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W E I V E R P

SWE & K PAR

F ISE ION O TERPR ER LICAT N E B U N P A NE STO ER PIO IVING THE L E BIG TIMB ASS H R G T AND T E

4 1 0 2 TS R O P S G N I SPR

T COUN

IES

: E D I INS Page 3
tball f o S r e g Ran age 5 P k c a r Ranger T age 7 P s i n n e Ranger T

Page 8 l l a b e s a Braves B Page 11 f l o G Bruin age 12 P k c a r Bruin T ge 15 a P k c a Rebel Tr ge 17 a P f l o Herder G ge 18 a P k c a r Herder T

Spring SPORTS Preview THURSDAY, MARCH 27, 2014

SPRING SPORTS SCHEDULE


Park High
BOYS TENNIS
Apr. 1 Apr. 11 Apr. 12 Apr. 22 Apr. 26 May 3 May 6 May 9-10 May 16-17 May 22-24 vs Fergus, Bozeman at Hardin at Anaconda at Dillon at Lewistown at Billings vs. Butte Central at Helena Invit. Divisional at Bozeman State at Billings

2014

GIRLS TENNIS
Apr. 1 Apr. 3 Apr. 12 Apr. 22 Apr. 26 May 3 May 6 May 9-10 May 16-17 May 22-24 vs. Bozeman, Lewistown vs. Townsend, Whitehall at Butte Central at Dillon at Lewistown at Billings vs. Butte Central at Helena Invit. Divisional at Bozeman State at Billings

Gardiner
GOLF
Apr. 5 Apr. 15 Apr. 22 Apr. 24 Apr. 29 May 3 May 8 May 20-21 at Big Timber at Townsend at Manhattan at Livingston at Manhattan Christian at Ennis at Three Forks State at Seeley Swan

RANGERS

BRUINS

Big Timber
GOLF
April 3 April 5 April 10 April 17 April 22 April 26 April 29 May 3 May 8 May 10 May 13 May 19-21

HERDERS
at Eagle Rock at Overland Golf Course at Big Fork at Pryor Creek at Bridger Creek at Columbus at Cottonwood at Ennis at Three Forks at Harlowton Divisional at Eagle Bend State at Fairmont HS

SOFTBALL
Apr. 4 Apr. 5 Apr. 8 Apr. 11-12 Apr. 21 Apr. 22 Apr. 26 May 2 May 6 May 10 May 12 May 16-17 May 23-24 May 29-31 vs. Columbus at Butte Central vs. Laurel at Belgrade vs. Fergus at Laurel vs. Browning at Lewistown at Belgrade at Havre vs. Belgrade Tourny at Butte Central Divisionals at Belgrade State at Polson

TRACK
Apr. 5 Apr. 8 Apr. 11 Apr. 12 Apr. 15 Apr. 22 Apr. 26 Apr. 29 May 3 May 6 May 1 May 13 May 17 May 23-24 May 30-31 Invitation at Fergus at Billings at Belgrade at Bozeman at Billings at Home at Belgrade at Laurel at Butte Central Top Ten at Laurel at Anaconda Invitational at Home at Dillon Divisionals at Havre State at Butte

TRACK
Apr. 5 Apr. 19 Apr. 22 Apr. 25 May 3 May 15-17 May 22-24 May 29-31 Sheridan @ Dillon at Manhattan Ranger Invite @ Livingston @ Joliet Manhattan Christian @ Bozeman District @ Bozeman Divisional @ Missoula State @ Great Falls

TRACK
April 4 April 11 April 12 April 17 April 22 April 26 May 3 May 6 May 10 May 13 May 17 May 22 May 30-31 at Columbus at Belgrade at Bozeman at Columbus at Livingston at Belgrade at Bozeman Top Ten at Laurel at Laurel at Livingston District Track at Bozeman B-C Divisional at Laurel A-B State at Butte

