New Missoulian prep sports app available

The Missoulian has launched a new sports app for mobile devices to help area high school sports fans get all their coverage from one place.

Not only does the Western Montana Sports App keep you up to date on your schools’ sports programs, but the Missoulian is also giving away a few prizes in conjunction with the app’s launch.

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Hometown Pride Classic a win for Montana football

Hometown Pride Classic a win for Montana football

Even a narrow loss couldn’t keep the Ronan football team down.

“You don’t ever want to say you’re happy when you lose, but come on,” Chiefs head coach Jim Benn said gesturing to his surroundings. “Getting to coach here and letting our kids have this experience, I mean I’m watching my quarterback take pictures with his parents on the field.”

The special location was Washington-Grizzly Stadium Saturday, which hosted the first Hometown Pride Classic series between high school teams in Montana and Idaho — an event as pleasing to its organizer as it seemed to be to the players, coaches and fans involved.

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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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What's in a name: The Flint Creek Titans

What's in a name: The Flint Creek Titans

Everything about creating a new program can be tricky when the ingredients include a pair of longtime rivals with their own storied and distinct histories. The safest way to name the new 8-man football co-op between Drummond and Granite high schools, both sides agreed, was to create an entirely new identity.

The school districts settled on Flint Creek, carrying the mascot The Titans.

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Sentinel grad, future Cowgirl faces best of Wyoming in all-star series

Sentinel grad, future Cowgirl faces best of Wyoming in all-star series

Way back in November, Missoula Sentinel senior Olivia Roberts signed to play basketball at the University of Wyoming after graduation.

Before she ever suits up for the Cowgirls, Roberts is getting a chance to play against some cowgirls this weekend as part of the Treasure State’s roster in the Montana-Wyoming All-Star Basketball Series.

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Best of this spring's weekly Prep Extra videos

Each Thursday throughout the school year, the Missoulian features an area prep athlete as its sports centerpiece in a series known as the Prep Extra. A video component online has accompanied these written features for the last year.

Now take a look here at the best of this spring’s videos, complied into one 2-minute greatest hits package!

 

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State AA softball and the 2-day tournament question

The State AA softball tournament in Great Falls chopped off a day from its traditional three-day format and wrapped up on Friday in an experimental schedule change for 2014.

The MHSA shortened the length of the eight-team tournament to see if 15 games of softball could squeeze into two days without any trouble, said Mark Beckman, executive director of the Montana High Schools Association. ASA tournaments do it all the time, he pointed out.

But should Montana’s state tournaments?

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Brie Clifford's 440 pitches to victory

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.

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Montana's 2014 state softball brackets set

With the conclusion of Saturday’s championships in the Southwestern and Central A’s and Western B-C divisional softball tournaments, the state tournament brackets for Montana’s three high school sports classifications for spring 2014 are set.

Here are the first-round pairings for each, with tournament play beginning next Thursday in Great Falls and Polson:

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Recent Posts

  • 13 Jun 2014

    Sentinel grad, future Cowgirl faces best of Wyoming in all-star series

    Way back in November, Missoula Sentinel senior Olivia Roberts signed to play basketball at the University of Wyoming after graduation.

    Before she ever suits up for the Cowgirls, Roberts is getting a chance to play against some cowgirls this weekend as part of the Treasure State's roster in the Montana-Wyoming All-Star Basketball Series.

    "I think I'm most excited to play with all the best players in Montana," Roberts said this week before leaving for Billings to practice with her all-star squad. "Just to know that we all can step up and all know what it's like to have that same kind of mentality and motivation on the court." There are no Wyoming commits among the 10 girls on the state's all-star prep team. The school was most notably beat out by Stanford in the courting of Kaylee Johnson of Natrona County this past fall. Roberts said her loyalties haven't switched over from her home Montana quite yet. At least for a couple more months, until she makes the move to Laramie for school this fall, she's still a Montana girl.

    "I'm just excited to kick Wyoming's butt," she laughed. "And then when I go to school, it'll be vice versa."

    The former Spartan led Sentinel to three straight State AA basketball titles with a pair of all-state selections in her final two seasons. She averaged 18.3 and 8.3 points per game as a senior.

  • 04 Apr 2014

    Latest Loyola golf stars ready to continue run

    Following Tommy Tirrell's tie-breaking chip-off victory Friday that earned him second place at the Loyola Sacred Heart Invitational golf tournament, he carried his iron off the 18th green to talk to a waiting reporter. They introduced themselves, having never met before. Tirrell didn't garner too many interviews in his sophomore or freshman seasons golfing at Loyola. "You probably talked to Tom last year," Tirrell said, no hint of animosity in his statement of fact, just an observation. Tom Swanson, and with him Maggie Crippen on the girls' side, dominated the action for the Rams and Breakers golf teams over the past few seasons. Each are gone now onto NCAA Division I programs, but the Loyola golf legacy still has some sheen on it. The Loyola teams flashed it at their home invitational this week, the season opener for action without their multi-medalist leaders in camp. Swanson and Crippen were each three-time State B individual champions in their last three seasons of high school golf before graduating last spring. Swanson headed off to Michigan to swing for the Wolverines while Crippen is now on the links with North Dakota State. In their place is a new crew that isn't really very new at all. The top two girls and boys each played important roles in the past few seasons, though as sidekicks to their well-known superhero teammates. "And I think that even we didn't know how far along they had come," Loyola head golf coach Julia Jones said following the conclusion of this week's Loyola Invite. Tirrell and Jared Geer, who battled it out for second place Friday, were both top 10 finishers at state last year. So were Sadie Crippen and Brooke Bezanson on the girls' side, Crippen nearly knocking off her older sister before finishing second in the state meet. They seem to be stepping into the empty shoes with gusto as Loyola looks to continue its half decade of sheer state dominance. The boys are five-time defending champs, tied for the most consecutive wins at any boys' level with the 1993-97  Columbus team, while the Breakers have five straight state-trophy winning seasons with top-three finishes. Right there in the middle in 2011 is the program's only championship. "I think the expectation that they have is that if they work hard enough that it will continue," "And we've got good leadership. Jared Geer is our only senior, so they're young, but they're pretty well seasoned." Other players like Tom Sellman and Bryan Swanson for the boys and Madison Purdy, Julia Downing and Rosie McCormack for the girls will keep pushing those top pairs as the Rams and Breakers continue their march on Class B golf.
  • 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.