WAPAKONETA — Minster High School girls basketball fans Anthony Boehnlein and Jacob Hoying, both of Minster, dressed as the pope for the Minster vs New Bremen Division IV girls district semifinal game at Wapakoneta, Thursday, March 1.
According to Hoying, they dressed as the pope as a nod to a long-running feud between the Minster student cheer section and the New Bremen student cheer section over a cardboard cutout depicting the pope.
Hoying said it started during a Minster boys basketball game against New Bremen, at Minster, last season, when the New Bremen cheer section took a cardboard cutout of the pope to the game after taking it without permission from a church. Hoying said that after Minster’s team defeated New Bremen, the New Bremen cheer section was upset and tossed the cardboard cutout at the the Minster cheer section as they were leaving the game. Hoying said the cutout was then taken by the Minster cheer section to this season’s Minster vs New Bremen boys basketball game in New Bremen in January.
According to a New Bremen Police report filed Jan. 20, the principal of New Bremen High School approached officers on duty at the game to warn them that New Bremen students were planning to storm the basketball court to get the cutout back. The police also learned that the cutout was owned by Kathy Pape, of New Bremen, who wanted it back.
Officer Michael Porter spoke with the New Bremen athletic director to let him know that the police would get the cutout.
When asked about the cutout by the Sidney Daily News, Thursday, members of the New Bremen cheer section said that it had permission to take the cutout from the church to the boys basketball game at Minster last season. They said that instead of throwing the cutout at the Minster cheer section, it had been ripped from their hands as they walked though a human tunnel made by the Minster student section after the game.
The January police report noted that “students were reluctant to give (police) the sign and stated they did not have it … Parents and kids were getting loud and not cooperative. They were not moving out of the way and cursing at (officers).”
The report further states that after the game, they got the cutout from a Minster student as fans exited the gym. Police left the cutout in the New Bremen school office for Pape to retrieve.
Hoying and Boehnlein went in costume to Thursday’s game to commemorate the rivalry over the cutout.