Livingston BRAVES
BASEBALL
Apr. 26 Apr. 27 May 3 May 4 May 10 May 11 May 17 May 18 May 26 May 31 June 6 June 7 June 8 June 10 Apr. 22 Apr. 25 Apr. 26 May 1 May 3 May 6 May 8 May 17 May 23-24 May 30-31 Invitational at Home Invitational at Laurel Invitational at Belgrade at White Sulphur Spgs at Bozeman Top Ten at Laurel Top 8 at Townsend District at Bozeman Divisional at Missoula State at Great Falls vs Laurel Dodgers at Billings Cardinals vs Butte at Laurel Dodgers at Billings Bluejays vs Anaconda As vs Helena Reps at Billings Halos vs Butte Miners vs GVO at Bozeman Spikes at GVO vs Billings Halos at Dillon Cubs

Shields Valley

REBELS
TRACK
Apr. 5 Apr. 12 Apr. 17 Invitational at Lewistown at Bozeman Invitational at Skyview

June 17 June 19 June 24 June 25 June 28 June 29 July 1 July 3 July 9 July 12 July 13 July 17 July 19

at Belgrade Bandits at Lewistown Tourney vs Belgrade Bandits vs Bozeman Spikes vs Billings Bluejays at Anaconda As at Deerlodge Wranglers at Polson vs Dillon Cubs at Helena Reps vs Deerlodge Wranglers at Butte Miners vs Billings Cardinals Home games in bold

EDITORS NOTE: The above listed schedule is subject to change as the American Legion season progresses.

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Spring SPORTS Preview THURSDAY, MARCH 27, 2014

Softball is very much a team sport. They understand that, and they understand that if you dont have some type of unification, things break down.
Head Coach Jamie Isaly

Ranger Softball
Apr. 4 Apr. 5 Apr. 8 Apr. 11-12 Apr. 21 Apr. 22 Apr. 26 May 2 May 6 May 10 May 12 May 16-17 May 23-24 May 29-31 vs. Columbus @ Butte Central vs. Laurel @ Belgrade Tourney vs. Fergus @ Laurel vs. Browning @ Fergus @ Belgrade @ Havre vs. Belgrade Butte Central Tourney Divisionals Tournament @ Belgrade State Tournament @ Polson

Park High Rangers shortstop Meghan Gibson slides into third base safely against Fergus High at Miles Softball Complex in Livingston last season. Local sports photographer Dean Hendrickson is seen shooting from behind the third base line.
Enterprise file photo by Shawn Raecke

Rangers pitching for stellar season


By Natalie Storey
he Park High girls softball team is on track for another winning season, according to their coach. Coach Jamie Isaly said that although the team lost five seniors, many strong players are returning this year. We lost quite a few girls, but Im feeling pretty positive about the team, he said. The team lost Haley Dowdell, who

Enterprise Staff Writer

was a Class A All-State and First-Team Central A Division selection. She was also the team leader and the best pitcher, Isaly said. The team will look to Sierra Higgs, a sophomore, and Ariel Howieson, a junior, to fill her shoes at the mound. Isaly described Howieson as a finesse pitcher, while Higgs is a hard thrower. Both Ariel and Sierra together will be a nice combination, Isaly said. Park High was the runner-up at divisionals. The Rangers lost in the first game of

the state tournament to Laurel, a team they beat twice during the regular season. Still, the 2013 season was the best in school history. The Rangers are hoping to improve on last years success, and with a strong group of core girls who have played together for many years returning, Isaly said theyve got a good chance at having another stellar season. Seniors Jacy Schleicher, Haley Versland and Vanessa Davaz are all strong players, Isaly said. Versland, the teams first basewoman, and Schleicher, the

center fielder, are both strong batters. Versland is a power hitter, the girl you put a little later in the lineup to drive some other girls in, and Schliecher consistently gets on base, Isaly said. Cassie Versland returns as catcher, Meghan Gibson as shortstop and Meadow Ingram as outfielder. I think they are a pretty unified group, Isaly said. Softball is very much a team sport. They understand that, and they understand that if you dont have some type of unification, things break down.

Spring SPORTS Preview THURSDAY, MARCH 27, 2014

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Spring SPORTS Preview THURSDAY, MARCH 27, 2014

We get quality workouts now with our own equipment. We have enough room for people to do stuff.
Head Coach Jim Johnson

Park High School Rangers senior Megan Hawkins, center, runs in the 100-yard dash in a Park Invitational meet last season.
Enterprise file photo by Shawn Raecke

Big turnout for Ranger track and field

Enterprise Staff Writer

By Justin Post

oach Jim Johnson has high hopes for this years Park High School track team. With returning leaders like Chris Emter and Megan Hawkins, its easy for the coach to anticipate a successful season. Those two have been pretty successful and being seniors this year, Im hoping they have a great year and place high at state, Johnson said. Johnson said quite a few students roughly 60 turned out for track and field this year. Thats up from about 55 students the year before.

