Written by Herald-News
Two wild horse race teams from Wolf Point competed at the Richey Rodeo Saturday, July 18. The team in the back had T.J. Bow as the rider, Josh Nieskens as the mugger and Zaq Bostick as the anchor. The front team was Easton Copenhaven as the rider, Brock Copenhaven as the anchor and Talor Toavs as the mugger. (Photo by Kylee Jo Bushman)
Written by Herald-News
Pictured are: Lukey Whitford of Sidney loses his hat as he takes down this steer in the steer wrestling event opening night of the Stampede rodeo Thursday, July 9. Sylvan LaCross of Baker riding Fame Monster in the bareback riding event Thursday. Taylor Price of Huntsville, Texas, took second-place in the bareback riding event Thursday. Specialty act "The One Armed Bandit." J.C. Crowley of Poplar. Katie Crowley of poplar. Clown and barrelman JJ Harrison. (Photos by John Plestina)
The following Stampede Rodeo results were made available. We will publish additional results when available.
Wild Horse Race
Thursday: The horses won.
Friday: Blue team of Clarles Brigis, Easton Copenhaver and Talor Toavs.
Saturday: Cream team of TJ Kerr, Garrett Long and Terrell Hamilton.
Go-around 1: first, Justin Miller, Billings, 89.0; second, Taylor Price, Huntsville, Texas, 83.0; third, Ty Breuer, Mandan, N.D., 80.0; fourth and fifth tie, Mason Johnston of Huntsville, Texas, and Dantan Bertsch of Eastend, Sask., Canada, 74.0; sixth, Mason Clements, Sandy Utah, 73.0.
Saddle Bronc Riding
Go-around 1: first, Cole Neeley, Duchess, Alberta, Canada, 87.0; second, Rusty Wright, Milford, Utah, 81.0; third, fourth and fifth tie, Kaden Deal, Cheyenne River, S.D., Jesse Kruse, Great Falls, and Louie Brunson, Interior, S.D., 78.0; sixth, Dalton Rixon, Richardton, S.D., 77.0; seventh and eighth tie, Jake Watson, Hudsons Hope, B.C., Canada, and Ty Manke, Hermosa, Calif., 76.0.
Go-around 1: first, Taryl Smith, Litchville, N.D., 77.0.
Go-around 1: first, Shawn Bessette, Great Falls, Sid Sporer, Cody, Wyo., 4.9; second, Travis Tryan, Billings, Jett Hillman, Purcell, Okla., 5.6; third, Eli Lord, Sturgis, S.D., Jared Bilby, Bridgeport, Neb., 5.7; fourth, Tucker McDaniel, Midland, S.D., Jake Nelson, Creighton, S.D., 5.8; fifth, Drew Gartner, Killdeer, N.D., Paul Griesman, Piedmont, S.D., 5.9; sixth place tie, Manny Egusquiza Jr., Marianna, Fla., Travis Woodard, Stockton, Calif., 6.0; sixth place tie, Miles Kobold, Big Horn, Wyo., Jake Scott, Council Grove, Kan., 6.0.
Go-around 2: first, Shawn Bird, Cut Bank, Justin Viles, Cody, Wyo., 4.6; second, Riley Minor and Brady Minor, both of Ellensburg, Wash., 5.1; third, Delon Parker, Worden, Kory Mytty, Lolo, 5.2; fourth and fifth tie, Bubba Buckaloo, Caddo, Okla., Russell Cardoza, Terrebonne, Ore., 5.7; fourth and fifth tie, Brady Tryan, Huntley, B.J. Campbell, Aguila, Ariz., 5.7; sixth, Jason Carlson, Two Dot, Sam Levine, Wolf Creek, 5.5.
Aggregate results: first, Derick Fleming, Brett Fleming, both of Watford City, N.D., 13.0/2; second, Jason Thorstenson, Rapid City, S.D., Paul Tierney, Oral, S.D., 13.6/2; third, Riley Minor and Brady Minor, both of Ellensburg, Wash., 15.3/2; fourth, Ben Ayre and Bill Ayre, both of Glendive,15.5/2; fifth, J.B. Lord and Levi Lord, both of Sturgis, S.D., 17.1/2; sixth, Eli Lord, Sturgis, S.D., Jared Bilby, Bridgeport, Neb., 17.3/2.
Go-around 1: first, J.C. Crowley, Poplar, 8.5; second and third tie, Russell Cardoza, Terrebonne, Ore., 8.6; second and third tie, Joe Schmidt, Belford, N.D., 8.6; fourth, Billy Jack Merrill, Culbertson, 9.0.
Go-around 2: first, Mike Johnson, Henryetta, Okla., 8.0; second, Cole W. Hatzenbuehler, Solen, N.D., 8.8; third, Bode Scott, Pryor, 9.0; fourth, Lane Livingston, Stephenville, Texas, 9.1.
