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FALL SPORTS PREVIEW

Blue Pony golf teams already rolling along in the 2019 season Havre High golf has a new head coach in longtime tennis head man George Ferguson

Sept. 5 Sept. 13 Sept. 13 Sept. 19 Sept. 20 Sept. 26 Oct. 3-4

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BLUE PONY GOLF SCHEDULE at Harlowton (V-JV) 10:00 a.m. at Sidney 9:00 a.m. Havre at Beaver Creek 9:30 a.m. at Billings Central - Eagle Rock at Laurel Divisionals at Sidney State at Laurel

Aarron Thompson

Havre Daily News gferguson@havredailynews.com As much of the area's fall sports are making their way toward their season-openers, the Havre High golf teams are ready to hit the course. Under new coach George Ferguson, the HHS squads have some key players returning this season. The Blue Pony boys have many key returners on their roster. Senior Tyrel Kjersem; juniors Josh Warp, Nolan Lotton, Clint Owens, Caleb Chambliss, Hunter Velk and Eli Cloninger; and sophmores Tavish McLean, Theron Peterson, Caleb Spangler and Kale Reno make up the hefty amount of experience that will be back for the season. The rest of the boy's roster consists of Collin Miller, Connor McKay. Callan Gobin, Isaac Pedraza, Trennis Riley, Colby Tilleman, Ethan Elliot, Joram Randolph, Dylan Kuhn, Kaden Burnell, Dylan Kimberling, Lane Kinsella, Hunter Smith, Wyatt Simpson, Kris Tanner and Cory Kieffler. "I'm excited about the group of boys we have," Ferguson said. "We have a lot of returning experience. We have a group of boys who have played a lot of competitive golf now. "We also have a lot of depth," he continued. "Our qualifying rounds are going to be really competitive all season long because our boys team has so much depth. And that is going to help us get better." Coming off a Central A Divisional thirdplace finish last season, qualifying four players for state, and returning every player from varsity last season, the Blue Pony boys are looking to be a team with the necessary pieces to have a good season. "The boys can do some really good things this year," Ferguson said. "We have a chance to be very competitive in the Eastern A and beyond. We just need to stay patient, keep working on the things that will lower our scores as the season goes on. The objective is to be playing our best golf at divisionals. But overall, I think our boys team has the talent to compete with anybody, and I'm excited to see what they can do." On the other hand, the Havre girls are looking to grow this season. The girls lost top

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson The 2019 Havre High boys and girls golf teams take a team photo at last months Havre Invitational at Prairie Farms Golf Course. The Blue Ponies are well into their 2019 season already. players in All-Stater Teagan Fee and Kinzee Peterson after finishing second at divisionals last year. Even without their top players, though, the girls team carries key players like juniors Jocelyn Staples and Carlee Kato, as well as sophomore Sophie Kirkpatrick, and they can look to do great things in the golf season. The rest of the girl's roster includes Mia Valdez and Sylvie McKeon-Hanson, which gives the girls team five players. "It's going to be a new experience for our girls this year," Ferguson said. "We have only two players who have played high school golf before. But, we do have a group of girls who are going to get better and better as the season goes on. We have a girls team that yes,

is inexperienced, but it's a team that I think will improve every single week, and that's the goal." "It's not about August, it's about the end of September, so we're just going to help them improve, and I think they'll really surprise some people by the end of the season," he continued. Ferguson himself is also looking forward to the season ahead as the new head coach. "I'm really excited to be coaching the golf team," Ferguson said. "Golf is a passion for me, and I think my experience with the tennis teams all these years will translate well to coaching golf. Not to mention, I get to coach more at Havre High. I love the kids we

have here in Havre, I think we have a great group of kids out for golf. So it's really exciting for me." Ferguson also commented on the season. "I think it's going to be a great year," Ferguson added. "Our numbers are really good. We have a lot of kids out who are very excited and who love playing golf. I think we can do some really good things this season. I just want the kids to work hard, have a lot of fun playing the great game of golf, and improve as the season goes along." Havre's varsity team has already played for tournaments this season, including the Havre Invitational. The season concludes with the Eastern A Sept. 26 in Sidney and the state A tournament Oct. 3-4 in Laurel.


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Beeters ready to spike their way back to the top

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson The 2019 Chinook volleyball team poses for a photo inside the Chinook gymnasium before the start of the 2019 season. Chinook has a younger squad this season under veteran head coach Paula Molyneaux, but, the Beeters will certainly have the ability to once again compete for a District 6C championship.

Aarron Thompson

Havre Daily News gferguson@havredailynews.com Chinook volleyball is back and ready for another season on the court. Under head coach Paula Molyneaux, the Beeters are on the grind, finishing their

preparations as the season draws closer. “They look pretty good,” says Molyneaux. “We’re a little young, but their working hard. Chinook has had a dominant team in the past year and are looking to keep it that way this coming season. With a young team and a good work ethic, the Beeters have a good formula this year. Though the team is young, Chinook does have some experience that can drive them through the season. Key returners like starters outside hitter Hailey Bell and setter/right side hitter Ginger Hauer look to bring their skills back to the court to put forth their best. Other players with varsity experience, like outside hitter/defensive specialist Lily Surber are ready to rally to victory this season. The widespread talent these girls possess can lead to a Sugarbeeters team with good athleticism and leadership. Even with a dominant season last year, the Beeters are looking to excel and soar above their competition even more. “You always just want to get better,” states Molyneaux. “To get better and achieve your potential, whatever that may be.” Chinook has the bearings to bring about another good season and getting better is a great way to go about it. The team’s full potential, if reached, could bring them to a state of excellent court play and overall team success. It’s no surprise that the Beeters’ volleyball season is surrounded with some hype. The Sugarbeeters will have some tough competition this year. Opponents like North Star and Box Elder will stand in the way of the girls’ path to a championship. Other teams like Belt, who they fell to last season, may prove to be a challenge for the Beeters, too. Chinook has a promising outlook on the season. The experience, hard work, talent, and young enthusiasm can bring the team to go even further than the previous season. The girls are ready to bring it. The Beeters opened their season against Fort Benton at home on Aug. 30 at 4, then on to the Malta tournament on Aug. 31.

FALL SPORTS PREVIEW

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Bears returning to Six-Man football Chris Peterson Throughout Montana, high school football teams have been battling with numbers and moving between classifications and one of the teams that impacted the most in recent years has been the Box Elder Bears. Back in 2015, following the Bears trip to the Six-Man state championship game, Box Elder was going to move up to play 8-Man football, before getting an appeal approved that allowed them one more season of Six-Man football. But with increasing numbers, the Bears were eventually moved up to 8-Man and joined the Northern C, where they competed in both 2017 and 2018. It’s not shocking when teams struggle moving up, but for Box Elder, it proved to be especially difficult. The Bears didn’t have the same numbers in the program that they had when they first were approved for making the jump. During the first season in 2017, Box Elder won only one game but was at least able to field a varsity roster for its entire schedule. Unfortunately, lower numbers and injuries forced the Bears to forfeit a game in 2018. Box Elder still got itself a win last season as the Bears, under first-year head coach Jake Eldridge, defeated Hays-Lodge Pole 62-38 in September. Yet, that

would be the last win of the year for the Bears, who did well just to field a tea at times during the season. With the school’s enrollment dipping, Box Elder qualified for a move back down to Six-Man football and now the Bears are back in their old stomping grounds, the Six-Man North. While it will be an adjustment for the players and the coaching staff to go from 8-Man and SixMan, Box Elder is back in the classification where it competed for a state championship just a few short years ago. Of course, getting back to that level is going to take some building and in the challenging North division, wins won’t be easy to come by. With the addition of Box Elder, the North has 10 teams and split into sub-divisions. In all, five teams will qualify for the playoffs and the Bears will be in the B sub-division along with Geraldine/Highwood, Sunburst, Denton-Geyser-Stanford and PowerDutton-Brady. The top two teams in each subdivision will automatically qualify for the playoffs, while the two third-place teams will then battle it out for the fifth and final berth. The five teams in the A sub-division of the Six-Man North are Big Sandy, North Star, Valier, Heart Butte and Tri-City. Box Elder , and head coach Jake Eldridge should return a number of players from last season’s team including running Nacona Limberhand, who could be one of the top ball carriers. One thing that will hurt the Bears is the loss of Chris Burns, who transferred to

Friday Night Lights in the Havre Daily News Area football fans can get even more high school coverage with the Havre Daily News. The HDN will be running a special high school football section every Friday. The section will get fans ready for all of the weekend's action. Also, don't forget to follow high school football online with the Havre Daily News at www. havredailynews.com.

Big Sandy. In addition to the four conference opponents the Bears will play within the B sub-division, Box Elder will also take part in two nonconference matchups. The first will be the season opener against Bainville, as well as another nonconference game against Broadview/Lavina to close out the regu-

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson The 2019 Box Elder Bears football team poses for a photo before the start of the season. After playing in the 8-man Northern C last fall, Box Elder is returning to the Six-Man Northern Division for the 2019 season.


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Box Elder ready to continue climbing the volleyball ranks

George Ferguson Havre Daily News sports editor gferguson@havredailynews.com The Box Elder Bears haven’t been known as a District 6C volleyball power very often. But in 2018, they were exactly that. With a talented roster, the Bears posted a winning season in 6C play and had a strong showing in the postseason as well. However, graduation and such hit the Bears hard this past offseason, as the tal-

ented Lilly Gopher, as well as Joelnell and Kyla Momberg have all moved on. And yet, under a new head coach, the Bears have a chance to continue making noise in the 6C this fall. Setter Sarah Parisian returns for Box Elder, while Zayna Henderson provides athletic talent on both sides of the net. The Bears will look to build a strong rotation around those two experienced players, with depth like Tayleigh Sunchild, Jennifer and Melissa Seymour, Kiana Heavy Runner, Daleyn Hen-

derson, Shuree Arkinson and Aysia LaMere. Of course, talent is one thing, but competition is another, and Box Elder will get plenty of that in the 6C. With Chinook and North Star both looking strong again this season, as well as a talented squad at Chester-Joplin-Inverness, Box Elder will certainly have its hands full in district play. And yet, the Bears proved last year, and will continue to prove this season that, the rest of the 6C will have their hands full with them as well.

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson The 2019 Box Elder high school volleyball team poses for a photo before the start of a new season. Box Elder is coming off a lot of District 6C success last season, but, graduation hit the Bears hard. Still, Box Elder returns a wealth of experience and talent, and while teams like Chinook, North Star and Chester-Joplin-Inverness will be the favorites this season in the 6C, the Bears will not be overlooked, especially after how strong they were in 2018.

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Chinook working to build on last season's football succeess Chris Peterson When Mike Jones arrived as the head coach of the Chinook Sugarbeeters, he knew he had some work to do to restore the program to the level it was at just a few years prior. Back in 2014 and 2015, the Beeters went to the 8-Man state championship game twice and won the crown at Hoon Field back in 2015. But after missing the postseason the next two seasons, Jones and the Beeters returned last year, on their way to a 5-5 overall record. Chinook defeated Chester-Joplin-Inverness 12-8 in a game to get into the postseason and was then defeated handily by Fairview. But even with a young team that has just four seniors, Jones said taking that first step was huge. “It was huge for these kids just to get that experience,” Jones said. “Last year’s seniors had a goal of wanting to get back to the playoffs and trying to get this program back where it should be and they were able to accomplish that. Now, with these younger guys, we need to keep building that, so reaching the playoffs isn’t a celebration, it’s an expectation.” While Chinook will return some key players, such as running back Sam Dumas, who will be a two-way starter for the Beeters, there were also some key losses, including quarterback Trajan Hannum. Ben Elliot is going to be the new starter according to Jones and the 5-foot-7 junior will have sophomore Toby Niederegger as one of his top targets at wide receiver. Seniors JT Hauer, Kurtis Hamilton and Josh Gillett will all play key roles along with others such as Hunter Molyneaux, Reese Elliot and Favion Courturier. “We only have four seniors but we have a lot of kids back that got experience in the program last season,” Jones said. “Just comparing this year to last year, we are much farther ahead than we were in terms of our basic fundamentals and being able to move past all that pretty quickly is huge. We also had a bunch of young kids that got some really good experience on JV last season and that should help them be able to contribute.” Chinook is once again part of the always difficult Northern C. With Box Elder dropping down to Six-Man, the league once again has 12 teams and will be separated into two subdivisions. Chinook is in the B sub-division and will compete with Centerville, Fort Benton, Shelby, Simms and Hays-Lodge Pole for one of the top three spots in the division. Teams that finish in the top three are guaranteed a chance

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson The 2019 Chinook football team poses for a photo before the start of a brand new season. After making the 8-man playoffs last year, the Sugarbeeters, of head coach Mike Jones, are hungry for more success. to play their way into the playoffs. The first-place team in each division gets an automatic berth, while the second and thirdplace teams face teams from the other subdivision for a berth in the playoffs. Just like last season, the Northern C will get five teams in, so there will be an extra game to determine the final playoff team, just like when the Beeters beat CJI in 2018. “The Northern C is always going to be tough,” Jones said. “Shelby is going to be really good with Tanner Parsons back. But I think we are right there with everybody else. I really do. I think we can compete with anyone.” Outside of the five divisional opponents, Chinook will also play Park City to open the season, as well as Cascade, which resides in the A sub-division of the Northern C. Chinook opened the season Aug. 31.


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FALL SPORTS PREVIEW

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Strong Big Sandy volleyball team hopes to rise

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September 2019

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Wildcats looking to put together more success on the football field George Ferguson Havre Daily News sports editor gferguson@havredailynews.com

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson

The 2019 Big Sandy high school volleyball team poses for a team photo before the start of the 2019 season. Big Sandy made strides in the District 6C East a year ago, and the Pioneers are hoping to build off that momentum this fall.

Aarron Thompson

Havre Daily News gferguson@havredailynews.com The Big Sandy Pioneers' volleyball team is getting ready to hit the court and spike their way to the top. With 23 players on the team, head coach Brittney McKennie has a lot to look forward to. “I’m really excited about our numbers,” states McKennie. “To have 23 girls at a Class C level is really exciting.” Out of those 23 girls, nine incoming freshmen are looking to step up and help the team in their first year. McKennie is very excited to help them grow and learn in the years they play, her gratitude plentiful.