Ranger Track and Field


Apr. 5 Apr. 8 Apr. 12 Apr. 15 Apr. 22 Apr. 26 Apr. 29 May 3 @ Fergus @ Billings Skyview @ Bozeman @ Billings Ranger Invite @ Belgrade @ Laurel @ Butte Central May 6 May 10 May 13 May 17 May 23-24 May 30-31 @ Laurel @ Anaconda Ranger Invite @ Dillon Divisionals @ Havre State @ Butte Home games in bold

This is about the highest weve had in the last three or four years, Johnson said. Roughly 20 of the students, or about a third, coming out this year are freshman, he said. We have quite a few younger kids, and thats a good foundation for the

program, he said. This is the teams second year on the new track at Park High School, and students are still getting used to having their own infrastructure to call home. We get quality workouts now with our own equipment, Johnson said.

We have enough room for people to do stuff. During construction of the field, students were bused to Belgrade twice per week for practice. Johnson said hes happy the work is complete and the team can focus on improving. Its great for the athletes to have a place they can call home, he said. Our goal is to continue to improve. He hopes that focus translates to success during the state tournament, May 30-31 at Butte. Last year, five students went on to state, including Hawkins and Isis Covington, and Brandon Toney, Emter and Ladan Ricketts. Hopefully well have more this year, Johnson said. The teams first meet is April 5 in Lewistown, followed by home meets on April 22 and May 13. Well have two at home, which is kind of nice, Johnson said.

Spring SPORTS Preview THURSDAY, MARCH 27, 2014

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Spring SPORTS Preview THURSDAY, MARCH 27, 2014

Tennis squads focus on consistency

Enterprise Staff Writer

By Justin Post

andy Chain brings a teachers perspective to her job coaching Park High Schools boys and girls tennis teams. When I go out to coach, I get into my teaching mode and I expect the kids to go out there and put out there best effort, Chain said. Each day is a new lesson for them and when we get to competition I hope they are prepared with what weve been doing in practice. In her second year coaching the boys and girls teams, Chain hopes her coaching style will help prepare the Park players for another shot at the state tournament. Last year, John Potenburg qualified for the state tournament after taking fourth in the district. Potenburg, who returns to the team this year as a senior, is the teams number one, followed by Noble Vance in the number two spot. He should be a strong contender this year, Chain said of Potenburg. At the same time, Vance is expected to be a strong contender on the team, she said. His consistency and competitive spirit will give his opponents a tough battle, Chain said. Vance qualified for the state tournament last year in doubles and will likely play singles this year, Coach Chain said. On the girls team, sophomore Emily Coleman is the teams number one, Chain said.

Her tenacity and skill will prove a threat to her Central District opponents, she said. Mariel Kelley, Chelsea Wood and sisters Tegan and Lindsay Lane also are expected to have a strong influence on the teams overall success. The number one doubles team is Kelly and Wood, who are playing together for the first time this year as juniors, she said. The girls team won the central district last year, and Chain has high expectations the team will have another solid performance during this season. I expect it to be a close competition this year as well, she said. Early in this years season, Chain said shes working to improve consistency with her players. Sometimes kids want to come out and hit with a lot of power, but we want to make sure they are consistent first, she said. Chain said tennis is a lifelong sport, and she believes its important that players learn good habits early in their playing careers. Winning will take care of itself. I just want to build a strong foundation, she said. It is my goal as a coach to teach the skills and fundamental knowledge of the game.I want my players to strive for mastery of the game and compete with poise, control and grace.Success is when the students perform at their best and love the battle. The teams take to the court for their first scrimmage in April in Bozeman.