Aggregate results: first, Russell Cardoza, Terrebonne, Ore., 18.0/2; second, Joe Schmidt, Belford, N.D., 18.4/2; third, J.C. Crowley, Poplar, 18.4/2; fourth, Cole W. Hatzenbuehler, Solen, N.D., 19.7/2.
Go-around 1: first, John Gee, Stanford, 3.9; second, Mike Gollaher, Cascade, 4.2; third and fourth tie, Tom Hansen, Killdeer, N.D., 4.5; third and fourth tie, Scott Kleeman, Killdeer, N.D., 4.5; fifth, Kyle Calloway, Blue Creek, 4.7; sixth, Evan Entze, Golden Valley, N.D., 5.1.
Go-around 2: first, Ross Mosher, Augusta, 4.1; second and third tie, Ross Eickoff, Grass Ridge, 4.3; second and third tie, Jason Reiss, Dickinson, N.D., 4.3; fourth, Tanner Milan, Cochrane, Alberta, Canada, 4.4; fifth and sixth tie, Nick Guy, Sparta, Wisc., 4.5; fifth and sixth tie, Tee Hale, White Owl, S.D., 4.5.
Aggregate results: first, Mike Gollaher, Cascade, 9.3/2; second, Kyle Calloway, Blue Creek, 10.0/2; third, Tanner Milan, Cochrane, Alberta, Canada, 10.4/2; fourth, Tyler Thorson, Towner, N.D., 10.5/2; fifth, Nick Guy, Sparta, Wisc., 11.0/2sixth tie, Tye Hale, Faith, S.D., 11.3/2;sixth tie, Evan Entze, Golden Valley, N.D., 11.3/2.
First, Megan Swint, 17.46; second, Heather Knerr, 17.63; third, Sherrylynn Johnson, 17.89; fourth tie. Gayleen Malone and Ashley Day, 17.97; sixth, Jessica Routier, 17.99; seventh, Tisa Peek, 18.02; eighth, Jana Griemsman, 18.05; ninth, Desirae Earl, 18.07; 10th tie, Hannah Sharon and Samantha Jorgenson, 18.08; 12th tie, Wanda Brown and Victoria Netzer, 18.09.
Written by Marvin Presser
Coach Larry O’Connor when he was younger in an undated picture.
(Photos courtesy of Colleen O’Connor Johnson)
The 1950 state championship team.
Larry And Helen O’Connor
Larry and Helen O’Connor are pictured in an undated photo, possibly taken during the 1970s.
Loren John O’Connor was born in New York City on Feb. 12, 1911. He was later nick-named Larry and was known by that name most of his life. His parents were John and Kathleen O’Connor who had recently immigrated to the United States from Ireland. Records indicate that Larry was baptized as “John Francis O’Connor” on Feb. 13, 1911, at St. Vincent Ferrer Church in Manhattan, New York.
He was orphaned at a very early age as his mother died shortly after childbirth and his father passed away a month or two later. Other than that, Larry had no information on his mother or father.
When he was four years old he was sent west on what was commonly known at the time as an “Orphan Train” or a “Baby Train.” It is likely that the New York Foundling Hospital established by the Roman Catholic Sisters of Charity was the organization that arranged the train trip for young O’Connor. Larry was fortunate that a hard working Catholic family of German descent, Frank and Christine Henkemeyer, saw him at a train stop in Minnesota, took him home as a foster child where he was renamed “Loren John Henkemeyer” and loved him as their own. Larry grew up in Clear Lake, Minn., and later St. Cloud, Minn., where he attended and graduated high school in 1929.
He had siblings from his foster family, that being Andrew “Andy” Henkemeyer and the two remained close through their lifetimes. His foster parents were both successful; Frank was a businessman [owning a grocery store] and Christine was a school principal.
Larry was encouraged by his foster parents to continue his education and he enrolled at the St. Cloud State Teachers College the fall of 1929 where he studied for two years. He then spent time working at his foster father’s grocery store.
In 1932, when he turned 21, Larry decided to begin using his given surname “O’Connor.”
In 1933 he went back to college, this time at St. John’s University, a small Catholic liberal arts school located in the tiny community of Collegeville, Minnesota which was near St. Cloud.
Larry played baseball in his youth and continued this sport in college, playing for the St. John’s “Johnnies.” He was talented enough that the Detroit Tigers scouted him in high school and later signed him to play in their organization. However, while in college, his health failed and he was diagnosed with tuberculosis which ended his baseball career. Larry was searching for a career and after his St. John’s University experience he enrolled in law at the St. Paul College of Law in St. Paul, Minn. He did find employment at a bank in St. Paul to help with expenses.
With continuing health problems caused by the tuberculosis, Larry decided to go west to a drier climate. There were some cousins, George and Agnes Wickens, living in Great Falls, so Larry made the move in hopes of regaining his health. After arriving in Big Sky Country, Larry decided to get his teaching degree and registered at the Great Falls Normal School and also did some coaching at Franklin Elementary, which was nearby the Wickens home where he resided.