McKennie also expressed her thoughts on the 5 seniors that help make up the team. “I’m really liking the leadership I see out of them,” says McKennie. Seniors provide partial leadership when it comes to games. With the Pioneers having five, there’s an abundance of quality leadership and experience that will certainly lift the team to great heights. Among these seniors, McKennie points out two that stand out in the team. With key players like senior Lainey Gregory, a setter, and senior Amanda Cline, an outside, Pioneer’s volleyball has an edge on the hitting, passing, and leading the offense in the coming season. With a dynamic duo like that, BSHS is looking to do great things this year.

An example of what great things the team looks to accomplish is what McKennie calls “The Five C’s. “I really want them to have compassion for one another, commitment, competitiveness, communication, and, of course, confidence,” lists McKennie. These “Five C’s” give the team a good set of guidelines that allow them to perform to the best of their abilities. On top of that, McKennie wants to bring the team to a powerful, unbreakable state. “I really want them to gain a sense of unity,” she continues. “And just really come together as a team whether we win or lose.” With conference teams like Box Elder, Chinook, who went undefeated in conference games, C-J-I, Hays-Lodgepole, and North

Star on their schedule, the Pioneers will have some heated competition throughout the season. Out of their conference, teams like Belt, who went undefeated overall last season, could provide challenges to BSHS, too. Last season, Pioneers volleyball fell to Box Elder at the District 6C-East tournament. This season, the team looks to push past and make it to a championship, having the numbers and talent to back up their goals. In the end, the BSHS volleyball team has some great guidance, leadership, and standards can make them a force throughout the season. The Pioneers opened their season at Centerville on Aug. 30 at 6, then attend the Belt Invitational on Aug. 31.

The Harlem Wildcats haven’t found a ton of success on the football field in recent years but in the second season under head coach Stacy Cole, the Wildcats will be looking to change that. Cole, who has been teaching and coaching in Harlem for a number of years, started coaching at the middle school level before working his way up to the head coaching job last season. Yet, the Wildcats had a tough time staying competitive in the always challenging Northern B. Harlem finished the 2018 campaign with an 0-7 record but did show improvement as the season went on and in Cole’s second year at the helm, the Wildcats should be even better. However, one question that will need to be answered comes at quarterback. Harlem was able to play former state track champion Cody Welsh at quarterback in 2018, but he has moved on with graduation, leaving the position vacated. Whoever winds up being the quarterback, if Harlem is going to be more competitive this season, the Wildcats will need to surround their signal-caller with running backs, receivers and an offensive line that can help improve a unit that struggled to score points a year ago. In six of the seven games, Harlem was shutout or held to single digits. Only in a loss to Wolf Point, did the Wildcats reach double digits, as the team scored 28 points in a loss. Harlem finished the Northern B ranked last in scoring offense and defense. But, Cole knew it was going to be a process when he took the job and as he said last season, his long-standing relationship with the players was going to be key to building long term. “A lot of these kids I have coached since they were in junior high,” Cole said prior to last season. “So they know me and that has made it really easy. I have been trying to be really positive and all of them they have bought in. It’s been a really positive experi-

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson

The 2019 Harlem football team takes a team photo before the start of the football season. The Wildcats have strong numbers, but will be inexperienced this season, and they play in the tough, Northern B. ence.” Harlem will look to players like Brent Cole, Jeremiah Mount, Tony Chandler, Austin Welch, Sonny Gray and Josh Horn to lead what will be a team that is inexperienced this fall. Cole and the Wildcats will look to put those efforts on display this season as they ready for another challenging slate of games that includes traditional powers like Malta, Glasgow, as well as the defending Class B state champion Fairfield. The Bulldogs are fresh off a 12-0 campaign. The Northern B also features Cut Bank and Conrad, two other teams that don’t tend to be pushovers. That will make competing for a playoff spot a long shot, at least for the time being, but with another solid step forward, Harlem can certainly make a run at getting back in the win column in 2019. The Wildcat's first game is Sept. 6 vs Poplar.


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Harlem volleyball team Pioneers should be a powehouse loaded with talent this fall Chris Peterson

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson

The 2019 Harlem volleyball team poses for a team picture before the start of the new season. Harlem has over 40 players in the program, many of whom return from last year's squad. Head coach Kim Faulkinberry is excited about Harlem's potential this season.

Aarron Thompson

Havre Daily News gferguson@havredailynews.com Ready for another season of Harlem volleyball? The Wildcats are more than ready. The new season is on its way and the Wildcats are on the right path to a dominate season under coach Kim Faulkinberry, who is in good spirits about the fast-approaching season. “My coaching staff and I are looking forward to what could be our best season to date,” says Faulkinberry. “We have 40 girls out this fall.” With player depth like that, the Wildcats are sure to be tough opponents this year. It’s not just the depth that makes Harlem

look fierce, but also their seniors, who make up a major part of the team’s foundation. “We have a great group of core seniors that will lead them this year,” states Faulkinberry. Seniors like setter Taeshon Scheaffer, who lead the team in assists and digs last year, as well as earning 2nd team all-conference as a junior, and libero Nevaeh Spotted Eagle, a great floor leader and the team’s most valuable defensive player last year, look to have another successful season with the Wildcats. Other key players like middles Layla Skidmore, Aria Owens, and Shyan Krass (Turner), aim to help defend the net and score some points. Outside hitters Aspen Baker, who lead the team in kills last season, and

Sarah Billmayer (Turner), a great allaround front row player, also look to add to the team’s versatile talent. With all that depth, experience, and talent on display, the Wildcats are looking to have a great season ahead of them, but the team also has goals fitting to their talent. “Some of our goals include finishing in the top half of our district, qualifying for divisionals and winning some matches there,” lists Faulkinberry. “We want our girls to believe that they can not only compete with the teams in our conference but beat them.” Faulkinberry’s confidence in her team is understandable. Harlem looks to be a team that can make a run to a championship and look intimidating on the way there. Their core is stacked, their motivation is at a high

level, and their fierce competitive nature will be a sight to see this upcoming season. Harlem didn’t have the season they were hoping for last year, but every year brings new opportunities to the stage and the Wildcats look to be in the spotlight. The Wildcats will have to make it through teams like Box Elder, Glasgow, Malta, and Poplar this year. Every team they face will test the girls’ skill and teamwork. Harlem volleyball is ready to go another season and aims to achieve the goals they have set for themselves. Harlem opened its season at the Malta tournament on Aug. 31. The Wildcats’ first home game will be against Glasgow on Sep. 14.

The Big Sandy Pioneers have put together an impressive run over the past two seasons, making back-to-back trips to the Six-Man quarterfinals. But just like most high school football teams in Montana, the Pioneers have gone through plenty of changes from one season to the next, as some key players have graduated. Big Sandy will also have a new head coach for the second straight season, as Larry Lage will take over for Chuck Terry, who led the Pioneers to a 8-3 mark last season before Wibaux eliminated Big Sandy from the playoffs. While the Pioneers play Six-Man football, their style of play isn’t what you would typically expect. Instead of throwing the ball all over the place and playing basketball on grass, Big Sandy has taken an old-school approach to offense the past two years and it has been tremendously effective. Running back Kade Strutz has been one of the driving forces behind the dominant rushing attack, which racked up over 2,200 yards during the regular season last year and scored 36 rushing touchdowns. As an individual, Strutz was just as impressive. During the seven-game regular season, he carried the ball 124 times for 1,600 yards and 24 touchdowns. Incredibly, the junior-to-be, averaged 12.9 yards per rushing attempt last season. “Big Sandy is going to be really tough,” North Star head coach Shawn Rettig said. “They have some really tough kids and they have a lot of size. I expect them to be one of the better teams in our conference again.” The Pioneers will once again be part of the Six-Man North Division, however, things have changed a little after Box Elder dropped down to push the league to 10 teams. Instead of playing a nine-game, round-robin schedule, the conference has been split into two sub-divisions and Big Sandy will be in the A sub-division along with North Star, Tri-City, Valier and Heart Butte. The teams in the B sub-division are Geraldine-Highwood, Denton-Geyser-Standford, Power-Dutton-Brady, Box Elder and Sunburst. The benefit of adding another team to the mix is that the North will get five playoff berths in 2019, instead of the four it got previously. So the top two teams in each subdivision will get an automatic berth into the postseason, while the third-place teams from

both the A and B sub-divisions will meet to determine the fifth and final spot. Big Sandy did lose a key contributor from last season in All-State offensive lineman Everett Sipler, however, the Pioneers return both Strutz and Brock Proulx who each earned All-State honors. Parker Proulx will also be back to quarterback the Pioneers and

New head coach, but, it should be business as usual for talented Big Sandy football team

coming in as a transfer from Box Elder is the versatile Chris Burns, who should be able to contribute on both sides of the field, but will add another impact player on offense. The Pioneers opened their quest for another playoff berth and their first Six-Man North division title in quite some time back on Aug. 30.

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson

The 2019 Big Sandy football team takes a team photo for the start of the season. The Pioneers have been two the SixMan playoffs in each of the last two seasons, and will be a contender to do so again this fall.


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Blue Ponies aiming for a breakout season on the field Havre returns a veteran and talented team in 2019

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BLUE PONY FOOTBALL SCHEDULE

Sept. 6 Sept. 13 Sept. 20 Sept. 27 Oct. 11 Oct. 18 Oct. 25 Nov. 2 Nov. 9 Nov. 16 Nov. 23

vs. Glendive at Hardin vs Laurel at Miles City vs Park (Homecoming) at Billings Central vs Fergus (Senior Night) 1st Round Playoffs - TBA 2nd Round Playoffs - TBA Semi-Finals - TBA Championship - TBA

7:00 p.m 7:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m. 6:00 p.m. 6:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m.

Chris Peterson The past two seasons have gone exactly as planned for the Havre High football team but after taking some incremental steps forward last season, the Blue Ponies are looking for a big leap in 2019, big enough to get the team back into the playoffs for the first since 2015. But in order to end that drought, the Ponies will need to win at least two or maybe three more games, following a 2-7 campaign a season ago. “We feel really good.” HHS head coach Ryan Gatch said. “Our numbers are great; our energy is great and we have a lot of kids that have invested a lot of time in this program. This is a fun group of guys to be around and our team chemistry is just awesome.” Reese Bulkley, who is expected to assume the starting job again in 2019, is one of many key players returning for the Ponies this season. Having an experienced quarterback is always a bonus at the high school level and Bulkley himself said last season’s experience has helped him grow into the position after moving over from wide receiver. Bulkley’s top pass catcher may have graduated, but he will have a familiar face next to him in the backfield in senior running back Mason Dionne. The three-year starter on defense and two-year starter at running back racked up 690 yards on the ground last season and six touchdowns on his way to earning First-

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson The 2019 Havre High football team poses for a team photo at Blue Pony Stadium before the start of the season. Havre has high hopes for the upcoming season, which started in Sidney last week. Team All-Conference honors in the Central A. Dionne also contributed with two touchdown passes and a touchdown reception. Dionne will also start at middle linebacker and is one of many critical two-way stalwarts for HHS. Dionne will play running back and linebacker and he will be joined by Orion Thivierge, who will start at both linebacker and wide receiver. The sophomore, who started a few games at defensive back last season, could be the top wideout in the passing game, while his speed on defense will be criti-

cal. Dionne was the only Pony to earn First-Team honors on offense and the only guy who did it on defense was defensive end Kellen Detrick, who racked up 33 tackles, three sacks and five tackles for loss as a sophomore in 2018. He will be joined on the defensive line by senior Quinn Springer and also by Dexter Beck, two returning starters that received All-Conference honorable mention last season. Beck led the team in sacks with four, as well as five tackles for loss. Springer also had an admirable campaign

with 27 tackles, three sacks and four tackles for loss. While Havre is loaded with talent on the defensive line, HHS is equally talented on the offensive line. The starting five is highlighted by left tackle Kasee Henderson, a 6-foot-5, First-Team AllConference selection in 2019. And with Beck, Springer and Ethan Carlson each joining him on the offensive line, the Ponies should be sound in the trenches. It’s clear that Havre will have a bunch of familiar faces playing on both offense

and defense in 2019, but in terms of the schedule, a familiar foe won’t be back on the slate and that’s Belgrade, a long-time rival from the old Central A. The Panthers and Ponies have been battling it out on the gridiron for decades, but after Belgrade left for Class AA, the rivalry will end and for the first time in years, Havre will play only eight games. “We will miss playing Belgrade,” Gatch said. “That was a really intense rivalry and that was a fun game for our kids to play in. They have

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Stars looks to make noise in year two of Northern C play Chris Peterson

a great program but outside of that, the schedule is pretty much the same, except for a bye week.” The Ponies will opened the season with a long road trip to Sidney on Aug. 30. Havre will then alternate between playing at home and on the road for the rest of the season. Glendive will come to Blue Pony Stadium for the home opener Sept. 6. Laurel (Sept. 20), Livingston (Oct. 11) and Lewistown (Oct. 25) will also come to Havre this season. The other road games for Havre will be at Hardin (Sept. 13), Miles City (Sept. 27) and Billings Central (Oct. 18). As a whole, the Eastern A will have just nine teams this season as Belgrade left and both Lockwood and East Helena, the newest members, aren’t ready for varsity football yet. But, the league will still get six playoff berths, meaning six of the nine teams will earn their way into the postseason, providing the Ponies with a great opportunity if they can navigate the always difficult Eastern A. “I am really happy we get to go to Sidney that first week of the season,” Gatch said. “The entire conference is going to be challenging but we are excited to go down there the first week of the season and play much better than we did a year ago. We didn’t play well down there and we want to show that’s not the type of program we are. And being 1-0, that is our goal right now. That is what our focus is.”

