The Fall Five: The GazPrepSports guide to fall prep sports

2014-08-28T20:00:00Z 2014-08-29T16:59:25Z The Fall Five: The GazPrepSports guide to fall prep sportsGazette Staff The Billings Gazette
August 28, 2014 8:00 pm  • 
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  • When in the stands at a Billings Skyview football game this fall, fans will undoubtedly be drawn to No. 22 as he streaks down the field after catching a pass or leaps into the air to deflect one away.

    Senior Tre’von Dixon-Strong, who is listed at 6-foot-1 and 190 pounds, is a dual threat, playing both safety and wide receiver.

    Last season, Dixon-Strong earned honorable mention all-state honors at safety for the Falcons, who finished 7-5 and reached the Class AA state semifinals.

    On defense, Dixon-Strong made 72 tackles, snatched four interceptions, deflected 10 passes, notched one fumble recovery and scored one touchdown.

    Offensively, Dixon-Strong received honorable mention all-conference honors at wide receiver in the Falcons’ Wing-T offense. He caught 24 passes for 503 yards for an average of 20.9 yards per catch. He also hauled in five touchdowns.

    Skyview coach Ron Lebsock said Dixon-Strong is successful because of the time he puts in studying the game, attending camps and lifting weights. And a little natural talent doesn’t hurt.

    “He runs great routes and has a wide range of catching ability,” said the 30th-year coach. “He’s caught some balls that have made you chuckle. You wonder how he did it, but he did it.

    “As a defensive back, he’s got a good nose for the ball and is a smart player. And being the athlete he is, he can cover a lot of ground.”

    In all, Dixon-Strong spent time at four camps preparing for his senior season. The reason: to help him accomplish his goals of becoming first-team all-state, play in the Shrine Game and “be better than I was last year.”

    “Team-wise we all have the mindset to come out every day in practice and compete hard,” he said. “We all want to go to the state championship. And then, we all want to come more together as a team and play on the field as one. Every time we line up, we want to dominate the opposition mentally and physically.”

    One of the camps Dixon-Strong attended was an invitation-only Nike Football Training Camp in Los Angeles. Dixon-Strong said it will help prepare him for his dream of playing college football.

    “My ultimate goal is Division I (FBS),” he said. “Division I is where I want to play and know where I can play at,” he said. “If I go DII or DIII, that’s just where the chips fell.”

    Lebsock said Dixon-Strong has the ability to succeed at the next level.

    “He will play somewhere,” the coach said. “He’s just that skilled and that good. I think he can play any level he wants.”

    Skyview's Dixon-Strong a standout on both sides of the ball
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    Tre’von Dixon-Strong of Billings Skyview rushes past Jackson King of Missoula Sentinel after catching a pass for a touchdown during a game last season at Wendy’s Field at Daylis Stadium.

    Last season, Dixon-Strong carried only the last name Strong. He added Dixon to his name in honor of new Billings Wolves Indoor Football League coach and former Billings Outlaws star Chris Dixon, the father figure in his life.

    Dixon-Strong met the former star quarterback at an Outlaws game when he was 8. Now, Dixon attends Dixon-Strong’s games, helps him study the game and work out, and is a role model for him. Another influential person in Dixon-Strong’s life is his mother, Brandie Strong.

    “We’ve developed a father-son relationship in the last eight to 10 years I’ve been here,” Dixon said. “I’m proud that he’s proud to put that name on his back and he wants to live up to it.”

    And when football season concludes in November, don’t expect Dixon-Strong to fade away.

    “He’s always involved at Skyview with football, basketball and track,” Lebsock said. “And he is a good student.

    “He is a very, very easy guy to have a conversation with and is a good person and is genuine in everything he does. He cares about his teammates and his responsibilities.”

  • Taylor Mims is accustomed to standing out. It’s been that way for a while, ever since she remembers shooting up in height in sixth grade, back when she and Lizzy King would frequently measure to see who was taller.

    So when the 6-foot-3 Mims posed for a photo earlier this summer with three other recruits of the Washington State University volleyball team — where she’ll play starting next fall — she couldn’t help but think, ‘Finally.’

