Tom Elliott: BOLD brings home some more hardware

Warriors add a 2nd-place girls basketball trophy to an impressive collection of state accomplishments in multiple sports

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BOLD junior forward Kenzie Visser attempts a jumper over Mountain Iron-Buhl junior guard Hali Savela in the Class A state championship on Saturday, March 18, 2023, at Williams Arena in Minneapolis.
Michael Lyne / West Central Tribune

MINNEAPOLIS — BOLD girls basketball now makes its contribution to the overstuffed trophy cases at BOLD High School, where accumulating plaques and other assorted hardware from state tournaments has been a consistent habit since the 1970s.

Or, if you’d prefer, since the BOLD school district was formed in 1989.

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Warriors shoot 17.4% in loss to Mountain Iron-Buhl in the state Class A final
BOLD falls against Mountain Iron-Buhl in the Class A state championship, 52-21
The BOLD Warriors played Hayfield at Williams Arena in Minneapolis on Friday, March 17, 2023.
Three-seed BOLD advances to Class A semifinals against two-seed Hayfield on Friday

The Warriors took second place in Class A on Saturday at Williams Arena, losing to Mountain Iron-Buhl 52-21. No, BOLD didn’t play that well. Yes, there were a few tears afterward. But nobody wearing Warrior red, silver and black should feel too terrible. It was another great season in a school district that seems to make state tournaments a habit.

This was the Warriors’ third state girls basketball tournament, which includes appearances in 2013 and ‘19. But that doesn’t explain all the successes in multiple sports.

"We have high expectations," said BOLD head girls basketball coach Brian Kingery, who's an assistant in football and head baseball coach. "BOLD has created a winning culture.


"And I think that winning culture gets passed on from generation to generation since BOLD was established in '89-90. And that's the standard we hold our kids accountable to and that's what we want to keep pushing toward."

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Youngsters show their support for BOLD Warriors during the Class A state semifinal against Hayfield at Williams Arena in Minneapolis on Friday, March 17, 2023.
Macy Moore / West Central Tribune

The communities of Bird Island, Lake Lillian and Olivia's first recorded team in a Minnesota State High School League sport was Olivia qualifying for the state boys cross country meet in 1967. For the record, Olivia placed 17th.

Since then, some team from the communities that make up BOLD have been going to state in something often.

Take football.

Bird Island was the state Class C runner-up in 1974. Bird Island-Lake Lillian was second in 1976 and '83 and first in '79 and 80 with another appearance in '78. Olivia made state in 1980.

Since 1990, BOLD has been to state 11 times, winning state titles in 1990 and '91 and taking second in '92, 2014, '18 and '19.

BOLD baseball has been to state in '12, '13, '14 and '19, winning a state Class A title that year. Ask Kingery and he'll tell you they likely would have won another state title in 2020 had there been a season.

BOLD has won a couple of state dance team championships and a couple of state girls golf titles among seven state tournament appearances. Boys golf has made state and so has volleyball.


"The goal isn't necessarily to win a state title," Kingery said. "It's to be a competitor. And, as you compete as you have to compete in life every day, you want a job, you want to get into college, you want to find a special someone, it doesn't matter. It's competition."

Here are recent stories by Tom Elliott.
Tim Orth Memorial Foundation's Jam the Gym fundraiser set for Saturday, April 1 in Bird Island
Orono, the No. 2 seed in the Class AAA boys basketball tournament, is coached by former Bird Island-Lake Lillian star Barry Wohler
Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa beats Hayfield 65-54 Saturday to wrap up its Class A state tournament appearance
Wildcats beat Perham 65-38 to go 2-1 in the state Class AA tournament
BBE wanted a state title, but couldn't knock off No. 1 Mountain Iron-Buhl in the Class A semifinals, falling 61-57
Warriors follow a familiar formula to knock off United Christian Academy at state, 67-29. Third-seeded BOLD plays second-seeded Hayfield at 2 p.m. Friday in the Class A semifinals at Williams Arena
Fifth-seeded Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa beats fourth-seeded Underwood 60-44 to earn a rematch with No.1 Mountain-Iron Buhl at noon Friday at Williams Arena
Wildcats are held to 8 points in final 18 minutes in a 50-28 loss to Minnehaha Academy at the state Class AA tournament at Williams Arena
Instead of making the state tournament the No. 1 goal, the Warriors aimed to keep their outstanding team chemistry intact
Fifth-seeded Jaguars hope to be aggressive against No. 4 Underwood in state Class A quarterfinals

BOLD's figured it out in that respect. BOLD competes in everything, not that a big state tournament run isn't going to hurt a girls basketball program that could use better numbers. BOLD has 14 athletes out in girls basketball from ninth through 12th grade. Only 10 players were suited up for Saturday's championship game.

"I think it does a lot for the feeder programs," Kingery said. "I talked about how I have two daugters (a sixth-grader and a third-grader) in the feeder program and they both said, 'I want to play here, too, Dad.'
"I'm like, awesome."

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