Above: Park High School Rangers senior John Potenburg practices with the team at Sacajawea Park in early March. Left: Rangers sophomore Emily Coleman returns the ball during a practice in early March.
Enterprise photos by Shawn Raecke

RANGER BOYS
Apr. 1 Apr. 11 Apr. 12 Apr. 22 Apr. 26 May 3 May 6 May 9-10 May 16-17 May 22-24 vs Fergus, Bozeman at Hardin at Anaconda at Dillon at Lewistown at Billings vs. Butte Central at Helena Invit. Divisional at Bozeman State at Billings

RANGER GIRLS
Apr. 1 Apr. 3 Apr. 12 Apr. 22 Apr. 26 May 3 May 6 May 9-10 May 16-17 May 22-24 vs. Bozeman, Lewistown vs. Townsend, Whitehall at Butte Central at Dillon at Lewistown at Billings vs. Butte Central at Helena Invit. Divisional at Bozeman State at Billings

Home matches in bold

Spring SPORTS Preview THURSDAY, MARCH 27, 2014

The Livingston Braves legion baseball team returns to the dugout during a game at Belgrade last season.

Enterprise file photo by Shawn Raecke

Birg back to coach Livingston Braves


By Natalie Storey

he Livingston Braves have a new, old coach, high hopes and a young team this year, according to Doug Birg. Birg returns as the Braves coach this year after a threeyear hiatus. He previously coached the team from 2008 to 2010. He calls his break a layoff and said hes happy to be returning this year. Im excited and looking forward to it, Birg said. Ive got a pretty good group of kids.
The Braves are returning only four players from last season, Birg said. The team has one senior, a couple juniors and several eighth graders.

Enterprise Staff Writer

I wouldnt say its a weakness, but we are going to be young, Birg said. The sole returning senior is Colton Gavne, who Birg said he expects to be the team leader. Gavne plays catcher. Freshmen and Sophomores will have to step up, Birg said. Luckily two of the returning sopho-

mores look promising: Buck Spallone and Sterling Lay. I expect them to be two of our better players, Birg said. The team will rely on both Spallone and Lay to pitch. The league has a number of good teams that are returning experienced

players, including Belgrade and Dillion, Birg said. Weve got our work cut out for us, he said. Its just a matter of commitment. Birg said the team so far has 12 or 13 players, but hes hoping more will join.

Braves Baseball Schedule


Apr. 26 Apr. 27 May 3 May 4 May 10 May 11 May 17 May 18 May 26 May 31 June 6 vs Laurel Dodgers at Billings Cardinals vs Butte at Laurel Dodgers at Billings Bluejays vs Anaconda As vs Helena Reps at Billings Halos vs Butte Miners vs GVO at Bozeman Spikes June 7 June 8 June 10 June 17 June 19 June 24 June 25 June 28 June 29 July 1 July 3 at GVO vs Billings Halos at Dillon Cubs at Belgrade Bandits at Lewistown Tourney vs Belgrade Bandits vs Bozeman Spikes vs Billings Bluejays at Anaconda As at Deer Lodge Wranglers at Polson July 9 July 12 July 13 July 17 July 19 vs Dillon Cubs at Helena Reps vs Deer Lodge Wranglers at Butte Miners vs Billings Cardinals Home games in bold EdITOrs NOTe: The above listed schedule is subject to change as the American Legion season progresses.

Spring SPORTS Preview THURSDAY, MARCH 27, 2014

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Spring SPORTS Preview THURSDAY, MARCH 27, 2014

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11

Because of where we live, a lot of parents dont play golf and then the younger kids dont play golf. Were sort of running out of the kids that play.
Head Coach Dave Perius

Gardiners Taylor Perius, center, talks with fellow competitors during the Bruin invite at the Livingston Golf Course last season.
Enterprise file photo by Shawn Raecke

Swinging for the state tournament

Enterprise Staff Writer

By Justin Post

he Gardiner Bruins boys and girls golf teams are a little light on players this year, but the four players who turned out are heavy hitters, said Coach Dave Perius. Coach Dave Perius said senior Taylor Perius, who tied for eighth place the last two years, joins sophomore Tristan Rhodes on the girls team. Seniors Parker Robinson and Peter Morey are representing the Bruins boys golf team this season, Perius said.