    Not only was Mims not the tallest member of the group, she wasn’t even the second-tallest. Only one of the four future teammates was shorter, and when you throw in a 2017 WSU recruit who’s already taller than Mims, well, that’s even better.

    “I loved it,” Mims said with true conviction in her voice. “I told them it feels so normal to look you guys eye to eye and not have to look down. Even when I have to look up it feels good.

    “I told them I felt normal, and they’re like, ‘Aren’t you normal?’ and I was, ‘No, I’m the tallest girl in the state, I’m pretty sure.’ At least that’s how I feel.”

    Those feelings of ‘normal’ will have to wait a bit longer, however. Mims still has her final year at Billings Senior, where she’ll likely get plenty of attention again.

    By complementing her size with an agility and explosiveness not usually found in a 6-3 frame, she’s been an important part of the Broncs’ two straight Class AA state volleyball championships. She’ll likely be a big factor on the basketball team, which placed third at state last winter. And she’s already won two state high jump titles.

    Last season Mims, a middle blocker, led Class AA in attack efficiency (.310) and kills per set (4.53), was fourth in blocks per set (1.11), and she plays the back row at a high enough level where she doesn’t have to be subbed out.

    “Taylor Mims, she’s a superstar,” said King, a 5-6 outside hitter for the Broncs who was left behind in the height department all those years ago. “It’s really fun (to play with her). And it’s fun to practice with her. We went to the (WSU) camp this summer and to see where she’s going to be at is so amazing. That level, she’s ready for it. It’s fun to know that she’s that good. She’s just great.”

    Jeff Carroll isn’t afraid to take King’s final adjective a bit further. The longtime coach — he’s entering his 29th season as the Broncs head coach — has seen just about every Montana player come and go. When you consider that Mims will be only the third Montana girl to play volleyball in the Pac-12, it’s easy to see where Carroll is headed.

    The 'new normal' will have to wait for Broncs' Taylor Mims
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    Taylor Mims will play volleyball next fall at Washington State, becoming the third Montana girl to play in the Pac-12. She joins Senior’s Michele Solomon, who played at Oregon State from 1999-2002, and Kalispell Flathead’s Kwyn Johnson, who is a sophomore at Arizona State.

    “When she’s on her game she is just a player that we haven’t seen in the state of Montana,” said Carroll, who has won 11 Class AA titles at Senior. “Not only is she arguably the best all-around player to come out of the state, she’s even more humble than she is a good player. Sometimes I almost have to remind her that it’s OK to have swagger, that it’s a good thing. There’s no reason you shouldn’t have confidence in your ability.”

    Mims does have the confidence, though her almost-shy, certainly reserved, demeanor on the court might say otherwise. But keeping that swagger under wraps is just maybe an attempt to lessen the attention she gets. After all, she already stands out, in more ways than one.

    “That’s just me,” Mims said of her reserved on-court nature. “I get excited for my team, and sometimes for myself. But I don’t know, during a game, I’m in my head, I don’t want to break loose or have anything distract me. I’m just bottled up and I try to stay that way. I feel like it’s a job. I’m out here to do something that I’m good at and I just want to stick with it. I do have fun, but in a controlled way.”

  • Each August, as the machinery of Billings Central’s girls soccer dynasty resets for another run, new players step forward and new leaders emerge.

    It’s a natural progression that hasn’t failed: The Rams have captured the past six Class A state titles and have won 89 of their previous 90 games.

    Central graduated five indispensable seniors from the team that beat Whitefish 4-1 for the championship last November, so now is the time for 2013’s supporting cast to take the lead and carve their own legacy.

    Within that group is junior Mariah Wittman, who is bursting with potential to be next in a line of great Central playmakers — and its foremost guide.

    “The last couple years I kind of just did my job and tried to do the best I could,” said Wittman, who was the Rams’ second-leading scorer as a sophomore. “But this year I feel like just going out onto the field and playing my best isn’t enough. I have to make sure I don’t lead the other girls astray. That’s my new role this year, to make sure everybody is into what we’re doing.”

    Among those the Rams lost were forward Allie Lucas and midfielder Kelsi Nusbaum, two top offensive players who carried much of the scoring load. Lucas led the state with an astounding 33 goals. Wittman will be asked to make up for much of that production as she steps into an even bigger attacking role.

