Heart River Cougars crown homecoming royalty, remember Rhonda Tooley

Belfield and South Heart Public Schools crowned their homecoming court at their Friday night football game. Both schools also observed a moment of silence for Rhonda Tooley, long time Belfield school secretary.

Morgan Forrest smiles after being crowned Belfield homecoming queen on Sept. 30.
Josiah Cuellar / The Dickinson Press
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BELFIELD, N.D. — Two heads are better than one for the Heart River Cougars’ homecoming coronation. Two kings and two queens were crowned during a Friday night football game against the Bowman County Bulldogs.

Belfield High School seniors Morgan Forrest and Lee Obrigewitch along with South Heart School seniors

“I felt really great about being homecoming queen,” Forrest said. “I always make a point to welcome new students to our school, making time for others and making sure not to leave anybody out. Being polite to someone goes a long way.”

Belfield Homecoming King Lee Obrigewitch and his mother, Kelly.
Josiah Cuellar / The Dickinson Press

Forrest participates in basketball, track, volleyball, student council and drama. She is also a youth basketball coach, and is involved in a New Life Pentacostal Church youth group.

Obrigewitch’s extracurricular activities include student council, football and drama.


"I didn't expect it,” he said of being crowned. “It's an honor to be selected.”

Other Belfield seniors in the homecoming court included Reid Obrigewitch, Austin Buckman, Jayson Morel, Izabella Quimby, Brianna Klatt and Riley Hugelen.

South Heart seniors elected Cade Wyant and Mackenzee Schneider as their respective homecoming king and queen.

Wyant is an ambitious four sport athlete who played football, basketball, baseball and competed in track.

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“I feel honored that my classmates in school voted for me and made me homecoming king,” Wyant said.

Schneider said she is grateful she was chosen to be queen. She plays basketball and golf.

“For Region Five, I was senior athlete (of the year),” Schneider said. “And then we got second at state this year and we won our state championship last year.”

Additional South Heart seniors who made the homecoming court were Beau Krueger, Kyle Kasian, Reagan Krump, Gabrielle Mehrer and Morgan Kuntz.


Scott Jung, South Heart High School principal, said he is proud of their royal court.

“They're all really good students and really good people,” Jung said.

Belfield Public Schools superintendent Deren Kurle said he was proud of the students.

“It was a good group, deserving of being nominated for it,” Kurle said. “And, you know, we always have to have one king and queen, but they all deserved it.”

At the beginning of the homecoming game, the Cougars had a moment of silence for Rhonda Tooley, who died suddenly on Sept. 23. Tooley, 62, was the Belfield Public School secretary for several years and she loved homecoming. She was an alumnus herself, and graduated with the Class of 1978. She later pursued her passion for children, and began working as a paraeducator at the school in 2000. Those who wish to honor her memory are encouraged to make a donation to Belfield Dollars for Scholars.

“I guess we were just, as a district, very proud of our kids because they took that week and they still ran with it during a time of sadness for the district and the community,” Belfield Jr. High and High School Principal Shannon Meier said. “So it's just an immense amount of pride in those kids in not letting that be a barrier.”

Cougar homecoming
Heart River Cougars Homecoming Court.
Josiah Cuellar / The Dickinson Press
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