Robinson finished in the top eight last year and Perius has high hopes

for him in the coming months. I think he has a good shot at finishing in the top five or somewhere in that area, the coach said of Robinson. Morey hasnt qualified for state in previous years, but the coach thinks this could be his year. He hits the ball hard, but hopefully improves his short game and hell be fine, Perius said. He said Rhodes has improved her game and might also qualify for state this year. Shes improved a lot, so were hoping that she can qualify for state, the coach said. On average, the coach said nine or 10 students typically turn out for the team. Eight students turned out last year, but Perius believes fewer students are playing golf because fewer parents are playing golf. Because of where we live, a lot of parents dont play golf and then the younger kids dont play golf, he said. Were sort of running out of

Bruin Golf
April 5 @ Big Timber April 15 @ Townsend April 22 @ Bridger Creek April 24 @ Livingston April 29 @ Cottonwood May 3 @ Ennis May 8 @ Three Forks May 20-21 State @ Seeley Swan

the kids that play. Yet, seven boys are playing golf at the junior high level, which will eventually translate into more players for the Bruins high school team. The future looks really good in the boy department, Perius said. As far as the future, I think were going to continue with a good number of boys. Im just hoping to recruit some girls in

the next two years. The team will work on improving its golf game this season at Mountain Sky Guest Ranch, located roughly halfway between Gardiner and Livingston. The nine-hole course is a good option for the team to practice rather than making the drive to Livingston. The team still sponsors its meet in Livingston, however. The Bruin girls placed third at state last year and brought home a trophy in Class C golf. Only one boy, Parker, qualified for state last year, Perius said. Perius is hopeful some of his players qualify for the state tournament again this year. Im very hopeful, he said. Parker and Taylor should both medal, and theres a chance the other two could medal as well. The goal has always been just to teach the kids fundamentals and the point of the game, and hopefully they keep doing it all their life.

12

Spring SPORTS Preview THURSDAY, MARCH 27, 2014

Were not what I would call a power this year, but we have some good returning seniors.
Head Coach Dave Hayes

Gardiner Bruins Wyatt Wilkinson clears the high bar during a meet in Bozeman last season. Wilkinson will also run the 1,600 and 3,200 meter for the Bruins this year.
Enterprise file photo by Shawn Raecke

Strong senior class looks to lead Bruins

Enterprise Staff Writer

By Justin Post

ifteen students turned out as throwers for this years Gardiner Bruins track and field team, and Coach Dave Hayes also has a solid base of runners returning to the team. Those facts leave Hayes hopeful for the state tournament. Were not what I would call a power this year, but we have some good returning seniors, Hayes said. Right now our best shots of going on and getting to state are our boys distance runners and probably our boys throwers. Ive seen some real improvement in the kids who are coming back. Theyve really improved from the past year or two almost across the board.

Bruin Track and Field


Apr. 5 Sheridan @Dillon Apr. 19 at Manhattan Apr. 22 Ranger Invite @ Livingston Apr. 25 @ Joliet May 3 Manhattan Christian @ Bozeman May 15-17 District @ Bozeman May 22-24 Divisional @ Missoula May 29-31 State @ Great Falls

Cara Cunningham, a sophomore thrower returning to the team, said only four students threw last year. This year, 15 students turned out to throw for the team. Everyone just sort of decided to do throwing, Cunningham said. Were hoping to get more to state this year as many as we can.

In all, 30 students came out for this years track and field team, which Coach Hayes says is about average. Standouts include senior pole vaulter Kelly Harbach. Shes probably one of the top five Class C pole vaulters in the state, Hayes said. Senior Jessie Hafer is running 300 hurdles and pole vaulting for the team, he said. She has a really good shot of making it out of Divisionals this year, Hayes said. Another standout, Wyatt Wilkinson, returns to the team as a junior and as the Divisional 3,200-meter champion. Hell also run the 1,600m, and possibly the 800m this season. Senior Austin Dreyer returns as a senior, running the 3,200m and 1,600m this year and recently signed with Rocky Mountain College to run cross country and track next year.

Another returning senior, Robert Wickham, is running the 1,600m and 3,200m this year. We expect some good performances out of him this year, Hayes said. Meanwhile, Hayes says the field of throwers hes coaching this year look promising in early practices. Half our team is throwers this year, so hopefully well do something with that, he said. Last year, two players went to state from the Bruins teams, Wyatt and Forrest Rienhart, who graduated. Hayes believes sophomore Emma Burke is a strong bet to reach state this year. Burke went to an indoor meet in Bozeman recently and won the high jump against a field of Double A girls, even without training in recent months, Hayes said. She jumped the highest she has ever jumped, he said. Chris Lewis is serving as assistant coach this season.