For years, Rick Sunchild has been building the Rocky Boy football program and a big part of that dream is making sure the Northern Stars compete and win at the varsity level. And while it hasn’t always been easy, the Stars have achieved that over the past two seasons in 8-Man football. Rocky Boy won two games a couple of years ago, knocking off Hays-Lodge Pole twice and even though the Stars were winless in 2018, the team, which lacked numbers, like many others in Montana did last season, were only forced to forfeit one game. That ensured that the Stars would be playing a varsity schedule again in 2019 as long as they have the numbers to do so. Rocky Boy will be part of the Northern C for a third consecutive season, but again, there will be changes. Box Elder dropped down to Six-Man football, where the Bears previously played. That dropped the overall number of teams in the Northern C to 12. The league will still be split into two six-team divisions. The Stars will be part of the Northern C’s A subdivision, a conference that also features teams like Belt, Great Falls Central, Cascade, Chester-Joplin-Inverness and Choteau. For Rocky Boy, that means

a much different schedule than the team played last season, especially when it comes to conference play. The Stars didn’t play Belt, CJI, Choteau or Great Falls Central last season and those teams will all be part of Rocky Boy’s conference schedule now. The Northern C is still going to get five teams in the playoffs in 2019, however, that

will be the last season for a couple of years, as the fifth playoff berth will also rotate between other conferences in 8-Man football. The playoff seeding will be similar to last season, as the winner of each sub-division will be guaranteed a spot in the playoffs. The second and third-place teams will take part in playin games to reach the play-

offs and if those teams lose that first weekend, they will get a chance to compete in another play-in game for the fifth and final spot. The first of the five key games this year for Rocky Boy will come Sept. 6 at Choteau. The Stars will get Belt (Sept. 13) and CJI (Sept. 20) at home, before road trips Oct. 5 and 11 to Great Falls

Central and Cascade to close out conference play. The final game of the year will be determined by finish in the final standings. The Stars will also play a pair of non-conference games against Hays-Lodge Pole, with one in Rocky Boy and another game in Hays. Rocky Boy opened the season Aug. 30 against the Thunderbirds.

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson The 2019 Rocky Boy football team poses for a photo before the start of the new season. The Stars are entering their second season of playing in the 8-man Nor thern C Conference. Rocky Boy is still a Class B school in other sports.


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HHS cross country teams excited to race this fall

September 2019

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BLUE PONY CROSS-COUNTRY SCHEDULE Sept. 6 Sept. 7 Sept. 10 Sept. 14 Sept. 20 Sept. 28 Oct. 5 Oct. 10 Oct. 12 Oct. 18 Oct. 26

at Cut Bank 4:20 p.m. at Malta at Lewistown 10:00 a.m. at Kalispell 11:00 a.m. at Great Falls 3:00 p.m. at Mountain West - Missoula at Havre 10:00 a.m. at Helena 7 on 7 at Browning Invite 1:00 p.m. Eastern A Fall Classic in Billings 1:00 p.m. State at Great Falls

Chris Peterson

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson The 2019 Rocky Boy Morning Stars poses for a team volleyball photo earlier this summer in Rocky Boy. With a wealth of talent back, Rocky Boy might just be fielding one of its best volleyball teams ever this fall.

George Ferguson Havre Daily News sports editor gferguson@havredailynews.com The Rocky Boy Morning Stars play in one of the toughest districts in all of Class B volleyball. So, it stands to reason that, over the years, success on the volleyball court has been hard to come by. But, in 2019, Rocky Boy is hoping, and thinking, that all can change. That’s because the Morning Stars are loaded with

veteran players, plenty of height and athleticism, and, the numbers in the program are there too. So, despite having to battle such tough teams as Conrad, Choteau, Cut Bank, Fairfield and Shelby on a regular basis, the Morning Stars could be poised for one of their best season’s on the court in a long, long time. Rocky Boy will be led this season by a strong group of returners, led by standouts Sasha Coffee, Jaynah Gopher and Jeralyn

Parker. That trio gives the Morning Stars not only. talent, but experience in their rotation. However, Rocky Boy also has a lot of depth with nearly 20 players in the program. The list of players who should see the floor this season for the Morning Stars include, Kirsten LaMere, Katanna Parker, Ashlyn Sunchild, Jarla Small, Tanilla Standing Rock, Jourdai Coffee, Ashlynn Denny, Tyra Parker Daychild, Ella Moore, J’Leanna Raining Bird, Kazmira St. Pierre and Shawna Big Knife.

And with the numbers, depth and plenty of veteran experience and leadership, Rocky Boy could perhaps be poised for a breakout season the court. Of course, the District 1B is always difficult, and getting to the Northern B would be a huge step forward for the Morning Stars, but, no matter what happens over the course of the next three months, Rocky Boy will not be an easy win for any district rival it plays, and no one should be surprised of the Morning Stars put together a very memorable season.

Sometimes things don’t quite go as planned and that’s a sentiment that the Havre High cross country teams can certainly relate to right now. The reason is that because even though the Blue Ponies expected last season to be the final one with Josh Holt as the head coach, following a string of unforeseen circumstances, Holt has agreed to return to coach both HHS cross country teams once again. “I will be back for at least one more year,” Holt said over the phone recently. “I got a job at BNSF and that wasn’t going to allow me to coach. But then I was put on furlough and that opened up some things up. The position opened up and Mr. Murphy asked if I was interested and it became official with the school board.” While a replacement for Holt was in place, his former assistant ended up being unable to coach this school year and that left the Ponies looking for a new head coach and thankfully, circumstances allowed Holt to return for a fifth season. “I am looking forward to it,” Holt said. “We don’t have the numbers that we have had in the past and I do feel a little behind schedule because normally, we are training and preparing for about 10 months. This year, I didn’t do that because I didn’t expect to be coaching again. A lot of the kids worked really hard during the offseason and as much as I might feel like we have some catching up to do, in the grand scheme of things, I think we are right where we should be at this point.” What will make things even more difficult for Holt is the fact that the Havre High girls will be without Kadia Miller, who elected not to participate this season after being an AllState performer in 2017 and 2018. Miller’s absence will leave a big void at the No. 1 spot in the lineup as she finished seventh at the Class A state meet a season ago. However, junior Tamera O’Leary will be back for the Ponies and she is fresh off a 28th-place finish last season. She will join Emma Gillen and Hannah Haslem as other top runners for

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson The 2019 Havre High boys and girls cross country teams pose for a team photo before the start of the fall season. Havre is once again under the direction of veteran head coach Josh Holt. the varsity team. “As far as the girls, it’s going to be a bit of a building year,” Holt said. “We only have about six girls out right now and that’s going to be our varsity team. We may have some others come out when school gets closer and that’s fine, we can work with that. But hopefully, we can build with these young kids.” As far as the Havre boys are concerned, numbers aren’t a concern as the number of participants is well into double figures. The Ponies will be without Jakob Keller, who was a varsity runner for four years and also Noah Azure, however, behind Dylan Young and

Cameron Pleninger, there is plenty of potential. “Dylan is looking really good,” Holt said. “He has put in a lot of time in and he has really been strong. He is looking to be a little more consistent this season.” Young also had a strong finish at state last season, finishing 32nd with a time of 17:51. Cameron Pleninger and Sidney Moffitt, who finished 58th and 72nd at state will also be back for the Ponies. Kendall Pleninger, who also competed at state, will be competing for a varsity spot again this season along with Riley Pleninger and Ethan Durward.

As they have done for years, the Ponies will finalize their varsity teams at the Cut Bank time trails which will be held Sept. 6. Other notable competitions for Havre this season include the Mountain West Classic in Missoula on Sept. 28 and also the Helena 7-on-7 preview meet Oct. 10. The Eastern A Fall Classic will be held in Billings Oct. 18 and the All-Class state meet will take place in Great Falls on Oct. 26. After hosting the Fall Classic in 2018, Havre will be back to just one home cross country meet in 2019 and that will is the Havre Invitational set for Oct. 5.


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As usual, North Star spikers will be strong Hawks aiming to fly high this fall

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson The 2019 North Star volleyball team poses for a photo before the start of the new season. North Star has been one of the top teams in the District 6C for years now, and there's no reason why that should change this fall.

Aarron Thompson Havre Daily News sports gferguson@havredailynews.com North Star Knights' volleyball is back and ready to cut down their competition. North Star's season is underway and the Knights look to do even better than their season before under head coach Mackenzie Jenkins. With the team winning most of their games last season, Jenkins is excited for another season of volleyball. “I’m really excited to see where their athletic abilities take them,” states Jenkins. “And their leadership as well.” The Knights carry a set of very talented hitters on the team. Jenkins also feels the

team is way ahead where they were last year and right now has the momentum to go even further. Their skill can carry the team succeed again and again. North Star boasts a great set of girls ready for another season, too. After only playing six girls last season, Jenkins is happy to have four returning to the court. Key returning players like seniors Olivia King and Saige Scheresky-O’Neil, as well as juniors Shayla Borlaug and Kenidee Wolery, who all started varsity the previous season, give the Knights a good stack of experience that can drive them to have another good season. “I think they know what they can do this year compared to last year,” says Jenkins. With a good base for the team, Jenkins is

ready to set a new standard for this year’s team. Even if the team has some fresh faces coming into the mix, the goals for the season are bigger than previous years. “This year we have pretty high expectations compared to last year,” says Jenkins. “In 2017 season we graduated, basically, our whole starting varsity team, so last year expectations weren’t as high as they are this year.” This year, though, North Star is putting forward a team ready to dominate the court. “They’re really striving to get back to the top of the district,” Jenkins continued. “Also, both winning the conference and the district tournaments, as well as finishing in the top three, hopefully, at divisionals.”

Last year, North Star brought everything they could to the court and a new year means another chance to claim the crown as champions. This season, the Knights will have to make it past teams like Chinook and Box Elder, who showed to be tough opponents last year in their conference. The trip to the top will surely test the team’s abilities and skill, but all that is just another reason for the girls to keep fighting through the season. With higher expectations and a competitive conference, North Star will look to give it their best and reach the results they’re working hard to achieve. The Knights opened against the Sunburst Refiners at home on Sept. 3.

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson The 2019 Chester-Joplin-Inverness football team poses for a team picture earlier this summer in Chester. The Hawks, under the guidance of longtime head coach Jim Vinson, have a strong group of returners, and should be a threat in the Northern C this fall.

Chris Peterson During the long and successful tenure of Jim Vinson as the head football coach of the Chester-Joplin-Inverness Hawks, never had the team missed the playoffs two years in a row. But despite winning five games in each of the last two seasons, the Hawks have fallen one game short in each of the past two years of making the postseason, something the team is hoping to rectify in 2019. “Our numbers are low,” Vinson said. “We only have 42 kids in our high school. But that’s just the way it is. We have some bigger classes coming up, so we can see the light at the end of the tunnel, it’s just how things have been going these past five or six years.”

CJI may not have a huge number of players on their roster, as Vinson said the team was starting out with 15 players, but many of the returners boast a wealth of experience. It starts with quarterback Spencer Richter, who will return as the Hawks signal caller for the third straight season. “Having Spencer back for another season is going to be huge,” Vinson said. “He is going into his third season starting and that’s a big advantage going into the season. We also have two of our three guys back up front and we should be really solid on the interior.” Vinson has always run a wide-open offensive system and that won’t change this season with Richter running the show. Not only is the senior a dual-threat, he has he will have Lane Fisher behind him, who closed the sea-

son with a string of 100-yard games and will be the starting tailback, with Andrew Woods set to join him in the backfield at fullback. At tight end, Caden Woods will prove to be a key target for Richter and will start at tight end after playing offensive line last season. Woods will be vitally important in the passing game along with sophomore Kyle Harmon, a sophomore wide receiver who is the younger brother of former All-State tight end Troy Harmon. “Caden is a better fit at tight end,” Vinson said. “He is a really good athlete, we just needed him on the inside last season. So he will be a key guy for us at tight end and Kyle (Harmon) will be our top threat on the outside.” The Hawks will be looking to snag one of the five playoff berths available in the

Northern C, which shrunk from 13 teams last season, down to 12. Box Elder returned to Six-Man football, which caused some restructuring among the sub-divisions. CJI is in the A sub-division of the Northern C and joining the Hawks will be Belt, Cascade, Choteau, Great Falls Central and Rocky Boy. “Just like always, the North is going to be very competitive and very tough,” Vinson said. “Getting one of those five playoff spots is going to be difficult. I think you can make a case for 9-10 teams having a good shot at making it and there are no easy games in this conference. The biggest key is just trying to stay healthy. The teams in the North just beat each other up and the ones that make the playoffs, are going to be the ones that are able to avoid some of those injuries.” CJI opened the season Aug. 30.


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CJI spikers fighting for the top of the 6C

Aarron Thompson Havre Daily News sports gferguson@havredailynews.com The Chester-Joplin-Inverness Hawks volleyball team had some struggles last year, but they’re aiming to soar high this upcoming season. With their first games under their belts, the Hawks are wanting to shake things up throughout the season under new head coach Jordan Miller, who is excited to be leading the team. “They’re such a great group of girls,” says Miller. “I’m really happy to be part of the program.” And with a good group of players, it’s no surprise Miller is happy to be there. The team has the sparks it’s looking for to succeed and is ready to improve compared to the year before. Miller sees her group of girls as the ones to get things done when it comes to playing to the best of their abilities. Miller also credits the girls for helping her along as a first-year coach. The Hawks have a good set of returners, including senior Sam May, who is stepping up as a leader for the team and encouraging the other girls. May shows up to every practice, every morning and gives the team the boost of motivation it needs for the upcoming season. Other returners for the team hope to better the team as well, utilizing the varsity experience they carry with them. With all the knowledge and motivation radiating within the team, the goals they wish to achieve only drive it further. “Just to really put forward our best effort every game and come together as a team,” Miller said when asked about the team’s goals. “We’re all starting to get to know each other and learn each other for the first time.” With goals centered around effort and unity, C/J-I has many key pieces to conquer their season. Even so, they will have to be ready to push through their competition,

which is looking to be just as tough as it has been in recent years. Last season, CJI lost out in a 6C-East matchup against Box Elder, but this year they are ready to prove themselves as fierce competitors. This season, the Hawks will face tough conference opponents like Chinook and

North Star, who won most of their games throughout the season. Other opponents like Box Elder and Dutton-Brady will be an obstacle in CJI’s path to the top. Overall, CJI is ready to finish the puzzle on their way through the season. Multiple returners and the effort put forth by the team can lead them to do well in the upcom-

ing games. The Hawks are ready to spread their wings and fly to victory, all the while watching each other’s backs along the way. In the end, CJI aims to make a statement this season: they won’t go down easily. CJI opened the season at Dutton-Brady on Aug. 29 at 6. Their first home game is against Box Elder on Sep. 14 at 6.

