30th Annual Ranger Spiel
Kids and college students were the big winners at the 30th annual RangerSpiel – nearly $30,000 was raised for two Iron Range causes: community college scholarships and the Buddy Backpack Program, a K-12 weekend food assistance program serving over 750 at-risk families.
In bonspiel results… Seven-time reigning Taconite champion Purple Art (eventual 2nd event winner) was upset in their first game by reigning Hematite champion Steve Raukar and his boys from Hibbing, who went on to lose in the finals to Jim Milosevich (with Dale Gibbs, Neil Kay and Peter Mallinger – some Hibbing boys, too). CJ Montana (Chris Johnson, Pat Becicka, Eric Brandt and Leah Busak – more Hibbing folks) took the Hematite Division first-place trophy – a keenly cut and inscribed piece of railroad rail.
Other Hematite Division winners include teams Spragg (2nd event), Donn Satrom (3rd), and Mesabi East 1990 (4th). Runners-up included Al Taylor, who had a magical run to the finals (1st event), Jenny Witschen (2nd), Kathy Busch (3rd), and Kenn Judge (4th), who played well and supported the fundraising efforts even better.
The Taconite Division was full of surprises with first year team Shawn Banyai (Chaska) making it to the 2nd event finals, Brothers Squared (Cerkveniks/Batas) topping Team Doc Miller (C. Orvik, B. Charp., and W. Rivillas) and their $60 good luck charm in the 3rd event, and the Metcalf father-son combo with Tom Conroy and Geo Perpich, Jr., sneaking by team Gangsome (another Chaska entry) in the 4th event.
Next year, Super Bowl LIII organizers will be happy to not compete against the 31st Annual RangerSpiel head-to-head, in the same city, on the same weekend.