photo fanatic brings breckenridge sports to life
“The first word that comes to mind when I think of Carol is “selflessness.” She truly embodies what it means to care for others before herself,” Busse said. “I can truthfully say I wouldn’t be who I am today without that wonderful woman in my life. She literally changed my diapers! Carol has been a pillar in molding my faith, personality, and morals. She has been “behind the lens” ever since I can remember. In fact, as a child she made me a photo book of pictures from my childhood.”
Carol’s connection to the children she cares for, even after they’ve grown up, has been a driving force for her photography and the passion that still motivates her to attend games.
“With all the daycare kids and their activities, I’m always chasing games,” Colby said. “With hockey, basketball, dance recitals — I stay busy keeping up with all their stuff.”
Carol’s Canon EOS 70D is her “baby,” a fine machine that has captured four section championships, counting Breckenridge volleyball’s abbreviated 2020 campaign. She received the camera as a Christmas gift five years ago and as far as the settings she uses, well that’s a secret.
“I’ve been asked what settings I use to capture my photos, but if you don’t have my camera and it’s not in your hands, it’s hard to tell you exactly what that is.”
That well-kept secret has paid dividends to the quality of her work. News publications across the region have paled in comparison to the photography content put out by Carol over the years, and we’ve been blessed to use her images in our stories about Breckenridge athletics for the past two seasons. She single-handedly kickstarted our Player of the Game content by bringing awesome shots from the games to Facebook.
Carol and her husband Wayne “Bozo” Colby grew up together in Foxhome, where they attended school until the eighth grade. Carol transferred to Breckenridge and graduated in 1973. As a self described “Farm Girl,” she wasn’t able to participate in sports growing up, making her coveted role as Breckenridge's photo aficionado even more important.
“I didn’t get to play sports in high school with how busy I was being on a farm. One of my brothers played football and track, but other than that, when you were farming you just didn’t get the chance to do it back then,” Colby said.
The girls basketball program has welcomed Carol to the court with open arms during a shortened 2020 campaign that has seen limited fans due to the COVID-19 pandemic and a couple of blizzards that rocked the roads. Coach Austin Imdieke, along with Victoria Undem, have been helpful in making sure Carol gets her hands on a ticket to the action.
“Austin told me right away, if you want to go to any of the away games just let me know,” Colby said. “This year has been a little tough with the weather, and I’m not usually one to worry about that, but there were some nights this season where I just didn’t really wanna be on the road by myself.”
Carol was a deserving subject for this story because she provides her media services without a payroll budget. She does the work because she loves the work. Her photos provide motivation, confidence, and lifelong memories for local athletes. Many alumnus look back on their careers through the scope of stories, without any visual semblance of history to remember their glory days. Thanks to Carol’s efforts, today’s player can head to Facebook following the game and view hundreds of pictures instantly.
“I think we’re all guilty of not closing the yearbook and find ourselves reminiscing on our days as Cowboys and Cowgirls, more than likely through pictures that Carol has posted to Facebook,” Busse said. “Sadly enough, I don’t think I would’ve had any pictures at my high school graduation party if it wasn’t for her!”
Carol is comfortable shooting in venues of all sizes, so of course she was down for the fan bus ride to Minneapolis to cheer the Cowboys on during their historic run of back-to-back state tournament appearances at Williams Arena, better known as “The Barn”.
“When I rode the school bus down to all the state tournament games, I was very fortunate my daughter was doing daycare with me so it worked out. I’d get home and walk through the door at midnight, those were fun times,” Colby said.
In Carol’s free time she loves going to the lake with Bozo in the camper she’s had for 40 years. She joked that there’s not many pictures of her basking in the sun, because she’s always the one taking photos. The couple are also die hard NDSU Bison fans, who either attend in person, or watch every game on television.
While Carol doesn’t see anything special in her way of life as Breckenridge’s unofficial sports photographer, there’s an entire city of fans that appreciate her commitment. Ultimately, that’s just who she is.
“Many people may not know that Carol’s husband Bozo, daughters Becky and Jenny, and son Travis share many of the same attributes; kindness, generosity, and selflessness,” Busse said. “Bozo and Carol are two people that I’m forever in debt to for loving me as one of their own. Carol taught me empathy, love, pride, confidence, and the list goes on and on.”
Carol was the Boys Basketball Booster of the Year in 2013-14. She was the All-Sports Booster of the Year in 2016.