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Fort Benton football poised for big things Chris Peterson The Fort Benton Longhorns went into the 2018 season hoping to get back into the playoffs for the first time in years. Unfortunately, an 0-4 start assured that the Longhorns would once again be left out of the postseason. But, even though Fort Benton failed to make the 8-Man playoffs, by the end of the season, the Longhorns were playing as well as anyone in the Northern C, winning four straight games to close the 2018 campaign. More impressively, all four wins came by 30 points or more, which helped create some positive momentum heading into 2019. “We have a lot of guys that have played a lot over the past two seasons,” Fort Benton head coach Jory Thompson said. “All that varsity experience should pay off for us.” When it comes down to it, nothing is more valuable to a football team than having a veteran at quarterback, especially at the high school level and the Longhorns will be blessed

with one of the most talented quarterbacks in the Northern C in Garrett Diekhans, a 6-foot-5, All-State athlete that will be a senior in 2019. While he will certainly be the driving force behind the offense, Diekhans will also be joined by some other talented athletes in the backfield such as Hayden Axtman, Billy Ul-

lery and also his brother, Hayden Diekhans, a junior who will play wide receiver. Fort Benton will have to replace the contributions of running back Connor Schnabel, but at the skill positions, the Longhorns are loaded with experience. “Having Garrett at quarterback will be huge,” Thompson said. “He’s a tremendous athlete and we have other guys surrounding him that have also played a lot. So we feel really good about where we are. We don’t have a ton of depth with just 14-15 kids, but we like the talent and experience of our team.” Depth is a luxury that most 8-Man teams don’t have much of and Fort Benton will be right there with those teams with fewer numbers than in previous seasons. “Staying healthy is going to be key,” Thompson said. “But you could say the same thing for everyone else in 8-Man.” Fort Benton will be back in the Northern C B sub-division this season, but after Box

Elder dropped down to Six-Man football, the league has shifted a bit. The Longhorns will be grouped with Centerville, Chinook, HaysLodge Pole, Shelby and Simms. The top team in the sub-division is guaranteed a playoff berth, while the second and third-place finishers are given chances to play their way into the playoffs. Fort Benton was defeated in a play-in game two years ago and last season missed out by a single game. Had the Longhorns beaten Chinook, they would have gotten the chance instead of the Sugarbeeters. “We just need to keep building on what we have done these last two years,” Thompson said. “But the Northern C is always going to be tough. There are no easy wins and our nonconference schedule is very challenging too. But that’s going to be fun and going through that will only make us better.” Fort Benton opened the season Aug. 30 against Ennis.

sion. If the T-Birds are able to build on their success, not only may more wins follow, but a playoff run may not be out of the question. In order to reach the postseason, they will need to finish among the top three teams in their subdivision to earn a chance at a play-in game. The top team from each sub-division is guaranteed a berth in the 8-Man playoffs, while the second and third-place teams will face off for two of the other three spots. The fifth and final spot will be determined by another play-in game the final weekend of the regular season. “The Northern C is going to be as tough,” Werk said. “It’s always very competitive but I think we have a chance to go out and compete with just about anybody. That’s our mindset.” HLP opened the season against Rocky Boy.

Keeping pace in the District has never been easy for the Hays-Lodge Pole volleyball team. After all, the 6C is one of the strongest districts in Class C, year-after-year. And yet, each fall, the Thunderbirds take to the court to battle the likes of Chinook, North Star, Chester-Joplin-Inverness, Box Elder and Big Sandy, and one thing about the T-Birds is, they never give in. And while HLP will once again be a big underdog in the 6C this season, the T-Birds do return a core group of talented and tall players. Mulleah Stiffarm and Kassi Perez both stand nearly 6-0, giving the T-Birds a strong presence at the net. Add to that the likes of 6-0 Sierra Chandler and others, and HLP could end up being a strong team than many anticipate this coming season.

Thunderbirds ready to excel in fall sports George Ferguson Havre Daily News sports editor gferguson@havredailynews.com For the past few years, the Hays-Lodge Pole football program has been a work in progress and last season, under the direction of Josh Werk, the Thunderbirds made obvious progress, winning two games. Putting together a 2-5 record may not sound like a huge success with a lot of programs, but when you consider that the T-Birds didn’t win a game in 2017, the fact that Werk and company were able to score two victories, including an impressive 46-36 win over Cascade, on the road, it was huge. “It was a big step forward for us,” Werk said. “We have been really trying to build this program and make it more of a priority. It has always been more of a basketball school and we are trying to change the culture a little bit.” The on-field success in 2018 will certainly help with that but Werk said there is more work to do as the T-Birds lost a number of key starters from last season’s team. “We are going to be rebuilding a bit,” Werk said. “We have some good experience on the offensive line, but when it comes to our skill positions, we are going to be mostly starting

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson The 2019 Chester-Joplin-Inverness volleyball team poses for a photo earlier this summer in Chester. After a season in which the Hawks were young a year ago, they return a strong squad that should be ready to compete with the best teams in the District 6C this fall.

freshmen and sophomores.” One of those skill guys will be starting quarterback Tyshawn Shambo, who earned some varsity experience last season and will be put to the test as the T-Birds starting quarterback. Joining him in the backfield is another young player will previous varsity experience and that’s fellow sophomore DeShon Shambo. Esteban Granados is another name to watch as both a runner and wide receiver. “We are still trying to figure some things out with everyone on our roster,” Werk said. “We have had a lot of kids that have put in work in the summer and in the weight room, so we have had a good offseason and we have a lot of speed that we want to try and take advantage of.” One difference between this season and last season for the T-Birds is that they will be joining a new sub-division within the Northern C. The conference has gone from 13 teams down to 12 with the departure of Box Elder back to Six-Man football. And as part of a restructure, the T-Birds have moved from the A subdivision to the B, which includes teams such as Centerville, Chinook, Fort Benton, Shelby and Simms. On top of their five conference games, HLP also has a home-and-away scheduled with Rocky Boy, a team from the other sub-divi-


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BLUE PONY VOLLEYBALL SCHEDULE Sept. 5 Sept. 7 Sept. 10 Sept. 13 Sept. 14 Sept. 19 Sept. 21 Sept. 26 Sept. 28 Oct. 4 Oct. 5 Oct. 10 Oct. 12 Oct. 19 Oct. 26 Nov. 11 Nov. 7-9 Nov. 14-16

at Great Falls vs. Browning vs. CMR at Electric City Classic in Great Falls at Electric City Classic in Great Falls vs. Conrad vs. Sidney at Browning at Lewistown at Glendive at Miles City at Conrad vs Glendive vs. Miles City at Sidney vs. Lewistown Divisionals at Havre State at Bozeman

4:00 p.m. 1:00 p.m. 4:00 p.m. 10:00 a.m. 8:00 a.m. 4:00 p.m. 1:00 p.m. 4:00 p.m. 2:00 p.m. 4:00 p.m. 10:00 a.m. 4:00 p.m. 1:00 p.m. 1:00 p.m. 1:00 p.m. 4:00 p.m.

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Havre High netters ready to reach high this season

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September 2019 11

With better numbers, North Star hopes to get back to winning

Blue Pony volleyball team has talent and experience to compete in the Eastern A Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson The 2019 Havre High varsity volleyball team poses for a team photo outside of the HHS gymnasium earlier this summer. The Blue Ponies have an outstanding team this fall under veteran head coach Tamecia Jarvis, and, with the Eastern A Divisional being held in Havre in November, the Ponies are ready to make a serious run at reaching the Class A state tournament. Havre started its season last week on the road at a tournament in Laurel.

Chris Peterson The Havre High volleyball team has shown steady improvement over the past couple of seasons, but in 2019, with some key players returning, the Blue Ponies have an opportunity to make an extended postseason run. HHS put together a solid run last season, going 12-8 in the regular season. The team looked poised for a run to state last season but fell short at the Eastern A Divisional. Now, even though the state tournament maybe a few months away, it seems like an attainable goal for a team on the rise. “I think it’s going to be a good season,” HHS head coach Tamecia Jarvis said. “The girls are looking pretty good. I feel really good about some of the players that we have coming back. Individually, we have a lot of really talented girls. We just need to find a way to work together and play really well together. That’s going to be the key.” Blending talent and finding ways for it to fit together is a common charge for a head coach, however, Jarvis will have an advantage this season over a lot of other teams as she will have three All-Conference performers coming back, including All-State hitter Cassidy Acor. Acor was highly productive last season for the Ponies and put together a conference-best hitting percentage of .337, as well as 226 kills, which ranked third in the Central A. Yet, she isn’t the only big-time hitter on the roster, as Jessa Chvilicek, who earned Second-Team All-Conference honors after 148 kills and a hitting percentage of .200 last season, is back for her senior season as well. Along with two talented seniors in the front row, controlling the net, as Acor and Chvilicek are two of the best block defenders in Class A, the Ponies will also have the services of Sam Oliver, who also was named Second-Team AllConference in 2018. It was the second time Oliver earned All-Conference honors and she did it by finishing third in the conference in aces and assists, as well as sixth in digs. Jarvis also mentioned that Peyton Brown would be another key contributor and she was an essential defender for the team last season and was among the team leader in digs. She also has a strong serve and is another senior with plenty of experience. “I think Peyton Brown is another one that is going to step up and have a really good year for us,” Jarvis said. “But after that, it’s hard

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson The 2019 North Star Knights pose for a team photo before the start of the new Six-Man season. The Knights struggled with numbers a season ago, but, they have 14 players this season, so, the focus should return to winning games in the Northern Division.

Chris Peterson

to say for sure. We have to see who steps up and how everyone fits together.” While the Ponies bring back some of their top players from last season, there are some big changes with the team in 2019 that mostly have to do with the schedule. For starters, Havre will no longer play Belgrade, a team that dominated the Central A and Class A as a whole in volleyball. Yet, the Panthers are now in Class AA and HHS is part of the Northeast A, which includes Sidney, Miles City, Glendive and Lewistown. “It will be nice to face some more Class A competition,” Jarvis said. “We didn’t get to play a ton of Class A teams in the past, so that will be nice. We will miss having that chance

to play Belgrade, but we want to go out and compete as hard as possible every game, no matter who we play.” In terms of the divisional tournament, Havre will still take part in the Eastern A Divisional, which it will host and will compete with a total of nine teams for four spots at the state tournament. Yet, seeding for that tournament is determined in the regular season and that’s where the home-and-away series with Lewistown, Glendive, Sidney and Miles City will come into play. If the Ponies can find a way to finish in one of the top spots in the regular-season standings, it would give them an easier path to state.

Additionally, Havre will meet another former Central A rival, Browning in a pair of non-conference games this season, while also taking part in the Eastern A Tip-off tournament Aug. 30-31. The Ponies will also play at Great Falls High as part of the nonconference schedule, as well as competing in the Electric City Classic. CMR also joins the non-conference schedule and will make a trip to the HHS gymnasium Sept. 10. Conrad from Class B will round out the schedule. The Cowgirls will play a traditional home-and-away with the Ponies. The Eastern A Divisional is scheduled for Nov. 7-9, while the All-Class state tournament will be in Bozeman Nov. 14-16.

The North Star Knights had a tough time navigating their way through the 2018 football season, as low numbers made playing a full schedule difficult. But even under difficult circumstances, the Knights kept battling and they played enough varsity games to maintain a full varsity schedule in 2019 and with 14 players out for the team this year, head coach Shawn Rettig said things were getting back on the right track. “Last year was a tough year,” Rettig said. “But we have 14 guys and so we actually have a little bit of depth. We can rotate six guys in and out and we weren’t able to do that last year. We are still a young team. We have some upperclassmen, but only two guys that really have much varsity experience.”

One of those is Caden Rettig, who sort of does it all for the Knights. At times, he will play quarterback, but he will also get opportunities to run the ball too. Shawn Rettig said the quarterback job would be split between Bailey Spicher and Caden Rettig, as the Knights try to utilize their weapons is the most efficient way possible. “We will have those two guys rotate a little it back there,” Shawn Rettig said. “That’s kind of the plan anyway. We are going to be fast and we want to try and use that, we just don’t have a lot of size.” While North Star is still going to be part of the Six-Man North, the conference, which added Box Elder, a team that will return to Six-Man football after playing 8-man, now has 10 teams and has been split into two subdivisions. Joining the Knights in the Six-Man North

A sub-division will be Big Sandy, Heart Butte, Tri-Cities and Valier. The other sub-division will feature Box Elder, Geraldine/Highwood, Sunburst, Power-Dutton-Brady and DentonGeyser-Stanford. The 10 teams in the Six-Man North will compete for five playoff spots. The top two teams in each sub-division will earn automatic entry into the postseason but the third-place team from each side will also get the chance to take part in a play-in game for the fifth and final playoff spot. “It’s kind of a funky schedule because we only play four conference games,” Rettig said. “So that will be different. It’s going to be very competitive and our division is going to be very tough. Big Sandy is going to be a very good team. Valier and Tri-City also have a lot of seniors. We have some older guys, but they haven’t played much, so we are a younger, old team.”

Some other players that will be counted on to play key roles for the Knights this season are Brody Wendland, Ethan Fdierspiel, as well as Payne Ditmer, who is returning from injury after being out last season. Success on the field and competing for the playoffs is the goal for North Star, but getting past the numbers issues that the team had to deal with in 2018, is also a positive step forward, no matter what happens this season. “It’s nice to be back in the second year with our coaches,” Rettig said. “Last year, being short on numbers and having new coaches made it exceptionally difficult. But our numbers are pretty good and we are going to get some JV games and give our younger kids a chance to build more experience.” North Star opened the season Aug. 31.


