HJ-ED-DHJHerald Journal Columns
May 21, 2007

A life full of valuable lessons

By Aaron Schultz

As a coach at Lester Prairie High School, I was in attendance at the Lester Prairie All-Sports Banquet Wednesday at the Lester Prairie City Hall.

After the introduction of the athletes, and the dinner, it was the guest speaker’s turn.

This year, the guest speaker was Bernie Saggau, the head of the Iowa State High School League.

An older gentleman, Saggau started right out with a funny story, and they just kept on coming.

He told stories of his days growing up in Iowa, to his college days, right on to his days as a father.

They just kept on coming, and were all very interesting.

While everyone in attendance looked to enjoy it, his speech was much more than just a bunch of funny stories.

Saggau talked a lot about going after what you want, and not letting anyone tell you that you can’t do something.

The one story that sticks out the most for me was the one he told about his son.

While Saggau was a basketball player back in the day, and also did a lot of officiating for basketball, his son decided to wrestle.

After a very successful high school career, his son moved on to the University of Wisconsin to wrestle.

While he wasn’t on the first team, his son did receive the hardest worker award multiple years for the Badgers.

Saggau lost his son when he was in a car accident heading back to college, and was killed.

The following two years after his son’s death, the two wrestlers that his son wrestled in practice both won national championships.

It was a very touching story, and one that I am not likely to forget anytime soon.

Thought it was nice

Several weeks ago, I published a story about Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted senior Jo Smith signing on to run track at the University of Nebraska-Omaha.

A Division II school, Smith did well for herself to receive a scholarship, and it is well deserved.

She is really one of the top athletes from HLWW, and the entire area.

With the story, I included a photo of Smith with her mother, and head coach Rod Janikula.

In the photo, Smith is looking up at Janikula with kind of a weird look, as the coach is laughing – about what? I don’t remember.

The point is, I had a number of the same old photos of everyone standing side-by-side, smiling for the camera.

As I went through the dozen or more photos that I had taken during the signing, I picked that one, just because I thought it looked nice.

Over the years, I have taken more photos than I can remember of the people standing like statues, smiling for the camera.

When I saw the one that ran, I couldn’t help but smile, thinking to myself that it was really a neat-looking shot.

So I ran it, and apparently, by the responses I have received, shouldn’t have.

Besides the letter to the editor that ran last week, I have also heard from several other people who were displeased with the photo.

I have looked the photo over and over again, and I just don’t see much wrong with it.

That, of course, is just my opinion, since many other people seem to have a problem with it.