BEA school spirit is alive and running on four wheels
Keep your eyes open in the upcoming weeks for the return of a one-of-a-kind vehicle driving down the streets of Blue Earth.
It is a vehicle like no other and has not been seen driving on the road for over 25 years.
The car is a 1974 Chevy Nova.
Not convinced it is very special yet?
Well, the car is painted maroon with gold wheels, has a Blue Earth Area Buccaneers football helmet mounted on the hood and the Bucky mascot painted on the trunk. And if the driver hits the horn you will hear the BEA fight song (University of Minnesota Rouser).
Scott Skogen owns the car and says he got it from his uncle Gordy.
“I got it in the summer of 1990 and had it for our senior football season that fall,” Skogen recalls. “There are so many good times associated with the car.”
After Scott graduated in 1991, his brother Jamie had it until he graduated a couple of years later.
The car hasn’t been driven since then but was put on a trailer for a couple of parades, according to Scott.
But now the car is gearing up for another run as the Bucmobile.
“A couple of my teammate’s from the 1990 football team have sons or nephews who hope to be playing their senior season for BEA this year,” Scott explained. “Those boys expressed an interest in the car and I thought, why not.”
It was Riley Anderson, whose father Yankten was a teammate of Skogen, who had the idea to get the car going again.
“My dad passed away three years ago but I had seen pictures of him and his teammates with the car,” Riley says. ” The idea is not to make it into a ‘show’ car, but just to get it running.”
Scott’s father, Glen, had been storing the car in an old grainery on his farm north of Delavan.
“I went to the farm this spring and my dad helped me pull the car out of the shed,” Scott shares. “The next day the shed fell down.”
Shawn Ehrich was one of Skogen’s teammates on the 1990 football team.
“We had a lot of fun and made many memories with the car,” Shawn remembers. “Guys like Yankten Anderson, Troy Stenzel, Jared Frank, Rich Ehrich and Brad Wendland were all part of the group.”
Scott recalls driving the car around Blue Earth on Fridays after school before the football games.
“My mom and dad (Glen and Diana) would drive the car to the games,” Scott comments.
There were a couple of trips in particular which were memorable.
“My mom drove it to a game in Waseca,” Scott says laughing. “And she was trying to find a place to park when someone from Waseca directed her onto the field.”
“It’s true,” Diana adds. “It was not a fun thing for me to drive and then they end up directing me onto the field.”
The Bucs had a pretty good team in 1990 and the boys would write the name of each team they played on back of the trunk and then cross them off when they had defeated them.
“The names were painted in gold but the paint has worn off,” Ehrich mentions. “If you look real close you can make out the faded team names on the trunk.”
The Bucs qualified for the state tournament in 1990 and that trip to the Metrodome is another part of the car’s interesting story.
“Driving that old car in the Twin Cities on I-35 with its paint job made for an interesting trip,” Glen recalls.
The car really did have the whole Skogen family involved.
“I got the car from my uncle, my parents, my brother and I drove it and my grandmother Harriet painted the Bucky figures on each side of the car,” Scott says.
There is even a maroon and gold flag which is placed in the hitch at the rear of the car.
“You might say the band donated the flag,” Scott says with a little grin.
Ehrich and Skogen are hoping this year’s football team will have the chance to be as successful as their 1990 team.
“We beat Mankato West in the section finals and then defeated Farmington in the state tournament,” Ehrich recalls. “We lost to Fridley in the semifinals and they ended up winning the championship.”
The group of young men working on the car includes Shawn’s son Max and two nephews of Jared Frank, Nick and Kale Frank. Kean Hicks and Adam Schavey have also assisted on the vehicle.
“We think it would be neat to park it out at the field for home games,” Riley comments. “Coach (Randy) Kuechenmeister said he might be able to help us update the helmet on the hood. We have had the car running but the brakes still need some work.”
Because of the coronavirus pandemic the boys are not assured of being able to play football this fall.
“I have been very proud of these boys,” Shawn Ehrich remarks. “They have been working hard during the off-season and preparing like they will get to play. That is what they need to do.”
Ironically, the coronavirus played a part in the boys working on the car.
“Because of the pandemic we needed something to do with our free time so we worked on the car,” Max Ehrich explains. “It would be kind of cool to bring it back to life.”