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BLUE PONY VOLLEYBALL SCHEDULE Sept. 5 Sept. 7 Sept. 10 Sept. 13 Sept. 14 Sept. 19 Sept. 21 Sept. 26 Sept. 28 Oct. 4 Oct. 5 Oct. 10 Oct. 12 Oct. 19 Oct. 26 Nov. 11 Nov. 7-9 Nov. 14-16

at Great Falls vs. Browning vs. CMR at Electric City Classic in Great Falls at Electric City Classic in Great Falls vs. Conrad vs. Sidney at Browning at Lewistown at Glendive at Miles City at Conrad vs Glendive vs. Miles City at Sidney vs. Lewistown Divisionals at Havre State at Bozeman

4:00 p.m. 1:00 p.m. 4:00 p.m. 10:00 a.m. 8:00 a.m. 4:00 p.m. 1:00 p.m. 4:00 p.m. 2:00 p.m. 4:00 p.m. 10:00 a.m. 4:00 p.m. 1:00 p.m. 1:00 p.m. 1:00 p.m. 4:00 p.m.

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Havre High netters ready to reach high this season

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September 2019 11

With better numbers, North Star hopes to get back to winning

Blue Pony volleyball team has talent and experience to compete in the Eastern A Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson The 2019 Havre High varsity volleyball team poses for a team photo outside of the HHS gymnasium earlier this summer. The Blue Ponies have an outstanding team this fall under veteran head coach Tamecia Jarvis, and, with the Eastern A Divisional being held in Havre in November, the Ponies are ready to make a serious run at reaching the Class A state tournament. Havre started its season last week on the road at a tournament in Laurel.

Chris Peterson The Havre High volleyball team has shown steady improvement over the past couple of seasons, but in 2019, with some key players returning, the Blue Ponies have an opportunity to make an extended postseason run. HHS put together a solid run last season, going 12-8 in the regular season. The team looked poised for a run to state last season but fell short at the Eastern A Divisional. Now, even though the state tournament maybe a few months away, it seems like an attainable goal for a team on the rise. “I think it’s going to be a good season,” HHS head coach Tamecia Jarvis said. “The girls are looking pretty good. I feel really good about some of the players that we have coming back. Individually, we have a lot of really talented girls. We just need to find a way to work together and play really well together. That’s going to be the key.” Blending talent and finding ways for it to fit together is a common charge for a head coach, however, Jarvis will have an advantage this season over a lot of other teams as she will have three All-Conference performers coming back, including All-State hitter Cassidy Acor. Acor was highly productive last season for the Ponies and put together a conference-best hitting percentage of .337, as well as 226 kills, which ranked third in the Central A. Yet, she isn’t the only big-time hitter on the roster, as Jessa Chvilicek, who earned Second-Team All-Conference honors after 148 kills and a hitting percentage of .200 last season, is back for her senior season as well. Along with two talented seniors in the front row, controlling the net, as Acor and Chvilicek are two of the best block defenders in Class A, the Ponies will also have the services of Sam Oliver, who also was named Second-Team AllConference in 2018. It was the second time Oliver earned All-Conference honors and she did it by finishing third in the conference in aces and assists, as well as sixth in digs. Jarvis also mentioned that Peyton Brown would be another key contributor and she was an essential defender for the team last season and was among the team leader in digs. She also has a strong serve and is another senior with plenty of experience. “I think Peyton Brown is another one that is going to step up and have a really good year for us,” Jarvis said. “But after that, it’s hard

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson The 2019 North Star Knights pose for a team photo before the start of the new Six-Man season. The Knights struggled with numbers a season ago, but, they have 14 players this season, so, the focus should return to winning games in the Northern Division.

Chris Peterson

to say for sure. We have to see who steps up and how everyone fits together.” While the Ponies bring back some of their top players from last season, there are some big changes with the team in 2019 that mostly have to do with the schedule. For starters, Havre will no longer play Belgrade, a team that dominated the Central A and Class A as a whole in volleyball. Yet, the Panthers are now in Class AA and HHS is part of the Northeast A, which includes Sidney, Miles City, Glendive and Lewistown. “It will be nice to face some more Class A competition,” Jarvis said. “We didn’t get to play a ton of Class A teams in the past, so that will be nice. We will miss having that chance

to play Belgrade, but we want to go out and compete as hard as possible every game, no matter who we play.” In terms of the divisional tournament, Havre will still take part in the Eastern A Divisional, which it will host and will compete with a total of nine teams for four spots at the state tournament. Yet, seeding for that tournament is determined in the regular season and that’s where the home-and-away series with Lewistown, Glendive, Sidney and Miles City will come into play. If the Ponies can find a way to finish in one of the top spots in the regular-season standings, it would give them an easier path to state.

Additionally, Havre will meet another former Central A rival, Browning in a pair of non-conference games this season, while also taking part in the Eastern A Tip-off tournament Aug. 30-31. The Ponies will also play at Great Falls High as part of the nonconference schedule, as well as competing in the Electric City Classic. CMR also joins the non-conference schedule and will make a trip to the HHS gymnasium Sept. 10. Conrad from Class B will round out the schedule. The Cowgirls will play a traditional home-and-away with the Ponies. The Eastern A Divisional is scheduled for Nov. 7-9, while the All-Class state tournament will be in Bozeman Nov. 14-16.

The North Star Knights had a tough time navigating their way through the 2018 football season, as low numbers made playing a full schedule difficult. But even under difficult circumstances, the Knights kept battling and they played enough varsity games to maintain a full varsity schedule in 2019 and with 14 players out for the team this year, head coach Shawn Rettig said things were getting back on the right track. “Last year was a tough year,” Rettig said. “But we have 14 guys and so we actually have a little bit of depth. We can rotate six guys in and out and we weren’t able to do that last year. We are still a young team. We have some upperclassmen, but only two guys that really have much varsity experience.”

One of those is Caden Rettig, who sort of does it all for the Knights. At times, he will play quarterback, but he will also get opportunities to run the ball too. Shawn Rettig said the quarterback job would be split between Bailey Spicher and Caden Rettig, as the Knights try to utilize their weapons is the most efficient way possible. “We will have those two guys rotate a little it back there,” Shawn Rettig said. “That’s kind of the plan anyway. We are going to be fast and we want to try and use that, we just don’t have a lot of size.” While North Star is still going to be part of the Six-Man North, the conference, which added Box Elder, a team that will return to Six-Man football after playing 8-man, now has 10 teams and has been split into two subdivisions. Joining the Knights in the Six-Man North

A sub-division will be Big Sandy, Heart Butte, Tri-Cities and Valier. The other sub-division will feature Box Elder, Geraldine/Highwood, Sunburst, Power-Dutton-Brady and DentonGeyser-Stanford. The 10 teams in the Six-Man North will compete for five playoff spots. The top two teams in each sub-division will earn automatic entry into the postseason but the third-place team from each side will also get the chance to take part in a play-in game for the fifth and final playoff spot. “It’s kind of a funky schedule because we only play four conference games,” Rettig said. “So that will be different. It’s going to be very competitive and our division is going to be very tough. Big Sandy is going to be a very good team. Valier and Tri-City also have a lot of seniors. We have some older guys, but they haven’t played much, so we are a younger, old team.”

Some other players that will be counted on to play key roles for the Knights this season are Brody Wendland, Ethan Fdierspiel, as well as Payne Ditmer, who is returning from injury after being out last season. Success on the field and competing for the playoffs is the goal for North Star, but getting past the numbers issues that the team had to deal with in 2018, is also a positive step forward, no matter what happens this season. “It’s nice to be back in the second year with our coaches,” Rettig said. “Last year, being short on numbers and having new coaches made it exceptionally difficult. But our numbers are pretty good and we are going to get some JV games and give our younger kids a chance to build more experience.” North Star opened the season Aug. 31.


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CJI spikers fighting for the top of the 6C

Aarron Thompson Havre Daily News sports gferguson@havredailynews.com The Chester-Joplin-Inverness Hawks volleyball team had some struggles last year, but they’re aiming to soar high this upcoming season. With their first games under their belts, the Hawks are wanting to shake things up throughout the season under new head coach Jordan Miller, who is excited to be leading the team. “They’re such a great group of girls,” says Miller. “I’m really happy to be part of the program.” And with a good group of players, it’s no surprise Miller is happy to be there. The team has the sparks it’s looking for to succeed and is ready to improve compared to the year before. Miller sees her group of girls as the ones to get things done when it comes to playing to the best of their abilities. Miller also credits the girls for helping her along as a first-year coach. The Hawks have a good set of returners, including senior Sam May, who is stepping up as a leader for the team and encouraging the other girls. May shows up to every practice, every morning and gives the team the boost of motivation it needs for the upcoming season. Other returners for the team hope to better the team as well, utilizing the varsity experience they carry with them. With all the knowledge and motivation radiating within the team, the goals they wish to achieve only drive it further. “Just to really put forward our best effort every game and come together as a team,” Miller said when asked about the team’s goals. “We’re all starting to get to know each other and learn each other for the first time.” With goals centered around effort and unity, C/J-I has many key pieces to conquer their season. Even so, they will have to be ready to push through their competition,

which is looking to be just as tough as it has been in recent years. Last season, CJI lost out in a 6C-East matchup against Box Elder, but this year they are ready to prove themselves as fierce competitors. This season, the Hawks will face tough conference opponents like Chinook and

North Star, who won most of their games throughout the season. Other opponents like Box Elder and Dutton-Brady will be an obstacle in CJI’s path to the top. Overall, CJI is ready to finish the puzzle on their way through the season. Multiple returners and the effort put forth by the team can lead them to do well in the upcom-

ing games. The Hawks are ready to spread their wings and fly to victory, all the while watching each other’s backs along the way. In the end, CJI aims to make a statement this season: they won’t go down easily. CJI opened the season at Dutton-Brady on Aug. 29 at 6. Their first home game is against Box Elder on Sep. 14 at 6.

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Fort Benton football poised for big things Chris Peterson The Fort Benton Longhorns went into the 2018 season hoping to get back into the playoffs for the first time in years. Unfortunately, an 0-4 start assured that the Longhorns would once again be left out of the postseason. But, even though Fort Benton failed to make the 8-Man playoffs, by the end of the season, the Longhorns were playing as well as anyone in the Northern C, winning four straight games to close the 2018 campaign. More impressively, all four wins came by 30 points or more, which helped create some positive momentum heading into 2019. “We have a lot of guys that have played a lot over the past two seasons,” Fort Benton head coach Jory Thompson said. “All that varsity experience should pay off for us.” When it comes down to it, nothing is more valuable to a football team than having a veteran at quarterback, especially at the high school level and the Longhorns will be blessed

with one of the most talented quarterbacks in the Northern C in Garrett Diekhans, a 6-foot-5, All-State athlete that will be a senior in 2019. While he will certainly be the driving force behind the offense, Diekhans will also be joined by some other talented athletes in the backfield such as Hayden Axtman, Billy Ul-

lery and also his brother, Hayden Diekhans, a junior who will play wide receiver. Fort Benton will have to replace the contributions of running back Connor Schnabel, but at the skill positions, the Longhorns are loaded with experience. “Having Garrett at quarterback will be huge,” Thompson said. “He’s a tremendous athlete and we have other guys surrounding him that have also played a lot. So we feel really good about where we are. We don’t have a ton of depth with just 14-15 kids, but we like the talent and experience of our team.” Depth is a luxury that most 8-Man teams don’t have much of and Fort Benton will be right there with those teams with fewer numbers than in previous seasons. “Staying healthy is going to be key,” Thompson said. “But you could say the same thing for everyone else in 8-Man.” Fort Benton will be back in the Northern C B sub-division this season, but after Box

Elder dropped down to Six-Man football, the league has shifted a bit. The Longhorns will be grouped with Centerville, Chinook, HaysLodge Pole, Shelby and Simms. The top team in the sub-division is guaranteed a playoff berth, while the second and third-place finishers are given chances to play their way into the playoffs. Fort Benton was defeated in a play-in game two years ago and last season missed out by a single game. Had the Longhorns beaten Chinook, they would have gotten the chance instead of the Sugarbeeters. “We just need to keep building on what we have done these last two years,” Thompson said. “But the Northern C is always going to be tough. There are no easy wins and our nonconference schedule is very challenging too. But that’s going to be fun and going through that will only make us better.” Fort Benton opened the season Aug. 30 against Ennis.

sion. If the T-Birds are able to build on their success, not only may more wins follow, but a playoff run may not be out of the question. In order to reach the postseason, they will need to finish among the top three teams in their subdivision to earn a chance at a play-in game. The top team from each sub-division is guaranteed a berth in the 8-Man playoffs, while the second and third-place teams will face off for two of the other three spots. The fifth and final spot will be determined by another play-in game the final weekend of the regular season. “The Northern C is going to be as tough,” Werk said. “It’s always very competitive but I think we have a chance to go out and compete with just about anybody. That’s our mindset.” HLP opened the season against Rocky Boy.

Keeping pace in the District has never been easy for the Hays-Lodge Pole volleyball team. After all, the 6C is one of the strongest districts in Class C, year-after-year. And yet, each fall, the Thunderbirds take to the court to battle the likes of Chinook, North Star, Chester-Joplin-Inverness, Box Elder and Big Sandy, and one thing about the T-Birds is, they never give in. And while HLP will once again be a big underdog in the 6C this season, the T-Birds do return a core group of talented and tall players. Mulleah Stiffarm and Kassi Perez both stand nearly 6-0, giving the T-Birds a strong presence at the net. Add to that the likes of 6-0 Sierra Chandler and others, and HLP could end up being a strong team than many anticipate this coming season.

