2020 fall sports primers
Scoreless start: Ennis Mustangs Football
The Mustangs got off to a rough start. Ennis’ football team lost to Fort Benton, 48-0 Aug 28. The home game was the first of the season. “This year we are trying to enjoy every practice and every game in hopes for a full season,” Ennis High School Head Coach Chris Hess said. The Mustangs are a young team, a little less than half of the players on the 2020 roster are freshman. The four seniors carry the bulk of the experience on the field. Ennis will have its senior night earlier in the season, like many Montana high schools this season because of the chance COVID-19 will close schools later in the fall. Ennis will play Park City at home at 7 p.m. Aug. 4.
Wildcats ready to compete: Harrison volleyball team
The Wildcats’ volleyball experience on the court does not go deep into the bench. The six starters will be significant contributors to the Harrison team’s success. It was a losing season last year for the Harrison volleyball team. But a rise in confidence that comes with experience and training will lead the Wildcats to better competition. Two returning players received post-season accolades for their skill on the court last year, senior middle hitter Rosie Charter and senior setter Aleena Bacon. Sophomore outside hitter Dana Lerum also returns to the court for another Wildcat season. “We will need to stay healthy as we are very young and inexperienced at the sub players,” Harrison High School head volleyball coach, Lisa Cooper, said. Cooper is excited to have a more experienced team this year. She will be sharpening the younger girls into seasoned players in the upcoming years. The Wildcats have three eighth graders to fill their roster for the season. Another three freshman are new to the sport. The Wildcats will take on the Panthers in Sheridan Sept. 4.
Return of the Falcons: Twin Bridges’ 2020 football team
The Falcons have a seasoned football team for 2020. Twin Bridges added one new football player to its roster, freshman E.J. Puckett. The other 14 Falcons return to the field for another season of eight-man football. Twin Bridges’ offensive and defensive lines are a wall of returning linemen. The Falcons have strength and athleticism in their linemen, seniors Matthew Kaiser and Carl Shaw. Kaiser received all-conference accolades last year as a defensive tackle and offensive guard. Shaw has been starting center for three years. Both are captains this year. “Our seniors, Matthew Kaiser, Carl Shaw, Axton Anderson, Shawn Head, and Anthony Kelley have shown great leadership so far this year,” Twin Bridges head football coach Brett Nordahl said. “I am confident that they will continue to be great role models and motivators as the season progresses.” The Falcons will be experimenting with its team this year. Players will have to be flexible as they are moved around to different positions. Nordahl is confident in his players’ ability to adjust and produce positive results. “We want to control the speed of the game,” Nordahl said. “The biggest key to that is getting first downs and keeping the ball in the hands of our offense.” Twin Bridges kicked off the season in Great Falls against Great Falls Central Aug. 29. The Falcons returned home a win 52-6.
“Rivals are back:” Sheridan 2020 Football (By Mike Wetherbee)
Sheridan High School jumped to eight-man football for the 2020 season. The Panthers will join other Madison County teams in competition for the first time in years. The switch from six-man football to eight-man football will be an adjustment for returning players and coaches. But the Panthers are excited for the opportunity. “The rivals are back,” Sheridan High School Varsity Coach Clay Pierson said. Eleven players returned to the Sheridan High School football team for the 2020 season. Sheridan’s roster of 18 players is an even mix of upper and lower classmen. Seniors Hartson Van Houten and Coleman Gilman are expected to be major contributors on both ends of the field for the Panthers. Van Houten is one of Sheridan’s best tacklers as an outside linebacker. He will also be active in the Panther’s offence, running, catching and blocking. Van Houten and Gilman are diverse players with strong work ethics that are bound to bring success on the field. Sheridan senior Coby Caldwell will be at the front and center of the Panthers’ defense as a nose guard. Caldwell will also show up in the Panther’s offense as a guard. He is expected to be a force in both positions. Standing at 6 foot, 3 inches as a junior, Kaiden Batzler’s size and athleticism will contribute to his success on defense and offence. He will play a central role in Sheridan’s defense as the middle linebacker. Batzler has the right skill set to be an effective blocker and receiver in the offense. The Panther’s kicked off their season against Choteau Aug. 29. They brought home a win 27-14.
Panthers move to 8 man with a win (By Mike Wetherbee)
The Panthers opened their football season with a decisive win over a salty Choteau Bulldog team on Saturday. They came out tough on defense and made a stop on the first Bulldog drive and took the ball 60 yards for a score on a consistent running attack. The Panthers continued to dominate through the third quarter with a balance of running and passing. They took a 27 point lead to the fourth quarter where they let up a little and the Bulldogs were able to score on a couple of long pass plays. The final score was 27-14 with the Panthers rolling over the Bulldogs. Overall, it was a great win for the Panthers who face off with district rival Twin Bridges at home under the lights on Friday
Panthers energy: Sheridan 2020 Volleyball
Juniors and seniors stack Sheridan High School’s varsity volleyball team for 2020. The team graduated six Panthers last year, but 2020’s three seniors come with experience. Outside hitter Mackenzee Fabel and setter Desaray Tipton return to the court for their final Panthers volleyball season. The team added a new senior as well, Dreonna Clark. “The junior and senior girls are coming into the season stronger than they have in the past,” Sheridan High School Head Volleyball Coach Sara Decker said. The junior Panthers showed a lot of energy in preseason. Their contribution will be crucial in Sheridan’s success on the court. The Panthers aim for speed and smooth transitions to defeat the competition. Sheridan started the 2020 season with a victory over Twin Bridges in five sets Aug. 28. The Granite Prospectors defeated the Panthers the next day in Philipsburg in three sets. They will play their first home game against Harrison Sept. 4.