Larry also worked with the city’s summer recreation program and there were several Larson boys involved who had an attractive older sister. With a little persuasion Larry received a telephone number and asked Helen Larson for a date. They were married in Fort Benton on Nov. 15, 1940.
Helen Margaret Larson was born Oct. 21, 1919, in Great Falls. She was the oldest child of Katherine Mary Guttenberg Larson and Harry Edward Larson. Her family included a sister and two brothers. Her father worked for the Great Northern Railroad, starting his career when he was 16 years of age.
Larry graduated from the Great Falls Normal School the spring of 1941 and began his first teaching job that fall in Hingham, a small community along the Hi-Line west of Havre. The next year Larry and Helen moved to the Shields Valley where Larry taught junior high at Wilsall. In 1943 he began teaching and coaching at Nashua, and remained there for the rest of his life. He furthered his education attending summer school for five sessions at Montana State University in Missoula.
Larry was a very colorful coach, quite superstitious and developed a reputation for his frequent changes of neckties during ballgames. In the late 40’s, Montana sports prognosticator Nick Mariana wrote about Coach O’Connor’s frequent tie changes during a basketball game, always looking for a garish color that would lead his boys to victory. Larry coached football, basketball and track at Nashua and his basketball teams were very competitive. He became good friends with a fellow coach at Wolf Point, Bob Lowry, and they always had an affable rivalry. It was early in his career  when his Nashua boys pulled off a mammoth upset at tournament time when they upended the talented and heavily favored state contenders, the Wolf Point Wolves. Led by the Porcupines big center, Dean Seiler, Nashua shocked the Wolves 44 to 29.
Larry took his boys to State a number of times, winning the Class C Crown in 1950. [This was the first year there was a designated Class C]. Despite his colorful habit of constantly changing gaudy neck ties, Lady Luck was not with the Nashua basketball team in 1954; competing in Class B, the Porcupines had a marvelous season and ended up in the state championship game against the Fairfield Eagles. Unfortunately, one of Nashua’s key players, an outstanding athlete named Wes Schick, became sick and was not on the floor. Nashua lost 56 to 53.
Nashua turned into home for Larry and Helen and they raised five children in the small community. The oldest was Kathleen, born May 22, 1941, followed by Pat on Nov. 20, 1943, Mike on July 30, 1946, Colleen on March 8, 1954 and last was Danny on June 27, 1958.
Larry was involved in his community, serving on the church council for the Queen of Angels Catholic Church, was a member of the Nashua Lions Club and competed in numerous bowling leagues. He was a caring teacher always ready to help any student through a tough time. At the high school he taught history, government and driver’s education plus his coaching duties. Everyone in the school and the town called him “Coach.” It was quite a while after his son Mike married local girl Mary Ann Burns that Larry told her she should call him “Larry” rather than “Coach.” The name “Coach O’Connor” was known and respected throughout the state and Larry became good friends with many of those he competed against.
Larry was further honored when he was inducted into the Montana Coaches Hall of Fame in 1983. He continued coaching through 1968 and then retired from teaching on January 31, 1975.
After retirement Larry kept busy, serving on the school board, was involved with senior citizens and eventually was elected mayor of Nashua. He was personable and developed many strong friendships over the years.
In May of 1980 tragedy struck when his youngest son, Danny, was killed in a car accident. Then on Dec. 4, 1980, Larry lost a battle to cancer and died in the Columbus Hospital in Great Falls. He was buried in the Nashua Cemetery. His family, adopted community, and many friends in Montana, had lost a truly remarkable and gifted human being.
Editor’s note: Helen Margaret Larson O’Connor is now 95 years old and living in Great Falls.
Written by Herald-News
The Human Stampede run and walk, an annual Stampede event sponsored by Fort Peck Community College, kicked off the Saturday events with the race starting at First Avenue South and Anaconda Street to Marvin Brookman Stadium and back. (Photo by John Plestina)
Written by Herald-News
A total of $89,940 was paid out in cash while another $10,000 was given in prizes for the 2015 Montana Governor’s Cup Walleye Tourney, held on Fort Peck Lake Friday and Saturday, July 10-11.
The overall winners were Sam Lawson and Clay Kittleson, both of Fort Peck, who had 14.02 pounds on day one and 20.5 pounds on day two for the total of 34.52 pounds. The day two total was the top weight for the day.
The top adult/child team was Brandon Babb and son Brady of Wolf Point with 17.26 pounds of walleye for the two days of fishing and a 48th-place overall finish.
Chad Formanek of Wheatland, Wyo., and Nick Reid of Colstrip caught the big walleye on day two with a 14.37 pound fish.
The second- through fifth-place finishers were: second, Luke Sundby and Eli Williams, both of Williston, N.D., 32.66 pounds; third, Kevin Lynch of Huntley and Mike Block of Lovell, Wyo., 31.24 pounds; fourth, Martin Reichert and Danny Reichert, both of Billings, 28.3 pounds; fifth, Fuzz Carnahan of Malta and Jay Boardman of Frannie, Wyo., 27.77 pounds.