Thunderbirds ready to excel in fall sports George Ferguson Havre Daily News sports editor gferguson@havredailynews.com For the past few years, the Hays-Lodge Pole football program has been a work in progress and last season, under the direction of Josh Werk, the Thunderbirds made obvious progress, winning two games. Putting together a 2-5 record may not sound like a huge success with a lot of programs, but when you consider that the T-Birds didn’t win a game in 2017, the fact that Werk and company were able to score two victories, including an impressive 46-36 win over Cascade, on the road, it was huge. “It was a big step forward for us,” Werk said. “We have been really trying to build this program and make it more of a priority. It has always been more of a basketball school and we are trying to change the culture a little bit.” The on-field success in 2018 will certainly help with that but Werk said there is more work to do as the T-Birds lost a number of key starters from last season’s team. “We are going to be rebuilding a bit,” Werk said. “We have some good experience on the offensive line, but when it comes to our skill positions, we are going to be mostly starting

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson The 2019 Chester-Joplin-Inverness volleyball team poses for a photo earlier this summer in Chester. After a season in which the Hawks were young a year ago, they return a strong squad that should be ready to compete with the best teams in the District 6C this fall.

freshmen and sophomores.” One of those skill guys will be starting quarterback Tyshawn Shambo, who earned some varsity experience last season and will be put to the test as the T-Birds starting quarterback. Joining him in the backfield is another young player will previous varsity experience and that’s fellow sophomore DeShon Shambo. Esteban Granados is another name to watch as both a runner and wide receiver. “We are still trying to figure some things out with everyone on our roster,” Werk said. “We have had a lot of kids that have put in work in the summer and in the weight room, so we have had a good offseason and we have a lot of speed that we want to try and take advantage of.” One difference between this season and last season for the T-Birds is that they will be joining a new sub-division within the Northern C. The conference has gone from 13 teams down to 12 with the departure of Box Elder back to Six-Man football. And as part of a restructure, the T-Birds have moved from the A subdivision to the B, which includes teams such as Centerville, Chinook, Fort Benton, Shelby and Simms. On top of their five conference games, HLP also has a home-and-away scheduled with Rocky Boy, a team from the other sub-divi-


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As usual, North Star spikers will be strong Hawks aiming to fly high this fall

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson The 2019 North Star volleyball team poses for a photo before the start of the new season. North Star has been one of the top teams in the District 6C for years now, and there's no reason why that should change this fall.

Aarron Thompson Havre Daily News sports gferguson@havredailynews.com North Star Knights' volleyball is back and ready to cut down their competition. North Star's season is underway and the Knights look to do even better than their season before under head coach Mackenzie Jenkins. With the team winning most of their games last season, Jenkins is excited for another season of volleyball. “I’m really excited to see where their athletic abilities take them,” states Jenkins. “And their leadership as well.” The Knights carry a set of very talented hitters on the team. Jenkins also feels the

team is way ahead where they were last year and right now has the momentum to go even further. Their skill can carry the team succeed again and again. North Star boasts a great set of girls ready for another season, too. After only playing six girls last season, Jenkins is happy to have four returning to the court. Key returning players like seniors Olivia King and Saige Scheresky-O’Neil, as well as juniors Shayla Borlaug and Kenidee Wolery, who all started varsity the previous season, give the Knights a good stack of experience that can drive them to have another good season. “I think they know what they can do this year compared to last year,” says Jenkins. With a good base for the team, Jenkins is

ready to set a new standard for this year’s team. Even if the team has some fresh faces coming into the mix, the goals for the season are bigger than previous years. “This year we have pretty high expectations compared to last year,” says Jenkins. “In 2017 season we graduated, basically, our whole starting varsity team, so last year expectations weren’t as high as they are this year.” This year, though, North Star is putting forward a team ready to dominate the court. “They’re really striving to get back to the top of the district,” Jenkins continued. “Also, both winning the conference and the district tournaments, as well as finishing in the top three, hopefully, at divisionals.”

Last year, North Star brought everything they could to the court and a new year means another chance to claim the crown as champions. This season, the Knights will have to make it past teams like Chinook and Box Elder, who showed to be tough opponents last year in their conference. The trip to the top will surely test the team’s abilities and skill, but all that is just another reason for the girls to keep fighting through the season. With higher expectations and a competitive conference, North Star will look to give it their best and reach the results they’re working hard to achieve. The Knights opened against the Sunburst Refiners at home on Sept. 3.

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson The 2019 Chester-Joplin-Inverness football team poses for a team picture earlier this summer in Chester. The Hawks, under the guidance of longtime head coach Jim Vinson, have a strong group of returners, and should be a threat in the Northern C this fall.

Chris Peterson During the long and successful tenure of Jim Vinson as the head football coach of the Chester-Joplin-Inverness Hawks, never had the team missed the playoffs two years in a row. But despite winning five games in each of the last two seasons, the Hawks have fallen one game short in each of the past two years of making the postseason, something the team is hoping to rectify in 2019. “Our numbers are low,” Vinson said. “We only have 42 kids in our high school. But that’s just the way it is. We have some bigger classes coming up, so we can see the light at the end of the tunnel, it’s just how things have been going these past five or six years.”

CJI may not have a huge number of players on their roster, as Vinson said the team was starting out with 15 players, but many of the returners boast a wealth of experience. It starts with quarterback Spencer Richter, who will return as the Hawks signal caller for the third straight season. “Having Spencer back for another season is going to be huge,” Vinson said. “He is going into his third season starting and that’s a big advantage going into the season. We also have two of our three guys back up front and we should be really solid on the interior.” Vinson has always run a wide-open offensive system and that won’t change this season with Richter running the show. Not only is the senior a dual-threat, he has he will have Lane Fisher behind him, who closed the sea-

son with a string of 100-yard games and will be the starting tailback, with Andrew Woods set to join him in the backfield at fullback. At tight end, Caden Woods will prove to be a key target for Richter and will start at tight end after playing offensive line last season. Woods will be vitally important in the passing game along with sophomore Kyle Harmon, a sophomore wide receiver who is the younger brother of former All-State tight end Troy Harmon. “Caden is a better fit at tight end,” Vinson said. “He is a really good athlete, we just needed him on the inside last season. So he will be a key guy for us at tight end and Kyle (Harmon) will be our top threat on the outside.” The Hawks will be looking to snag one of the five playoff berths available in the

Northern C, which shrunk from 13 teams last season, down to 12. Box Elder returned to Six-Man football, which caused some restructuring among the sub-divisions. CJI is in the A sub-division of the Northern C and joining the Hawks will be Belt, Cascade, Choteau, Great Falls Central and Rocky Boy. “Just like always, the North is going to be very competitive and very tough,” Vinson said. “Getting one of those five playoff spots is going to be difficult. I think you can make a case for 9-10 teams having a good shot at making it and there are no easy games in this conference. The biggest key is just trying to stay healthy. The teams in the North just beat each other up and the ones that make the playoffs, are going to be the ones that are able to avoid some of those injuries.” CJI opened the season Aug. 30.


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Rocky Boy has the volleyball team to have a breakout season

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HHS cross country teams excited to race this fall

September 2019

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BLUE PONY CROSS-COUNTRY SCHEDULE Sept. 6 Sept. 7 Sept. 10 Sept. 14 Sept. 20 Sept. 28 Oct. 5 Oct. 10 Oct. 12 Oct. 18 Oct. 26

at Cut Bank 4:20 p.m. at Malta at Lewistown 10:00 a.m. at Kalispell 11:00 a.m. at Great Falls 3:00 p.m. at Mountain West - Missoula at Havre 10:00 a.m. at Helena 7 on 7 at Browning Invite 1:00 p.m. Eastern A Fall Classic in Billings 1:00 p.m. State at Great Falls

Chris Peterson

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson The 2019 Rocky Boy Morning Stars poses for a team volleyball photo earlier this summer in Rocky Boy. With a wealth of talent back, Rocky Boy might just be fielding one of its best volleyball teams ever this fall.

George Ferguson Havre Daily News sports editor gferguson@havredailynews.com The Rocky Boy Morning Stars play in one of the toughest districts in all of Class B volleyball. So, it stands to reason that, over the years, success on the volleyball court has been hard to come by. But, in 2019, Rocky Boy is hoping, and thinking, that all can change. That’s because the Morning Stars are loaded with

veteran players, plenty of height and athleticism, and, the numbers in the program are there too. So, despite having to battle such tough teams as Conrad, Choteau, Cut Bank, Fairfield and Shelby on a regular basis, the Morning Stars could be poised for one of their best season’s on the court in a long, long time. Rocky Boy will be led this season by a strong group of returners, led by standouts Sasha Coffee, Jaynah Gopher and Jeralyn

Parker. That trio gives the Morning Stars not only. talent, but experience in their rotation. However, Rocky Boy also has a lot of depth with nearly 20 players in the program. The list of players who should see the floor this season for the Morning Stars include, Kirsten LaMere, Katanna Parker, Ashlyn Sunchild, Jarla Small, Tanilla Standing Rock, Jourdai Coffee, Ashlynn Denny, Tyra Parker Daychild, Ella Moore, J’Leanna Raining Bird, Kazmira St. Pierre and Shawna Big Knife.

And with the numbers, depth and plenty of veteran experience and leadership, Rocky Boy could perhaps be poised for a breakout season the court. Of course, the District 1B is always difficult, and getting to the Northern B would be a huge step forward for the Morning Stars, but, no matter what happens over the course of the next three months, Rocky Boy will not be an easy win for any district rival it plays, and no one should be surprised of the Morning Stars put together a very memorable season.

Sometimes things don’t quite go as planned and that’s a sentiment that the Havre High cross country teams can certainly relate to right now. The reason is that because even though the Blue Ponies expected last season to be the final one with Josh Holt as the head coach, following a string of unforeseen circumstances, Holt has agreed to return to coach both HHS cross country teams once again. “I will be back for at least one more year,” Holt said over the phone recently. “I got a job at BNSF and that wasn’t going to allow me to coach. But then I was put on furlough and that opened up some things up. The position opened up and Mr. Murphy asked if I was interested and it became official with the school board.” While a replacement for Holt was in place, his former assistant ended up being unable to coach this school year and that left the Ponies looking for a new head coach and thankfully, circumstances allowed Holt to return for a fifth season. “I am looking forward to it,” Holt said. “We don’t have the numbers that we have had in the past and I do feel a little behind schedule because normally, we are training and preparing for about 10 months. This year, I didn’t do that because I didn’t expect to be coaching again. A lot of the kids worked really hard during the offseason and as much as I might feel like we have some catching up to do, in the grand scheme of things, I think we are right where we should be at this point.” What will make things even more difficult for Holt is the fact that the Havre High girls will be without Kadia Miller, who elected not to participate this season after being an AllState performer in 2017 and 2018. Miller’s absence will leave a big void at the No. 1 spot in the lineup as she finished seventh at the Class A state meet a season ago. However, junior Tamera O’Leary will be back for the Ponies and she is fresh off a 28th-place finish last season. She will join Emma Gillen and Hannah Haslem as other top runners for

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson The 2019 Havre High boys and girls cross country teams pose for a team photo before the start of the fall season. Havre is once again under the direction of veteran head coach Josh Holt. the varsity team. “As far as the girls, it’s going to be a bit of a building year,” Holt said. “We only have about six girls out right now and that’s going to be our varsity team. We may have some others come out when school gets closer and that’s fine, we can work with that. But hopefully, we can build with these young kids.” As far as the Havre boys are concerned, numbers aren’t a concern as the number of participants is well into double figures. The Ponies will be without Jakob Keller, who was a varsity runner for four years and also Noah Azure, however, behind Dylan Young and

Cameron Pleninger, there is plenty of potential. “Dylan is looking really good,” Holt said. “He has put in a lot of time in and he has really been strong. He is looking to be a little more consistent this season.” Young also had a strong finish at state last season, finishing 32nd with a time of 17:51. Cameron Pleninger and Sidney Moffitt, who finished 58th and 72nd at state will also be back for the Ponies. Kendall Pleninger, who also competed at state, will be competing for a varsity spot again this season along with Riley Pleninger and Ethan Durward.

As they have done for years, the Ponies will finalize their varsity teams at the Cut Bank time trails which will be held Sept. 6. Other notable competitions for Havre this season include the Mountain West Classic in Missoula on Sept. 28 and also the Helena 7-on-7 preview meet Oct. 10. The Eastern A Fall Classic will be held in Billings Oct. 18 and the All-Class state meet will take place in Great Falls on Oct. 26. After hosting the Fall Classic in 2018, Havre will be back to just one home cross country meet in 2019 and that will is the Havre Invitational set for Oct. 5.


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Blue Ponies aiming for a breakout season on the field Havre returns a veteran and talented team in 2019

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BLUE PONY FOOTBALL SCHEDULE

Sept. 6 Sept. 13 Sept. 20 Sept. 27 Oct. 11 Oct. 18 Oct. 25 Nov. 2 Nov. 9 Nov. 16 Nov. 23

vs. Glendive at Hardin vs Laurel at Miles City vs Park (Homecoming) at Billings Central vs Fergus (Senior Night) 1st Round Playoffs - TBA 2nd Round Playoffs - TBA Semi-Finals - TBA Championship - TBA

7:00 p.m 7:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m. 6:00 p.m. 6:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m.

