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Eagles D' solves -- mostly -- pesky Mickelson problem

Three weeks ago Misssoula Sentinel striker Adam Mickelson piled up three goals while leading the Spartans to an easy 4-1 win over the rival Big Sky Eagles.

Big Sky had a plan when the teams met to cap the Western AA soccer regular season Tuesday. It involved the big body of defender Viktor Lemeza playing the part of Mickelson’s shadow — and the scheme worked.

Well, mostly. The underdog Eagles pulled out the 1-1 draw that felt more like a win.

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UPDATED: 2014 Missoula high school football radio schedule

Cherry Creek Radio will be carrying nearly all Class AA Missoula football games this fall on one of its two AM radio stations — 1450 KGRZ and 1340 KYLT.

That includes several away games with the only exceptions when Missoula’s three teams (Big Sky, Hellgate and Sentinel) play simultaneously.

Cherry Creek Sports Director Bill Schwanke will handle the calls along with Chris Stratton.

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Great Falls teams show AA softball power still in East

Great Falls teams show AA softball power still in East

Great Falls High and Great Falls CMR were part of the East-West Class AA softball exchange that blew through Missoula on Friday. Each stopped off at the respective Garden City schools for one matchup each in a tripleheader.

And boy did things go well for the Bison and Rustlers.

The Great Falls schools swept all three and again look like the favorites for the State AA title coming up in two weeks with the tournament held in, of course, Great Falls of all places.

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Lady Spartans prevail despite Roberts' absence

Had Wednesday night’s clash of state Nos. 1 and 2 been played as originally scheduled, Olivia Roberts likely would have gotten to enjoy senior night with her fellow Spartans.

Initially slated for last Thursday before a slew of blizzards and school closures, the rematch of last year’s State AA finals that yielded Sentinel its second straight championship was pushed back a week before the Spartans could pull off the coup of Capital.

Roberts, though, watched from the bench and missed her second straight game because of illness.

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Hellgate hoops enjoying rivalry week

Hellgate hoops enjoying rivalry week

Hellgate hoops likes to cram as much Missoula excitement as it can into one action-packed week.

Instead of spreading its crosstown games over its Western AA conference schedule, the Knights hit their Garden City rivals back to back in one crazy week. It pumps the energy level at games through the roof, Hellgate boys’ basketball player Devin Bray said Continue reading

Sentinel girls' hoops more than just pair of stars

Most everybody in Montana prep basketball circles knows about Missoula Sentinel seniors Olivia Roberts and Maddie Keast.

You know they’re the major contributors for the undefeated Spartans. You probably know they’re leading Sentinel in the hunt for a third straight State AA girls’ title. You probably also know they’ve both committed to Division I college programs for next year.

But there’s a whole heap of Spartans backing them up without whom Sentinel wouldn’t be in near the pretty position it is now. 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

The unity of Missoula high school swimming

Hailey Jacobson summed up what I was feeling pretty well with one sharp observation at the University of Montana’s Grizzly Pool recently.

“You probably can’t even tell who we all are with just our black suits,” the Missoula Hellgate senior swimmer said.

This was last Saturday and I was at the pool working on a feature story on Hailey and her Missoula Aquatic Club teammate Kate Zimmer, a Big Sky High swimmer. But tracking them down was a bit tougher than I’d imagined.

That’s because at a Missoula high school swim meet rivals from Hellgate, Big Sky and Sentinel are anything but. They’re more like teammates playing for different sides. Continue reading

The anatomy of Sentinel's 31-2 run

Karen Deden racked her brain, trying to remember any time her Sentinel Spartan girls had rolled on such a run before.

“Maybe…,” the 14-year Sentinel head coach began before changing tracks, “but that wasn’t against AA.”

Any way you slice it, the Spartans’ 31-2 run against Western AA foe Kalispell Flathead on Saturday was one for the ages. The stretch leading into the first-half buzzer gave Sentinel a 37-7 lead and a definitive lock what would become a 53-25 victory.

But how did it all go down? Continue reading

2013-14 prep basketball radio broadcast schedule

Local basketball fans can tune in to Class AA games on the radio as Cherry Creek Radio this week announced its broadcast schedule for the remainder of the winter hoops season with Western AA league play the focus.

Games will air on both KGRZ (1450 AM) and KYLT (1340 AM) to allow coverage of multiple pairings on certain dates.

Cherry Creek will air 47 regular season contests of Missoula boys’ and girls’ basketball, including 10 road contests, while also carrying State AA play-in games for Missoula teams in early march and any ensuing tournament games played the following week in Billings, the home of the State AA tourney. 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 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 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 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.