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Living the rural life

Senior Panther girls basketball players taking different paths

February 16, 2018
Bonnie Remmick - Tribune Reporter , Pierce County Tribune

Graduating from high school can be a difficult time even with the best of circumstances for students. Living in rural North Dakota, most of these friends will be lifelong relationships. It's a blessing to attend a small school where friends and memories are forever. Rugby and Pierce County are good for that. They are good for giving young people roots.

Who were the people that influenced you during your final year? Was it that special coach, like Coach Jen Brossart from the Rugby High School Girls Panthers Basketball. She has built a formidable team, who together will go Monday night, and some for the final time, to the Region 6 Tournament at Minot. But after that game, it will be basketball's season's over, end of senior sports and the concentration on the final grades which can mean a lot for those wanting scholarships, school acceptance, and hopefully a great future.

Rugby's sports teams will lose some great talent as the seniors move on. However, new players are coming up the ranks with juniors Anni Stier, Maria Blessum, Jordan Senger and Sophomore Brooke Blessum.

Article Photos

Two of the three senior Panther girls basketball team members are pictured here: Tristin Lunde (left) and Madison Uhlenkamp. Not pictured: Whitney Gronvold.

Tribune file photo

In November Brossart was quoted as saying "I truly think the girls are going to have a good season." They have had a 19-2 season to date, and she has coached a team that has worked together, grown together and succeeded.

"It's not all about winning," Senior Maddie Uhlenkamp said. "It's about teamwork. We are a team and we work well together."

Brossart said, "the goal is for the team to run and defend the length of the court with their athleticism, which could take some pressure off their inside game." And run this team has, winning game after game all season.

Seniors Madison Uhlenkamp, Whitney Gronvold and Tristin Lunde are great friends. They share basketball and learning. They have learned a lot from basketball about life. They've learned skills to take them to the next level.

As is normal, they have decided to pursue multiple paths. Uhlenkamp has signed with Dakota College in Bottineau for two years. After that, at this time, she is unsure but said "probably I will pursue a career in physical therapy."

Whitney Gronvold is going to tour colleges in Iowa, South Dakota as well as North Dakota, before making a decision where to attend. "She is interested in Iowa, because its a good school and her sister is nearby," her mother Lori Gronvold said. "But she is not making a decision yet, she'll do her tours and make her decision. Lori Gronvold has done photography for the Panther's team and will miss her daughter on the court.

Lunde is heading to the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks where she she said, " I can pursue a medical degree which might just lead to pursuing Orthopedic Surgery.

"For me now," she added, "I won't pursue sports but will focus on the long medical career path."

College is a new time, a step into adulthood with a look back over your shoulder for security.



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