Missoula Hellgate’s run to the championship game gave the Knights a unique set of circumstances as the State AA boys’ basketball bracket played out. The Knights would only face teams they’d lost to during the regular season.
Hellgate lost four games during the regular season starting with – in chronological order – Billings Skyview, Billings West and Helena Capital (twice).
In order to win a second straight state title, the Knights needed to beat – again, in order – Skyview, West and Capital.
On an October Tuesday in 2012, on a rain-soaked and muddy Playfair Park field, the Missoula Sentinel girls’ soccer team brushed away its punchless challenger, Missoula Hellgate, 2-0.
The Spartans earned a spot at the State AA Soccer Tournament by handing the Knights one last defeat. Hellgate fell to a winless 0-10-2.
Well, what a difference a year makes. Continue reading
He may have only finished two years of high school this spring, but Missoula Hellgate basketball forward Tres Tinkle has already caught the eye of recruiters at the college level.
The University of Utah became the first program to offer Tinkle a scholarship and a spot on its roster, both being for the 2015-16 season. The Utes likely won’t be the last to show their interest in the rising Montana star, though.
Mountain West Hoops first reported the offer Saturday morning. The basketball site ranks Tinkle, a 6-foot-6 small forward for the Knights, as its No. 1 player prospect in the region for the class of 2015. Continue reading
By MICHAEL HEINBACH
of the Missoulian
For me, covering Missoula crosstown prep athletic competitions is usually a blast.
In general, that’s when I get to see the best of the students, when they show devout pride in their school in loudly cheering their team toward victory.
But Tuesday night at Sentinel gym, I left disheartened after witnessing an ugly display at the volleyball match between Missoula Hellgate and Missoula Sentinel.
The student sections in support of both schools were packed with kids at their most vocal, and most everyone in attendance wore pink in support of breast cancer awareness, which of course I fully endorse.
But the cheering quickly turned toward heckling the opposing student body before it got downright disgusting.
It began lightheartedly, with the Sentinel kids chanting across the court at the Hellgate section, “Let’s play football,” in a not-so-gentile reminder that the Spartans edged Hellgate 15-12 on the gridiron back on Aug. 31.
But things only went south from there and soon the taunting went well past an R rating. Somehow it slipped by Sentinel administrators in attendance, but the Spartan section started a chant that I won’t repeat, but had to do with their side having more sex than the opposition.
Much to my surprise, the Hellgate section responded with a chant that referred to the Sentinel kids with a homosexual slur, which in turn forced Hellgate activities director Lynn Farmer to remove her school’s entire student section aside from the girls who played for the Knights’ junior varsity, sophomore and freshman volleyball teams.
As a result, the Hellgate cheerleaders were left to cheer to a small handful of kids and several Sentinel boys went charging outside to the parking lot, presumably to confront the Hellgate kids who were forced to leave.
This is not what prep athletics are all about. First of all, never ever under any circumstances is it acceptable to use a slur, especially when it deals with sexual preference.
Events like a crosstown volleyball match exist to promote unity among fellow students, united in support of their team. And sporting events are certainly not a forum to belittle the opposition on the field of play or in the stands.
I had hoped that this generation if kids, raised in the most politically-correct era in history, understood that.
I know how rivalries can get heated and that things can be said before rational thought stifles the impulse. But please, in the future, use these games to boost your own school spirit. Don’t tarnish the efforts of the athletes on the field of play by making it a negative experience for all involved.
As a journalist, I know the power a few simple words can have. Please don’t abuse that power, keep it clean and try your best to keep it positive.
The Montana High School Association recently named the 2011-2012 winners of its NorthWestern Energy Academic Excellence awards, and two local schools won for their respective classifications.
Missoula Hellgate, for Class AA, and Florence, for Class B, had the highest combined grade-point averages among its student-athletes. The other winners were Billings Central (Class A) and Chester-Joplin-Inverness (Class C).
Hellgate, which had a total enrollment of 1,293 students last spring, compiled a 3.562 GPA among its 256 participants in athletics. Missoula Big Sky was second in the AA pool, compiling a 3.403 GPA between 293 athletes.
Florence posted the highest combined athlete GPA of any school in the awards competition. Florence, which had an enrollment of 252, received a combined GPA of 3.727 among its 74 participants. Class C winner C-J-I was next in line with a 3.714 GPA.
Whitefish was runner-up to Billings Central as the Class A GPA winner. The Bulldogs’ athletes combined for a 3.429 GPA, while the Rams tallied a 3.443 GPA.