Arlee vs. Flint Creek: 8-man football's winner take all

The Western C 8-man football division title comes down to the last game of the year this Friday when the undefeated Arlee Warriors visit the equally unbeaten Flint Creek Titans in Drummond.

“It’s a huge matchup,” Arlee coach Mike Rogers said. “There’s gonna be a pile of talent on the football field Friday night. I think it’s gonna be a good game.”

Both teams come into the matchup 6-0 in league matches with the State C 8-man playoffs waiting the next weekend. Here’s a look at the winner-take-all matchup:

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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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Big Sky's Johnson, Hellgate's Softich reunite as coaches on football field

The last time that Matt Softich and Matt Johnson shared a football field, by the latter’s recollection at least, was somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 years ago.

And the field wasn’t in Missoula where both men coach high school football now — Johnson at Big Sky, Softich at Hellgate. That last time was in Anaconda when Johnson was quarterbacking the Copperheads as a prep player and Softich was his QB coach.

They’re back together at Missoula County Stadium when the crosstown foes collide Friday night.

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Max Toenjes: Hamilton golfing cavalry

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.

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Freshman Bryn the next Morley standout runner

State hopefuls racing in Class B girls’ cross country have had the spring of 2015 circled on their calendars for three and a half years ever since Makena Morley won her first high school race for Bigfork. The all-everything distance runner is set to graduate soon, finally opening the door for someone else to win a few races.

Only another Morley, Bryn, is ready to step into that power void. And she may not even wait until Makena has moved on to an NCAA Division I collegiate program to do so.

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Sentinel's secret weapon: Kicker Gabe Peppenger

Four times the Missoula Sentinel football team kicked off in Friday’s victory over Billings Skyview. Three times the ball sailed into the end zone.

That other boot? Well Skyview fielded that one from the 1-yard line. The Falcons made it all the way the 24 to start that possession.

Gabe Peppenger didn’t stop the run and he didn’t score any touchdowns Friday, but he certainly played a big role in the Spartans earning their first win of the season.

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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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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.

  • 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.