Spring SPORTS Preview THURSDAY, MARCH 27, 2014

13

Need another copy of the Spring Sports Section?


PIO IMBER S BIG T ED T H E TIE N IS A EPR N SR F I R U O P R R E O TE NT ON EE N CE ATI ON EN PION G S T OL SS C LIVIN ST B I ER F THE A PU LIVING G TIMB GRA ION O T T I A C E I B E L TH THE A PUB SWE AND NEER

W W E E I V I V PRE E PR
PARK & S COUNTIE GRASS SWEET

34 1 2 02 01 S T R S PO ORT N G S K& I P R S P S PAR ING R P S

It's a handy section to have because it has the schedules for all the spring prep sports in Park and Sweet Grass counties. It is available, free, for a limited time at major retail outlets in Park and Sweet Grass counties. The sports section will also be available in its entirety on the Enterprise's website: livingstonenterprise.com

E: D I E S D IN INSI

age 8 ll - P aseba ge 11 B s e a Brav lf - P ge 12 n Go Brui rack - Pa 15 ge nT -P Brui te Page17 -a kis 7 ncn a rl 3anger gi age eR els Tr f -ag g P b a e P R l P e 8 ge 18 o l l al l G eb a as r b erde tb Pa ag of3 Legion H Se ge 5 e -11 ftball - Pr ck ag P ra lf -T go Ranger so Range e 5rack - Pa eG 7ardiner rderk - Page 12 e T g ag P a r H e k P g ac ac is6 Ranger tr Ran is - T nne Gardiner tr eag s tenn ger P Ranger boy Ran

Page 15 ley track Shields Val e 17 ag P lf go Big Timber age 18 P k ac tr Big Timber

Once you pick up a copy, don't let go! You'll want to have one handy throughout the spring sports season.

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Spring SPORTS Preview THURSDAY, MARCH 27, 2014

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Spring SPORTS Preview THURSDAY, MARCH 27, 2014

15

Shields Valley Rebels high jumper Cole Fairchild clears the bar as he competes in a Bozeman Invitational Track and Field event last season.

Rebels and Kerkaert looking for more titles

Enterprise Staff Writer

By Rose Brown

he Shields Valley High School track team will have to work harder to stay competitive this year, due to a smaller team than usual. Only 20 athletes signed up this year usually there are about 27, said Shields Valley Coach Jim Rose. Its the smallest team Shields Valley has had in 20 years, Rose said. Over the last several years, the Shields Valley team has scored well at State, partly because of the balance of having an athlete in almost every event, Rose said. Unfortunately, this year Apr. 5 were not going to have that luxury, he said. Apr. 12 Rose said he expects success Apr. 17 this year from sophomore Kylie Apr. 22 Kerkaert, who was the state Apr. 25 champion in the 400-meter race Apr. 26 as well as the anchor leg on the state champion short relay team May 1 last year. May 3 Were kind of excited to see May 6 what she can do this year, he May 8 said. May 17 Senior girls Jessica Gagen, who races distance, and Casey May 23, 24 McInerney, who races mid-disMay 30, 31 tance, could both place this year, Rose said. Senior sprinter Matt Huff

should also have a good season, he said. Another team member to keep an eye on this year is jumper Cole Fairchild, Rose said. This years team will have its best shot competing in short and long relays, but weights and jumps might be lacking, he said. The team started practicing as early as possible this year Monday March 17 and its first meet will be April 5 in Lewistown.

REBELS TRACK AND FIELD


Central Montana Invite @ Lewistown Manhattan @ Bozeman Huntley Project Invite @ Skyview Park Invite @ Park High Joliet Invitation @ Laurel Belgrade Invitational @ Belgrade Mile High Invite @ White Sulphur Manhattan Christian @ Bozeman Midland Top 10 @ Laurel Top 8 @ Townsend District Track @ Bozeman Divisional @ Missoula State Track @ Great Falls Home games in bold

Rebels Kylie Kerkaert will be in the hunt for another State Class C 400-meter title as well as helping anchor the 400-meter relay team this year.

