stories of the teams.

That brings us to the winter sports season. All of the Trojan sports teams except Adapted Floor hockey began their winter seasons, and the girls hockey team already has two games under their belts as of this writing, with two more games scheduled for this weekend.

The Times is working with coaches to provide the best coverage possible in each of these sports. We will print our annual Winter Sports Section, with stories and photos of each team, in the issue of December 6. Three of the teams will have new coaches this winter. The dance team is led by Monika Goettl, who was an assistant last season, the boys hockey team is led by Corey Lonke, brother of former head coach Chris Lonke, who stepped down after 10 seasons, and the boys basketball team is coached by Dan Peterka, who spent the last 16 seasons as head coach of Battle Lake, a Class A power. Other coaches for the winter season are Luke Swedberg (girls basketball) and Taylor Ries (girls hockey), both in their second season, Third-year wrestling coach Dan Wagner and veteran coaches Shellie Kriha (adapted floor hockey) and Doug Amundsen (gymnastics). We look forward to working with each of these coaches during the coming months.

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