Chris Peterson The past two seasons have gone exactly as planned for the Havre High football team but after taking some incremental steps forward last season, the Blue Ponies are looking for a big leap in 2019, big enough to get the team back into the playoffs for the first since 2015. But in order to end that drought, the Ponies will need to win at least two or maybe three more games, following a 2-7 campaign a season ago. “We feel really good.” HHS head coach Ryan Gatch said. “Our numbers are great; our energy is great and we have a lot of kids that have invested a lot of time in this program. This is a fun group of guys to be around and our team chemistry is just awesome.” Reese Bulkley, who is expected to assume the starting job again in 2019, is one of many key players returning for the Ponies this season. Having an experienced quarterback is always a bonus at the high school level and Bulkley himself said last season’s experience has helped him grow into the position after moving over from wide receiver. Bulkley’s top pass catcher may have graduated, but he will have a familiar face next to him in the backfield in senior running back Mason Dionne. The three-year starter on defense and two-year starter at running back racked up 690 yards on the ground last season and six touchdowns on his way to earning First-

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson The 2019 Havre High football team poses for a team photo at Blue Pony Stadium before the start of the season. Havre has high hopes for the upcoming season, which started in Sidney last week. Team All-Conference honors in the Central A. Dionne also contributed with two touchdown passes and a touchdown reception. Dionne will also start at middle linebacker and is one of many critical two-way stalwarts for HHS. Dionne will play running back and linebacker and he will be joined by Orion Thivierge, who will start at both linebacker and wide receiver. The sophomore, who started a few games at defensive back last season, could be the top wideout in the passing game, while his speed on defense will be criti-

cal. Dionne was the only Pony to earn First-Team honors on offense and the only guy who did it on defense was defensive end Kellen Detrick, who racked up 33 tackles, three sacks and five tackles for loss as a sophomore in 2018. He will be joined on the defensive line by senior Quinn Springer and also by Dexter Beck, two returning starters that received All-Conference honorable mention last season. Beck led the team in sacks with four, as well as five tackles for loss. Springer also had an admirable campaign

with 27 tackles, three sacks and four tackles for loss. While Havre is loaded with talent on the defensive line, HHS is equally talented on the offensive line. The starting five is highlighted by left tackle Kasee Henderson, a 6-foot-5, First-Team AllConference selection in 2019. And with Beck, Springer and Ethan Carlson each joining him on the offensive line, the Ponies should be sound in the trenches. It’s clear that Havre will have a bunch of familiar faces playing on both offense

and defense in 2019, but in terms of the schedule, a familiar foe won’t be back on the slate and that’s Belgrade, a long-time rival from the old Central A. The Panthers and Ponies have been battling it out on the gridiron for decades, but after Belgrade left for Class AA, the rivalry will end and for the first time in years, Havre will play only eight games. “We will miss playing Belgrade,” Gatch said. “That was a really intense rivalry and that was a fun game for our kids to play in. They have

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Stars looks to make noise in year two of Northern C play Chris Peterson

a great program but outside of that, the schedule is pretty much the same, except for a bye week.” The Ponies will opened the season with a long road trip to Sidney on Aug. 30. Havre will then alternate between playing at home and on the road for the rest of the season. Glendive will come to Blue Pony Stadium for the home opener Sept. 6. Laurel (Sept. 20), Livingston (Oct. 11) and Lewistown (Oct. 25) will also come to Havre this season. The other road games for Havre will be at Hardin (Sept. 13), Miles City (Sept. 27) and Billings Central (Oct. 18). As a whole, the Eastern A will have just nine teams this season as Belgrade left and both Lockwood and East Helena, the newest members, aren’t ready for varsity football yet. But, the league will still get six playoff berths, meaning six of the nine teams will earn their way into the postseason, providing the Ponies with a great opportunity if they can navigate the always difficult Eastern A. “I am really happy we get to go to Sidney that first week of the season,” Gatch said. “The entire conference is going to be challenging but we are excited to go down there the first week of the season and play much better than we did a year ago. We didn’t play well down there and we want to show that’s not the type of program we are. And being 1-0, that is our goal right now. That is what our focus is.”

For years, Rick Sunchild has been building the Rocky Boy football program and a big part of that dream is making sure the Northern Stars compete and win at the varsity level. And while it hasn’t always been easy, the Stars have achieved that over the past two seasons in 8-Man football. Rocky Boy won two games a couple of years ago, knocking off Hays-Lodge Pole twice and even though the Stars were winless in 2018, the team, which lacked numbers, like many others in Montana did last season, were only forced to forfeit one game. That ensured that the Stars would be playing a varsity schedule again in 2019 as long as they have the numbers to do so. Rocky Boy will be part of the Northern C for a third consecutive season, but again, there will be changes. Box Elder dropped down to Six-Man football, where the Bears previously played. That dropped the overall number of teams in the Northern C to 12. The league will still be split into two six-team divisions. The Stars will be part of the Northern C’s A subdivision, a conference that also features teams like Belt, Great Falls Central, Cascade, Chester-Joplin-Inverness and Choteau. For Rocky Boy, that means

a much different schedule than the team played last season, especially when it comes to conference play. The Stars didn’t play Belt, CJI, Choteau or Great Falls Central last season and those teams will all be part of Rocky Boy’s conference schedule now. The Northern C is still going to get five teams in the playoffs in 2019, however, that

will be the last season for a couple of years, as the fifth playoff berth will also rotate between other conferences in 8-Man football. The playoff seeding will be similar to last season, as the winner of each sub-division will be guaranteed a spot in the playoffs. The second and third-place teams will take part in playin games to reach the play-

offs and if those teams lose that first weekend, they will get a chance to compete in another play-in game for the fifth and final spot. The first of the five key games this year for Rocky Boy will come Sept. 6 at Choteau. The Stars will get Belt (Sept. 13) and CJI (Sept. 20) at home, before road trips Oct. 5 and 11 to Great Falls

Central and Cascade to close out conference play. The final game of the year will be determined by finish in the final standings. The Stars will also play a pair of non-conference games against Hays-Lodge Pole, with one in Rocky Boy and another game in Hays. Rocky Boy opened the season Aug. 30 against the Thunderbirds.

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson The 2019 Rocky Boy football team poses for a photo before the start of the new season. The Stars are entering their second season of playing in the 8-man Nor thern C Conference. Rocky Boy is still a Class B school in other sports.


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Harlem volleyball team Pioneers should be a powehouse loaded with talent this fall Chris Peterson

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson

The 2019 Harlem volleyball team poses for a team picture before the start of the new season. Harlem has over 40 players in the program, many of whom return from last year's squad. Head coach Kim Faulkinberry is excited about Harlem's potential this season.

Aarron Thompson

Havre Daily News gferguson@havredailynews.com Ready for another season of Harlem volleyball? The Wildcats are more than ready. The new season is on its way and the Wildcats are on the right path to a dominate season under coach Kim Faulkinberry, who is in good spirits about the fast-approaching season. “My coaching staff and I are looking forward to what could be our best season to date,” says Faulkinberry. “We have 40 girls out this fall.” With player depth like that, the Wildcats are sure to be tough opponents this year. It’s not just the depth that makes Harlem

look fierce, but also their seniors, who make up a major part of the team’s foundation. “We have a great group of core seniors that will lead them this year,” states Faulkinberry. Seniors like setter Taeshon Scheaffer, who lead the team in assists and digs last year, as well as earning 2nd team all-conference as a junior, and libero Nevaeh Spotted Eagle, a great floor leader and the team’s most valuable defensive player last year, look to have another successful season with the Wildcats. Other key players like middles Layla Skidmore, Aria Owens, and Shyan Krass (Turner), aim to help defend the net and score some points. Outside hitters Aspen Baker, who lead the team in kills last season, and

Sarah Billmayer (Turner), a great allaround front row player, also look to add to the team’s versatile talent. With all that depth, experience, and talent on display, the Wildcats are looking to have a great season ahead of them, but the team also has goals fitting to their talent. “Some of our goals include finishing in the top half of our district, qualifying for divisionals and winning some matches there,” lists Faulkinberry. “We want our girls to believe that they can not only compete with the teams in our conference but beat them.” Faulkinberry’s confidence in her team is understandable. Harlem looks to be a team that can make a run to a championship and look intimidating on the way there. Their core is stacked, their motivation is at a high

level, and their fierce competitive nature will be a sight to see this upcoming season. Harlem didn’t have the season they were hoping for last year, but every year brings new opportunities to the stage and the Wildcats look to be in the spotlight. The Wildcats will have to make it through teams like Box Elder, Glasgow, Malta, and Poplar this year. Every team they face will test the girls’ skill and teamwork. Harlem volleyball is ready to go another season and aims to achieve the goals they have set for themselves. Harlem opened its season at the Malta tournament on Aug. 31. The Wildcats’ first home game will be against Glasgow on Sep. 14.

The Big Sandy Pioneers have put together an impressive run over the past two seasons, making back-to-back trips to the Six-Man quarterfinals. But just like most high school football teams in Montana, the Pioneers have gone through plenty of changes from one season to the next, as some key players have graduated. Big Sandy will also have a new head coach for the second straight season, as Larry Lage will take over for Chuck Terry, who led the Pioneers to a 8-3 mark last season before Wibaux eliminated Big Sandy from the playoffs. While the Pioneers play Six-Man football, their style of play isn’t what you would typically expect. Instead of throwing the ball all over the place and playing basketball on grass, Big Sandy has taken an old-school approach to offense the past two years and it has been tremendously effective. Running back Kade Strutz has been one of the driving forces behind the dominant rushing attack, which racked up over 2,200 yards during the regular season last year and scored 36 rushing touchdowns. As an individual, Strutz was just as impressive. During the seven-game regular season, he carried the ball 124 times for 1,600 yards and 24 touchdowns. Incredibly, the junior-to-be, averaged 12.9 yards per rushing attempt last season. “Big Sandy is going to be really tough,” North Star head coach Shawn Rettig said. “They have some really tough kids and they have a lot of size. I expect them to be one of the better teams in our conference again.” The Pioneers will once again be part of the Six-Man North Division, however, things have changed a little after Box Elder dropped down to push the league to 10 teams. Instead of playing a nine-game, round-robin schedule, the conference has been split into two sub-divisions and Big Sandy will be in the A sub-division along with North Star, Tri-City, Valier and Heart Butte. The teams in the B sub-division are Geraldine-Highwood, Denton-Geyser-Standford, Power-Dutton-Brady, Box Elder and Sunburst. The benefit of adding another team to the mix is that the North will get five playoff berths in 2019, instead of the four it got previously. So the top two teams in each subdivision will get an automatic berth into the postseason, while the third-place teams from

both the A and B sub-divisions will meet to determine the fifth and final spot. Big Sandy did lose a key contributor from last season in All-State offensive lineman Everett Sipler, however, the Pioneers return both Strutz and Brock Proulx who each earned All-State honors. Parker Proulx will also be back to quarterback the Pioneers and

New head coach, but, it should be business as usual for talented Big Sandy football team

coming in as a transfer from Box Elder is the versatile Chris Burns, who should be able to contribute on both sides of the field, but will add another impact player on offense. The Pioneers opened their quest for another playoff berth and their first Six-Man North division title in quite some time back on Aug. 30.

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson

The 2019 Big Sandy football team takes a team photo for the start of the season. The Pioneers have been two the SixMan playoffs in each of the last two seasons, and will be a contender to do so again this fall.


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Strong Big Sandy volleyball team hopes to rise

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Wildcats looking to put together more success on the football field George Ferguson Havre Daily News sports editor gferguson@havredailynews.com

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson

The 2019 Big Sandy high school volleyball team poses for a team photo before the start of the 2019 season. Big Sandy made strides in the District 6C East a year ago, and the Pioneers are hoping to build off that momentum this fall.

Aarron Thompson

Havre Daily News gferguson@havredailynews.com The Big Sandy Pioneers' volleyball team is getting ready to hit the court and spike their way to the top. With 23 players on the team, head coach Brittney McKennie has a lot to look forward to. “I’m really excited about our numbers,” states McKennie. “To have 23 girls at a Class C level is really exciting.” Out of those 23 girls, nine incoming freshmen are looking to step up and help the team in their first year. McKennie is very excited to help them grow and learn in the years they play, her gratitude plentiful.

McKennie also expressed her thoughts on the 5 seniors that help make up the team. “I’m really liking the leadership I see out of them,” says McKennie. Seniors provide partial leadership when it comes to games. With the Pioneers having five, there’s an abundance of quality leadership and experience that will certainly lift the team to great heights. Among these seniors, McKennie points out two that stand out in the team. With key players like senior Lainey Gregory, a setter, and senior Amanda Cline, an outside, Pioneer’s volleyball has an edge on the hitting, passing, and leading the offense in the coming season. With a dynamic duo like that, BSHS is looking to do great things this year.

An example of what great things the team looks to accomplish is what McKennie calls “The Five C’s. “I really want them to have compassion for one another, commitment, competitiveness, communication, and, of course, confidence,” lists McKennie. These “Five C’s” give the team a good set of guidelines that allow them to perform to the best of their abilities. On top of that, McKennie wants to bring the team to a powerful, unbreakable state. “I really want them to gain a sense of unity,” she continues. “And just really come together as a team whether we win or lose.” With conference teams like Box Elder, Chinook, who went undefeated in conference games, C-J-I, Hays-Lodgepole, and North

Star on their schedule, the Pioneers will have some heated competition throughout the season. Out of their conference, teams like Belt, who went undefeated overall last season, could provide challenges to BSHS, too. Last season, Pioneers volleyball fell to Box Elder at the District 6C-East tournament. This season, the team looks to push past and make it to a championship, having the numbers and talent to back up their goals. In the end, the BSHS volleyball team has some great guidance, leadership, and standards can make them a force throughout the season. The Pioneers opened their season at Centerville on Aug. 30 at 6, then attend the Belt Invitational on Aug. 31.

The Harlem Wildcats haven’t found a ton of success on the football field in recent years but in the second season under head coach Stacy Cole, the Wildcats will be looking to change that. Cole, who has been teaching and coaching in Harlem for a number of years, started coaching at the middle school level before working his way up to the head coaching job last season. Yet, the Wildcats had a tough time staying competitive in the always challenging Northern B. Harlem finished the 2018 campaign with an 0-7 record but did show improvement as the season went on and in Cole’s second year at the helm, the Wildcats should be even better. However, one question that will need to be answered comes at quarterback. Harlem was able to play former state track champion Cody Welsh at quarterback in 2018, but he has moved on with graduation, leaving the position vacated. Whoever winds up being the quarterback, if Harlem is going to be more competitive this season, the Wildcats will need to surround their signal-caller with running backs, receivers and an offensive line that can help improve a unit that struggled to score points a year ago. In six of the seven games, Harlem was shutout or held to single digits. Only in a loss to Wolf Point, did the Wildcats reach double digits, as the team scored 28 points in a loss. Harlem finished the Northern B ranked last in scoring offense and defense. But, Cole knew it was going to be a process when he took the job and as he said last season, his long-standing relationship with the players was going to be key to building long term. “A lot of these kids I have coached since they were in junior high,” Cole said prior to last season. “So they know me and that has made it really easy. I have been trying to be really positive and all of them they have bought in. It’s been a really positive experi-

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson

The 2019 Harlem football team takes a team photo before the start of the football season. The Wildcats have strong numbers, but will be inexperienced this season, and they play in the tough, Northern B. ence.” Harlem will look to players like Brent Cole, Jeremiah Mount, Tony Chandler, Austin Welch, Sonny Gray and Josh Horn to lead what will be a team that is inexperienced this fall. Cole and the Wildcats will look to put those efforts on display this season as they ready for another challenging slate of games that includes traditional powers like Malta, Glasgow, as well as the defending Class B state champion Fairfield. The Bulldogs are fresh off a 12-0 campaign. The Northern B also features Cut Bank and Conrad, two other teams that don’t tend to be pushovers. That will make competing for a playoff spot a long shot, at least for the time being, but with another solid step forward, Harlem can certainly make a run at getting back in the win column in 2019. The Wildcat's first game is Sept. 6 vs Poplar.