Enterprise file photos by Shawn Raecke

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Spring SPORTS Preview THURSDAY, MARCH 27, 2014

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17

Herders ready to take on tough field


By Laura Nelson

Pioneer Staff Writer

ough competition can only make them stronger. The Sweet Grass County High School golf teams will return their top athletes this spring, but many of their foes in the tough-as-irons Southern B Division will, too. In 2013, the Herder girls finished fifth overall in the state, the best any girls squad has ever done at the season finale. Taryn Campbell earned Class B All-State honors with a fifth-place overall finish as a junior, and Cole Groshens fired a personal-best 84 on one of the most difficult courses in Montana in the State Class B tournaments final round. The two leading seniors are back and ready to drive their teams back to the state contest. On the ladies side, seniors Megan Emter and Rainy OConnell will also return, along with sophomore Chessa Parker, to complete the team that coach Dan Campbell said shows big promise. Townsend was the state champs last year and they have all four of their top starters back again, so theyll be strong, Dan Campbell said. Add Missoula-Layola and Three Forks in the division mix, and the Herders have their work cut out for them. Campbell picked Townsend to again lead the division, but noted that his team would be back with more experience and better games after a summer of dedicated improvements. Theyll have freshmen Tanna Campbell and Kate Walker to bring up new talent and keep the competition fresh in the years to come, too. Townsend is just really, really tough. We did the best we had ever done at state last year, and they were still leaps and bounds ahead of us, he said. So we just want to close that gap. Between Taryn Campbell and OConnells long games (Taryn hits the ball as good as anyone in the state, he said, and Rainy, with her frame and size, she has a height power advantage to really hit the ball long) and Emter and Parkers short games (Both their chipping and putting have continued to improve, theyre really strong, the coach noted), the team has a dynamic that could give them an edge in the divisional mix. Well pull for second, third or fourth in our division. We do expect our girls to be in the top four, Dan Campbell said. And if you do something at divisonals, youll have a good chance at state, assistant coach Sheri Campbell added. Thats the ultimate goal a state trophy. It may be a lofty goal, but placing there is within reach, Dan Campbell said. We just want to start at a level and make step up, get better every week. The boys also face tough division

Sweet Grass golfers Taryn Campbell, left, and Cole Groshens, center, hit on the driving range during a practice in early March at Overland Golf Course.
competition, the coaches said, but theyll also be pushing one another with a team of 18 vying for the top four team slots. Its going to be really competitive this year to be on the varsity squad. Itll be a race Cole will be No. 1, but after that, well have some younger kids that will really push them, Dan Campbell said. Senior Loren Alexander and junior Chad Lager will each return with some varsity experience and promise for team play, and sophomore Weston Lavoy dedicated a large amount of time on the course improving over the summer, the coaches said. If we had a kid that has improved the most since last year, its Weston, Dan Campbell said. That improves the whole team. Groshens will be focused on breaking into a game that consistently hits a 70s scoring range, and vying for a shot at all-state honors. He really improved between his sophomore and junior year, and hell have another big jump like that this year, so hell be good, Dan Campbell said. Hes got a good control game, keeps the ball in play. The next three varsity slots will be open for the taking between four or five Herder boys, a competition the coaches say they look forward to seeing improve the entire team. The same is true throughout the 14-team southern B division. In our division, the top four or five are usually at least in the top ten of the state, so you know if you can make it past divisionals, youll do well at state, Sheri Campbell said. That just makes us better, too. Thats the competition we need to continue to improve.

Photo by Laura Nelson

Herder Golf
Apr. 5 Apr. 10 Apr. 15 Apr. 17 Apr. 22 Apr. 26 Apr. 29 at Overland Golf Course at Big Fork at Columbus at Pryor Creek at Bridger Creek at Columbus at Cottonwood May 3 at Ennis May 8 at Three Forks May 10 at Harlowton May 13 Divisional at Eagle Bend May 19,21 State at Fairmont Hot Springs Home matches in bold

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Spring SPORTS Preview THURSDAY, MARCH 27, 2014

