Sometimes reinforcements for a high school sports program come of age and up from the local middle school. Sometimes they come from Idaho.
The Hamilton boys’ golf team wrapped up the State A title Saturday at their home course behind five balanced scorers, one of whom wasn’t even enrolled at a school in Montana last year.
Max Toenjes, who moved to the Bitterroot since last fall from Sandpoint, Idaho, fired a team-best two-day 155 to finish fourth and help the Broncs bust Day-1 leader Billings Central.
How many pitches is too many for a high schooler?
Well in baseball the un-written rule is 100. Much higher than that and the performance can attract some negative attention and criticism.
For softball players, though, pitch counts aren’t nearly as enforced because of the much less strain placed on the arm during an underhand toss.
That’s lucky for the Hamilton Broncs and senior hurler Brie Clifford.
The better half of Frenchtown’s batting lineup has already committed to play college sports in the near future.
And no I don’t mean the “better half” as in the better players — although they do seem to be pretty good. By most games’ arrangements so far this spring, the first five hitters in the Broncs’ order have already made commitments to play collegiately.
And here’s the thing: not all of them are even softball players.
Some sports are available to students no matter which Montana high school they attend. Others, like softball, can generally be found only at the larger classifications, Class B and up.
That leaves a void for many at smaller schools. Darby is filling one of those holes this spring for its diamond cravers, co-oping with Hamilton for spring girls’ softball.
In January, the spotlight at Frenchtown High School turned away from the court and onto Libby boys’ basketball coach Wally Winslow before the Loggers’ Northwestern A matchup with the Broncs. Frenchtown coach Michael Botsford paid tribute to one of the league’s long-time leaders who planned to retire at season’s end.
“I look up to him,” Botsford said. “It’s the good one’s like that that you love coaching against.”
Botsford, who has coached against Winslow in some capacity for a decade-plus, presented the 16-year Loggers’ coach with a trophy before the road crowd roared and cheered.