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Gay student attacked during a match with New Ulm basketball | Local News

Unpleasant incidents around recent high school basketball games against New Ulm have a nearby school district questioning the safety of their students and wondering what the future of the school rivalry will look like.

When St. Peter’s High School senior center Alex Bosacker appeared in New Ulm court on Feb. 15, he was stunned at what he heard.

“I have the gay kid guarding me!” said a New Ulm player, according to Bosacker.

Bosacker, a multi-sport athlete heading to college on an athletic scholarship, came out as gay to his teammates earlier this winter. His coach helped set up a meeting after practice, and his teammates hugged him and told him they loved him. Bosacker felt he could finally be himself. He also came out on social media.

During a game in New Ulm in January, 18-year-old Bosacker said teenagers from the student section of New Ulm shouted that Bosacker was going to touch the players’ groin.

The next time the teams played, in mid-February, the New Ulm player’s anti-gay comments continued the whole game, Bosacker said, and the player continued to pinch him – hard. Afterwards, Bosacker’s body was covered in bruises from pinching, his mother confirmed.

“The experience was horrible,” Bosacker said. “I wanted to leave the pitch, just leave my body at times.”

Ulm New Schools said the player was punished, but they did not reveal the punishment. Contacted by a journalist from the Star Tribune, Matt Dennis, the coach of New Ulm, immediately hung up.

In a Tuesday playoff game against New Ulm, St. Peter fans showed up wearing rainbow shirts to show their support.

Bosacker did not experience verbal harassment but felt pinched by the same player, he said. Saint Peter lost. As the team bus was returning home, according to police reports, two cars approached behind the bus on a dual carriageway. One of them overtook the bus, then swerved in front, causing the bus driver to brake. A second vehicle stopped nearby. Coaches and players heard thuds hitting the side of the bus, like paintballs. Then the cars started again.

No one was injured, but St. Peter’s players and coaches were shaken.

The Nicollet County Sheriff‘s Office cited four New Ulm students on Thursday for disorderly conduct. The maximum penalty for the misdemeanor is 90 days in jail, or a $1,000 fine, or both.

The sheriff’s office said the teens fired at the bus with a fully automatic SplatRBall SRB-400 water gel gun, which fires 7.5mm waterball ammunition at 200 feet per second.

Jeff Bertrang, New Ulm Superintendent, said he had not received any information leading him to believe the harassment and the bus incident were related. There will be conversations with the New Ulm student body after spring break, he said.

“It was four people making a really bad decision,” Bertrang said. “But perception matters… One incident can look bad on all of us.”

Marc Chadderdon, an investigator with the Nicollet County Sheriff’s Office, said shooting cars with squirt guns is common among New Ulm teenagers. His investigation focused only on Tuesday’s incident.

“I’ve heard it described as a conservative school versus a more liberal school. The new school in Ulm wanted to wear masks (at play) to tease St. Peter’s school because St. Peter’s school wore masks longer, he said.

Bosacker’s mother found the punishment too lax.

“A group of us believe this was in retaliation for our student chapter wearing rainbow pride colors,” Angela Bosacker said. “What if the bus driver panicked? They could have caused an accident.

Annette Engeldinger, principal of St. Peter’s Secondary School, said everything is on the table with the future of this rivalry: whether it’s asking schools in New Ulm to introduce an equity framework , to increase security at the games between St. Peter and New Ulm, to boycott the games. against their conference rival.

“We just showed our support for our classmate and classmate,” she said. “Our children…I’m so proud of them. They behaved with such character and integrity.

For Bosacker, he says it all ruined his senior year.

“I hate it so much,” he said. “I just wanted to have fun this year, to have a last hurrah with all my friends.”