Strong leadership for Herder track

Big Timber Pioneer Staff Writer

By Laura Nelson

inally, the years of being a young team will start to pay off the for the Sweet Grass County High School Herder track team. We have a lot of seniors this year, and some really strong leadership, assistant coach Kim Finn said. The coaching staff will look to those older athletes to guide the large squad. With 37 names on the roster this spring, its the deepest the track and field pool has been for at least a decade, Finn noted. We have some really good experience, a solid core of boys, assistant coach Karl Wessel added. So we have a really good blend of experienced throwers and a number of good ones in the younger ones. That bodes well for the future. Four boys return to the squad with at least one trip to the state meet under their belts, and half of the 2013 state silver medal girls 1,600-meter relay team will be back in action this spring. Im excited to see how our relays might shape up this year, first-year head coach Paula Berry said. Senior Brit Todd and sophomore Hannah Wheeler will return to their two legs of the mile relay; the other quarter-mile stretches will be picked up by younger runners who will be asked to step up in the absence of two leading ladies Carly Rech and Haley Moen who graduated in 2013. We should have a couple to step up and replace them to keep that relay team strong, Finn said. Senior Darren Heck swept the Southern B Divisions mens distance competitions in 2013, and he placed in the top six at state in his three races the 800m, 1,600m and 3,200m. Hell be back in each of those events, and plans to continue to bring home a trio of medals throughout the year. Were expecting big things from him this year, Finn said. Gabe McCauley qualified for state in four events last year the 300m hurdles, 110m hurdles, high jump and long jump which adds depth to the boys medaling potential in 2014. Mack Coyne wasnt far behind him in the 300m hurdles at the state qualifying match. Junior Walker LaVoy will also be back this year to add to the Herders sprinting talents. We have a few return sprinters, especially in the boys who are coming back stronger, older, Finn said. A year can make a big difference at this age in their strength and abilities. Sophomore Ashley Gunnlickson studied under hurdling standout Moen last year; 2014 will be her year to shine, Finn said. Were really looking for her to step up in the hurdles. The talent is deep in the throwing

Herder first-year head coach Paula Berry, right, works with her team during a few practice drills at the Sweet Grass County High School track in early March.
make it as far as the divisional meet this year, with the potential to move beyond. The older boys are working to maintain a 120-foot distance range in the discus, which should open solid opportunities for medaling throughout the year, while training up younger throwers on the male and female side to keep the team strong in years to come. Carrie Lehman, Mesa King and Drew Pike are working on their first years in the SGHS throwers ring, but theyre catching on fast, Wessel said. Theyre showing good potential early in the season. More youngsters will get the chance to stretch their legs in the sprinting and field events, Finn said, with solid upperclassmen to watch yet ample room to grow in their own talents, too. I think some of the freshman will surprise us this year, Finn said. The coaching staff mirrors the teams mix Finn and Wessel bring around a decade of experience each in their roles as assistants Berry brings a fresh perspective to the head coaching position, and Evelyn Halverson was added to the mix this year to focus on distance running and cross-training. With a team this deep in numbers, the coaches added, its not just the medal winners who provide the leadership the Herders will need to succeed this year, either. Finn pointed to senior Edgar Suarez. He doesnt place a lot, but hes one of the key component of the team, she said. Hes a real leader and a role model for us. Senior brothers Ben and John Turner also chip in on the mens distance side, and add to the camaraderie of the team. All the kids just love them, they love having them on the team, Wessel said. Overall, we just have a good team all the kids who are here really want to be here. Finn added that many of the new faces on the track arent strangers to the blue and white uniforms; basketball, football or volleyball players joined this year looking to stay in shape and build their skills off their regular playing fields. So they are athletes, competitors; we have a lot of kids that have real goals and are all-around athletes, Finn said. They are hard workers, all of them, Berry added. And they are close they mesh well. Itll be a good year.

Enterprise photo by Shawn Raecke

HERDER TRACK AND FIELD


Apr. 4 Apr. 12 Apr. 17 Apr. 22 Apr. 26 May 3 May 6 May 10 May 13 May 17 May 22 May 30,31 at Columbus at Bozeman at Columbus at Livingston at Belgrade at Bozeman at Laurel at Laurel at Livingston District at Bozeman B-C Divisional at Laurel A-B State at Butte

circle, too. Tanner Engle, Colton Jones and Liz Arlian are all ready to throw in their final year of competition and 2013 state discus qualifier Chance Wessel will be back in his junior year. Coach Wessel said he expects at least those four to

Spring SPORTS Preview THURSDAY, MARCH 27, 2014


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