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Box Elder ready to continue climbing the volleyball ranks

George Ferguson Havre Daily News sports editor gferguson@havredailynews.com The Box Elder Bears haven’t been known as a District 6C volleyball power very often. But in 2018, they were exactly that. With a talented roster, the Bears posted a winning season in 6C play and had a strong showing in the postseason as well. However, graduation and such hit the Bears hard this past offseason, as the tal-

ented Lilly Gopher, as well as Joelnell and Kyla Momberg have all moved on. And yet, under a new head coach, the Bears have a chance to continue making noise in the 6C this fall. Setter Sarah Parisian returns for Box Elder, while Zayna Henderson provides athletic talent on both sides of the net. The Bears will look to build a strong rotation around those two experienced players, with depth like Tayleigh Sunchild, Jennifer and Melissa Seymour, Kiana Heavy Runner, Daleyn Hen-

derson, Shuree Arkinson and Aysia LaMere. Of course, talent is one thing, but competition is another, and Box Elder will get plenty of that in the 6C. With Chinook and North Star both looking strong again this season, as well as a talented squad at Chester-Joplin-Inverness, Box Elder will certainly have its hands full in district play. And yet, the Bears proved last year, and will continue to prove this season that, the rest of the 6C will have their hands full with them as well.

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson The 2019 Box Elder high school volleyball team poses for a photo before the start of a new season. Box Elder is coming off a lot of District 6C success last season, but, graduation hit the Bears hard. Still, Box Elder returns a wealth of experience and talent, and while teams like Chinook, North Star and Chester-Joplin-Inverness will be the favorites this season in the 6C, the Bears will not be overlooked, especially after how strong they were in 2018.

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Chinook working to build on last season's football succeess Chris Peterson When Mike Jones arrived as the head coach of the Chinook Sugarbeeters, he knew he had some work to do to restore the program to the level it was at just a few years prior. Back in 2014 and 2015, the Beeters went to the 8-Man state championship game twice and won the crown at Hoon Field back in 2015. But after missing the postseason the next two seasons, Jones and the Beeters returned last year, on their way to a 5-5 overall record. Chinook defeated Chester-Joplin-Inverness 12-8 in a game to get into the postseason and was then defeated handily by Fairview. But even with a young team that has just four seniors, Jones said taking that first step was huge. “It was huge for these kids just to get that experience,” Jones said. “Last year’s seniors had a goal of wanting to get back to the playoffs and trying to get this program back where it should be and they were able to accomplish that. Now, with these younger guys, we need to keep building that, so reaching the playoffs isn’t a celebration, it’s an expectation.” While Chinook will return some key players, such as running back Sam Dumas, who will be a two-way starter for the Beeters, there were also some key losses, including quarterback Trajan Hannum. Ben Elliot is going to be the new starter according to Jones and the 5-foot-7 junior will have sophomore Toby Niederegger as one of his top targets at wide receiver. Seniors JT Hauer, Kurtis Hamilton and Josh Gillett will all play key roles along with others such as Hunter Molyneaux, Reese Elliot and Favion Courturier. “We only have four seniors but we have a lot of kids back that got experience in the program last season,” Jones said. “Just comparing this year to last year, we are much farther ahead than we were in terms of our basic fundamentals and being able to move past all that pretty quickly is huge. We also had a bunch of young kids that got some really good experience on JV last season and that should help them be able to contribute.” Chinook is once again part of the always difficult Northern C. With Box Elder dropping down to Six-Man, the league once again has 12 teams and will be separated into two subdivisions. Chinook is in the B sub-division and will compete with Centerville, Fort Benton, Shelby, Simms and Hays-Lodge Pole for one of the top three spots in the division. Teams that finish in the top three are guaranteed a chance

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson The 2019 Chinook football team poses for a photo before the start of a brand new season. After making the 8-man playoffs last year, the Sugarbeeters, of head coach Mike Jones, are hungry for more success. to play their way into the playoffs. The first-place team in each division gets an automatic berth, while the second and thirdplace teams face teams from the other subdivision for a berth in the playoffs. Just like last season, the Northern C will get five teams in, so there will be an extra game to determine the final playoff team, just like when the Beeters beat CJI in 2018. “The Northern C is always going to be tough,” Jones said. “Shelby is going to be really good with Tanner Parsons back. But I think we are right there with everybody else. I really do. I think we can compete with anyone.” Outside of the five divisional opponents, Chinook will also play Park City to open the season, as well as Cascade, which resides in the A sub-division of the Northern C. Chinook opened the season Aug. 31.


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Beeters ready to spike their way back to the top

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson The 2019 Chinook volleyball team poses for a photo inside the Chinook gymnasium before the start of the 2019 season. Chinook has a younger squad this season under veteran head coach Paula Molyneaux, but, the Beeters will certainly have the ability to once again compete for a District 6C championship.

Aarron Thompson

Havre Daily News gferguson@havredailynews.com Chinook volleyball is back and ready for another season on the court. Under head coach Paula Molyneaux, the Beeters are on the grind, finishing their

preparations as the season draws closer. “They look pretty good,” says Molyneaux. “We’re a little young, but their working hard. Chinook has had a dominant team in the past year and are looking to keep it that way this coming season. With a young team and a good work ethic, the Beeters have a good formula this year. Though the team is young, Chinook does have some experience that can drive them through the season. Key returners like starters outside hitter Hailey Bell and setter/right side hitter Ginger Hauer look to bring their skills back to the court to put forth their best. Other players with varsity experience, like outside hitter/defensive specialist Lily Surber are ready to rally to victory this season. The widespread talent these girls possess can lead to a Sugarbeeters team with good athleticism and leadership. Even with a dominant season last year, the Beeters are looking to excel and soar above their competition even more. “You always just want to get better,” states Molyneaux. “To get better and achieve your potential, whatever that may be.” Chinook has the bearings to bring about another good season and getting better is a great way to go about it. The team’s full potential, if reached, could bring them to a state of excellent court play and overall team success. It’s no surprise that the Beeters’ volleyball season is surrounded with some hype. The Sugarbeeters will have some tough competition this year. Opponents like North Star and Box Elder will stand in the way of the girls’ path to a championship. Other teams like Belt, who they fell to last season, may prove to be a challenge for the Beeters, too. Chinook has a promising outlook on the season. The experience, hard work, talent, and young enthusiasm can bring the team to go even further than the previous season. The girls are ready to bring it. The Beeters opened their season against Fort Benton at home on Aug. 30 at 4, then on to the Malta tournament on Aug. 31.

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Bears returning to Six-Man football Chris Peterson Throughout Montana, high school football teams have been battling with numbers and moving between classifications and one of the teams that impacted the most in recent years has been the Box Elder Bears. Back in 2015, following the Bears trip to the Six-Man state championship game, Box Elder was going to move up to play 8-Man football, before getting an appeal approved that allowed them one more season of Six-Man football. But with increasing numbers, the Bears were eventually moved up to 8-Man and joined the Northern C, where they competed in both 2017 and 2018. It’s not shocking when teams struggle moving up, but for Box Elder, it proved to be especially difficult. The Bears didn’t have the same numbers in the program that they had when they first were approved for making the jump. During the first season in 2017, Box Elder won only one game but was at least able to field a varsity roster for its entire schedule. Unfortunately, lower numbers and injuries forced the Bears to forfeit a game in 2018. Box Elder still got itself a win last season as the Bears, under first-year head coach Jake Eldridge, defeated Hays-Lodge Pole 62-38 in September. Yet, that

would be the last win of the year for the Bears, who did well just to field a tea at times during the season. With the school’s enrollment dipping, Box Elder qualified for a move back down to Six-Man football and now the Bears are back in their old stomping grounds, the Six-Man North. While it will be an adjustment for the players and the coaching staff to go from 8-Man and SixMan, Box Elder is back in the classification where it competed for a state championship just a few short years ago. Of course, getting back to that level is going to take some building and in the challenging North division, wins won’t be easy to come by. With the addition of Box Elder, the North has 10 teams and split into sub-divisions. In all, five teams will qualify for the playoffs and the Bears will be in the B sub-division along with Geraldine/Highwood, Sunburst, Denton-Geyser-Stanford and PowerDutton-Brady. The top two teams in each subdivision will automatically qualify for the playoffs, while the two third-place teams will then battle it out for the fifth and final berth. The five teams in the A sub-division of the Six-Man North are Big Sandy, North Star, Valier, Heart Butte and Tri-City. Box Elder , and head coach Jake Eldridge should return a number of players from last season’s team including running Nacona Limberhand, who could be one of the top ball carriers. One thing that will hurt the Bears is the loss of Chris Burns, who transferred to

Friday Night Lights in the Havre Daily News Area football fans can get even more high school coverage with the Havre Daily News. The HDN will be running a special high school football section every Friday. The section will get fans ready for all of the weekend's action. Also, don't forget to follow high school football online with the Havre Daily News at www. havredailynews.com.

Big Sandy. In addition to the four conference opponents the Bears will play within the B sub-division, Box Elder will also take part in two nonconference matchups. The first will be the season opener against Bainville, as well as another nonconference game against Broadview/Lavina to close out the regu-

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson The 2019 Box Elder Bears football team poses for a photo before the start of the season. After playing in the 8-man Northern C last fall, Box Elder is returning to the Six-Man Northern Division for the 2019 season.


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Area

September 2019

FALL SPORTS PREVIEW

Blue Pony golf teams already rolling along in the 2019 season Havre High golf has a new head coach in longtime tennis head man George Ferguson

Sept. 5 Sept. 13 Sept. 13 Sept. 19 Sept. 20 Sept. 26 Oct. 3-4

www.havredailynews.com

BLUE PONY GOLF SCHEDULE at Harlowton (V-JV) 10:00 a.m. at Sidney 9:00 a.m. Havre at Beaver Creek 9:30 a.m. at Billings Central - Eagle Rock at Laurel Divisionals at Sidney State at Laurel

Aarron Thompson

Havre Daily News gferguson@havredailynews.com As much of the area's fall sports are making their way toward their season-openers, the Havre High golf teams are ready to hit the course. Under new coach George Ferguson, the HHS squads have some key players returning this season. The Blue Pony boys have many key returners on their roster. Senior Tyrel Kjersem; juniors Josh Warp, Nolan Lotton, Clint Owens, Caleb Chambliss, Hunter Velk and Eli Cloninger; and sophmores Tavish McLean, Theron Peterson, Caleb Spangler and Kale Reno make up the hefty amount of experience that will be back for the season. The rest of the boy's roster consists of Collin Miller, Connor McKay. Callan Gobin, Isaac Pedraza, Trennis Riley, Colby Tilleman, Ethan Elliot, Joram Randolph, Dylan Kuhn, Kaden Burnell, Dylan Kimberling, Lane Kinsella, Hunter Smith, Wyatt Simpson, Kris Tanner and Cory Kieffler. "I'm excited about the group of boys we have," Ferguson said. "We have a lot of returning experience. We have a group of boys who have played a lot of competitive golf now. "We also have a lot of depth," he continued. "Our qualifying rounds are going to be really competitive all season long because our boys team has so much depth. And that is going to help us get better." Coming off a Central A Divisional thirdplace finish last season, qualifying four players for state, and returning every player from varsity last season, the Blue Pony boys are looking to be a team with the necessary pieces to have a good season. "The boys can do some really good things this year," Ferguson said. "We have a chance to be very competitive in the Eastern A and beyond. We just need to stay patient, keep working on the things that will lower our scores as the season goes on. The objective is to be playing our best golf at divisionals. But overall, I think our boys team has the talent to compete with anybody, and I'm excited to see what they can do." On the other hand, the Havre girls are looking to grow this season. The girls lost top

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson The 2019 Havre High boys and girls golf teams take a team photo at last months Havre Invitational at Prairie Farms Golf Course. The Blue Ponies are well into their 2019 season already. players in All-Stater Teagan Fee and Kinzee Peterson after finishing second at divisionals last year. Even without their top players, though, the girls team carries key players like juniors Jocelyn Staples and Carlee Kato, as well as sophomore Sophie Kirkpatrick, and they can look to do great things in the golf season. The rest of the girl's roster includes Mia Valdez and Sylvie McKeon-Hanson, which gives the girls team five players. "It's going to be a new experience for our girls this year," Ferguson said. "We have only two players who have played high school golf before. But, we do have a group of girls who are going to get better and better as the season goes on. We have a girls team that yes,

is inexperienced, but it's a team that I think will improve every single week, and that's the goal." "It's not about August, it's about the end of September, so we're just going to help them improve, and I think they'll really surprise some people by the end of the season," he continued. Ferguson himself is also looking forward to the season ahead as the new head coach. "I'm really excited to be coaching the golf team," Ferguson said. "Golf is a passion for me, and I think my experience with the tennis teams all these years will translate well to coaching golf. Not to mention, I get to coach more at Havre High. I love the kids we

have here in Havre, I think we have a great group of kids out for golf. So it's really exciting for me." Ferguson also commented on the season. "I think it's going to be a great year," Ferguson added. "Our numbers are really good. We have a lot of kids out who are very excited and who love playing golf. I think we can do some really good things this season. I just want the kids to work hard, have a lot of fun playing the great game of golf, and improve as the season goes along." Havre's varsity team has already played for tournaments this season, including the Havre Invitational. The season concludes with the Eastern A Sept. 26 in Sidney and the state A tournament Oct. 3-4 in Laurel.

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Area Fall Sports Preview 2019  

Area Fall Sports Preview 2019  

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