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Entry to Montana wrestling's Four-Timers Club just got tougher

Entry to Montana wrestling's Four-Timers Club just got tougher

Winning four straight state wrestling titles is hard enough, but the reclassification of weight classes in Montana that began this year will likely make the feat decidedly more difficult.

When the Montana High Schools Association shifted from 15 to 13 wrestling classes, it eliminated the weight at which many four-timers wrestled as freshmen.

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Japanese wrestlers making stop at Missoula Big Sky

When most people think of Japanese wrestling, Sumo is the first discipline that comes to mind.

The island nation from Asia will have a chance to make Missoulians think twice next month when a team of 14 high-school aged wrestlers from Japan visit Big Sky High School on a wrestling cultural exchange trip.

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Winter academic all-team winners for 2013-14

The MHSA/Army National Guard Academic All-Team Award winners were announced Monday for the winter sports seasons.

The awards are given to the top three teams that exhibit outstanding academic achievement during the school year’s second quarter of play for each respective activity in each of the MHSA schools’ classification (AA, A, B and C). Member schools calculate their students’ accumulative grade point average for the award.

This season’s varsity winners with cumulative team GPA:

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What is Montana's best high school sports rivalry?

UPDATED: The Billings area schools are killing it in the online voting. Central-Laurel leads the way with Senior-West hot on its heels through the first week of voting and Malta-Glasgow coming in third.

You can vote daily by following this link. But remember, you must register to have your vote count. Go ahead, go!

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Rivalries are what makes sports fun — well, that and maybe winning — but which schools in Montana have the state’s best sporting rivalry?

Well, that’s up to you. The Missoulian newspaper, in conjunction with Lee Enterprises and the Wisconsin State Journal, want you to get out there and vote! Cast your ballot for Montana’s best high school sports rivalry (sorry — no Griz or Cats allowed) by clicking here and supporting rivals and those teams you love to hate.

Is it Sentinel-Hellgate? How bout Loyola-Florence? Whitefish-Columbia Falls or Arlee-Charlo? Maybe Hamilton-Stevensville-Corvallis? Or Thompson Falls-Plains?

We’ll be back with updates and results as the competition goes along.

And don’t forget, you have to vote to have your thoughts count. We appreciate your comments below but they might as well be yelled from a moving car window.

i.e. they don’t count

Hot Springs pulling weight in Savage Horsemen wrestling co-op

Typically in cross-classification co-ops — where one smaller school sends its athletes to a larger one for after-school sports — the balance is hardly even. The setup allows the smallest educational institutions to offer a sport that they themselves don’t have the enrollment to hold in-house.

Well that’s not the case in Sanders County. The Plains Horsemen and Hot Springs Savage Heat have one of the most fearsome Class B-C wrestling squads from western Montana this year and a lot of that power is coming from the tiny town of Hot Springs. Continue reading

Sentinel's Jaydn Wilson narrowly misses Jug Beck 3-peat

Sentinel's Jaydn Wilson narrowly misses Jug Beck 3-peat

It’s been a long time since Missoula Sentinel wrestler Jaydn Wilson had lost a match at his Spartans’ home tournament, the Jug Beck Rocky Mountain Classic.

That’s three years to be exact. As he won his way into the semifinals of the 2014 addition of the tournament this weekend, the 37th such holding at Sentinel High School, he’d come to the spot where a freshman Wilson had been knocked off the championship path. In between were more than 15 wins.

But that streak came to an end in Saturday’s semifinals. Continue reading

Bigfork High to bring back wrestling

After a decade and a half of dormancy, high school wrestling is coming back to Big Fork this school year.

As long as the appropriate funds are raised that is.

Bigfork High School voted last week to add wrestling as a competitive sport for its enrolled students with plans for a team to be added for the upcoming 2013-14 school year. But without available money from the district to fund the sport, the new Vikings team must raise the sum itself. Continue reading

MCA names coaches of the year

The Montana Coaches Association has named its Coaches of the Year for the winter sports season.

Missoula Hellgate’s Jeff Hays, AA boys’ basketball coach; Missoula Sentinel’s Karen Deden, AA girls’ basketball coach, Hellgate’s Helena Houlihan, AA girls’ swimming co-coach; and Stevensville’s Keith Chambers, A boys’ basketball coach, were all selected. Continue reading

Recent Posts

  • 03 Feb 2015

    UPDATED: 2015 national signing day's western Montana football commits

    UPDATED: With fall camps just around the corner, the list of western Montana natives in the Missoulian's coverage area has swelled near 50. Take a look:
      It’s national signing day 2015 and the National Letters of Intent were flying around this morning with local athletes securing their spots with college football programs. We’ll keep you updated with the area players who have made their commitments known throughout the day. Here’s a quick look at what we have so far. Don’t forget this is just a bare bones list right now and it will be updated often. Don’t see your name or your kid listed here? Leave it in the comments, or get in contact with us at ajmazzolini@missoulian.com or on twitter (@ajmazzolini).   MONTANA (4) TE Colin Bingham, Missoula Big Sky DE Andrew Harris, Kalispell Glacier S Josh Sandry, Bigfork DE Jesse Sims, Corvallis MONTANA STATE (5) LB Josh Hill, Kalispell Glacier LB Tanner Hoff, Hot Springs WR Logan Jones, Kalispell Glaicer QB Brady McChesney, Kalispell Glacier DE Byron Rollins, Missoula Sentinel EASTERN WASHINGTON (1) TE Jayce Gilder, Corvallis NORTH DAKOTA (1) TE Brock Shaide, Missoula Big Sky CARROLL COLLEGE (1) WR Paul Wilson, Missoula Hellgate MONTANA TECH (9) WR/RB Nate Gray, Hot Springs RB Jackson King, Missoula Sentinel WR/RB Danny Mannix, Flint Creek WR Sam McCamley, Kalispell Glacier WR Ty Morgan, Columbia Falls OL Matt Murphy, Missoula Big Sky OL Truman Pisk, Kalispell Glacier DB Tucker Rauthe, Kalispell Glacier LB Ike Schweikert, Columbia Falls MONTANA WESTERN (12) OL Zach Brown, Hamilton RB/LB Joe Caicedo, Darby WR Devin Cochran, Kalispell Glacier RB Cory Diaz, Missoula Big Sky RB/LB Jason Ferris, Dillon QB/S J.D. Ferris, Dillon WR/DB Justin Ferris, Dillon QB/DB Bo Hughs, Loyola Sacred Heart (transfer) RB/LB Raymond Matt, St. Ignatius LB Connor McKillop, Missoula Sentinel WR/DB Austin Ray, Corvallis OL Spencer Ross, Columbia Falls MONTANA STATE-NORTHERN (6) RB Zach Crace, Libby LB Travis Crawford, Missoula Big Sky FB Lane Foster, Hot Springs DL Trevor Frandsen, Missoula Big Sky MLB Jonathan Gragg, Missoula Hellgate OL Ryan Handley, Missoula Hellgate ROCKY MOUNTAIN COLLEGE (3) LB Joe Gallatin, Polson DE Jesse Grabowska, Florence RB Marty Pigeon, Loyola Sacred Heart DICKINSON STATE (1) DB Cain Boschee, Kalispell Glacier LEHIGH (1) OL Harrison Kauffman, Kalispell Glacier MACALESTER COLLEGE (1) WR Jack Streibich, Whitefish
  • 23 May 2014

    Makena Morley gets creative to fund trip to track nationals

    Ever wanted an autographed photo of one of Montana's all-time record-breaking prep runners? Now's your chance. Bigfork High School junior and State B champion of champions Makena Morley is raising money through technology and grass roots to help her reach the New Balance Outdoor High School Track & Field Nationals meet in Greensboro, North Carolina in mid June. And any donors of $25 or more through the fundraising website IndieGoGo.com receive a Morley original complete with signature.  As of this posting, Morley is about 75 percent of the way to her goal of $2,300 for travel and lodging costs for her and her father to the national meet. Events run June 13-15. Morley isn't new to the national running scene, but she appears to be getting create in funding her trips there. She won the West Regional of the Foot Locker Cross Country Championships back in December and then finished eighth in the ensuing national race. "As a junior I have been to 4 national championship races (three in cross country and one for indoor track) but I have never won a national title, so this one is very important to me because I would love for this to be the year for me to win," Morley wrote on her IndieGoGo.com fundraising page. "It is an important year for my college recruiting process, because this is the year when all colleges are looking at you and at what you have accomplished!" IndieGoGo is a kind of online kickstarter to raise money for a cause or idea. It's "the world’s most established crowdfunding platform," according to the organization's website. Crowdfunding is the process of pooling money from many different people for a cause. Morley, a three-time winner of the State B cross country title and Gatorade Runner of the Year for Montana, plans to run the 5,000 meters at the New Balance Nationals along with either the one or two mile. For more about her trip to nationals, or to donate, you can visit her page here.

  • 12 Feb 2015

    Entry to Montana wrestling's Four-Timers Club just got tougher

    Winning four straight state wrestling titles is hard enough, but the reclassification of weight classes in Montana that began this year will likely make the feat decidedly more difficult. When the Montana High Schools Association shifted from 15 to 13 wrestling classes, it eliminated the weight at which many four-timers wrestled as freshmen. The 98 and 105 weights were combined -- as were 195 and 220 on the upper end -- to form a new hybrid weight of 103 that will leave fewer holes in brackets and dual lineups. But it also adds new competition for the lightest weight, the one typically housing freshmen, by doubling the participants. "It's going to be interesting with the weight changes," said Columbia Falls wrestling coach Jesse Schaeffer, who has a senior in his wrestling room chasing state title No. 4 this week in Shonn Roberts. "I think that's going to maybe reduce that." Twenty-three Montana wrestlers have completed their four-peats and 11 of those started at 98 pounds of lower -- Gene Davis of Missoula County High, the state's first four-timer, won his freshman year at 95 pounds in 1960 before a similar weight shift later in the decade. Add in Roberts, who will compete at 138 pounds when state action begins Friday in Billings but won at 98 in 2012, and that's exactly half. "It's kind of weird since that's what I wrestled at as a freshman," Roberts began, "but 103, the 98-105 mix, I think that's reasonable. It'll make things a little bit tougher." That's hardly the thinking behind merging weights, though. At either extreme ends of the weight scale (195 and 220 became the 205 class) fewer teams -- especially at lower classifications -- could field a full lineup. Many times, too few entrants there led to a state bracket marred by automatic byes and regular season duals that might as well skip on to 105 pounds anyway. The unintended consequence is that 2015 may be near the last time wrestling fans will get a trio of four-time possibles all on the mats at the same time. Sidney's Gresh Jones joins Roberts in the Class A tournament this week at 126 pounds searching for his fourth, while Forsyth's Matt Weber will be the talk of Class B-C with a potential fourth title. Both boys won their first -- and lightest -- at 112 pounds, though.