    But Wittman has experience putting up points — and scoring goals at important times. She had 10 goals and 17 assists last year, including three goals and a pair of assists in the playoffs. Her goal in the semifinals against Hamilton helped the Rams gut out a 2-1 victory on the road.

    Opponents can expect more of the same this season.

    “She’s just a mean speed demon. She’s an incredible athlete,” said second-year coach Sara Campbell. “When you pair that with the tenacity and the skill level she has, and her understanding of the game, she’s just a strong player.”

    “I feel like I learned so much from (Lucas) and the other seniors,” said Wittman, who has been named a team captain. “I feel like they prepared me really well for being in that role.”

    Wittman will be joined in the leadership category by junior defender/midfielder Michaela Stock, who has also been selected as a captain. Additionally, junior goalkeeper Natalie Ruegsegger is coming off a fine season.

    Rams' Mariah Wittman takes on greater role for six-time champions
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    Central's Mariah Wittman, left, controls the ball as Laurel's MacKenzie LaCasse defends in the second half Saturday, September 21, 2013.

    Defensively the team is reorganizing after losing mainstays like Amy Mueller (who earned the game ball after the title game last year), Becca Shipp and Maya Arce.

    “We’re trying to focus less on what we lost and more on what we have to gain with the talent that we have,” Wittman said. “I think a lot of teams are going to see a lot faces and hear a lot of names that they haven’t heard before. But they are really big strengths, and people might be surprised by what depth we actually have.”

    Championships haven’t grown on trees at Central in the past. They’ve been earned. Campbell said she thinks this season — and the title push that will accompany it — will be as challenging a year as the program has seen. The fact that the team has no seniors is a reason for that.

    But the Rams will do what they’ve always done. And if it turns out to be another championship season — their seventh in a row — it will be a huge payoff.

    “We don’t ever think of ourselves as a state championship team,” Wittman said. “We just come out here and work as hard as we can and hold ourselves to a really high standard. The championships just seem to come to us, because we practice like that’s what we want. That’s our ultimate goal, but we keep it game-by-game and practice-by-practice.”

  • Hannah Zwemke is a Billings West cheerleader who also happens to play a spirited, entertaining game of golf.

    The 17-year-old, who will be a senior this fall, came through with a top 10 finish at last year’s State AA tournament and played a big part in the Golden Bear girls capturing their first state title since 2006.

    With the cheers and chants of last year’s success behind her, Zwemke is geared toward doing it all again this fall — and she certainly has momentum on her side.

    “This summer has probably been about the most golf I’ve played ever,” she said.

    Zwemke tied for second overall at the Montana State Golf Association Junior Championships at Laurel Golf Club in June, and qualified to play for the state’s Junior America’s Cup team that competed for three days against 17 other elite teams in Walla Walla, Wash., in late July.

    Her best effort, though, came at last month’s Montana State Women’s Golf Association State Amateur at Yellowstone Country Club, where she placed fourth overall and notched her second career hole-in-one.

    With her older brother, Adam, serving as her caddie, Zwemke closed with a 3-over-par 75, which was one of the lowest scores on the final day.

    “I was just hitting the ball well, hitting greens and making putts,” she said. “I just really felt confident. I didn’t really feel like anything was wrong. There wasn’t anything I could have fixed or made that much better. It was just a really good day for me.”

    Zwemke is looking for that to continue into her final high school season, where she will be joined by fellow senior Mike’la Atkinson and junior Hayden Flohr, who were also top placers for the Bears at state last year.

    “They’re all really strong players and we’re just looking forward to going out there and playing our best and, hopefully, we can make something happen like we did last year,” Zwemke said.

    Zwemke's golf game is something to cheer about
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    Hannah Zwemke plays in the Montana State Golf Association state juniors golf tournament at the Laurel Golf Club on June 24.

    While working awfully hard on her game this summer, the 5-foot-2 Zwemke, who can hit drives measuring 220 yards, said she has definitely boosted her confidence level, for starters.

    “I’ve really seen my short game improve around the greens,” she added. “Chipping and putting has really been a big improvement for me.”

    Zwemke, a 4.0 student at West with an interest in math and science, is heading into her fourth year as a cheerleader and golfer.

    “My school year is always busy, but I think that is what makes it fun,” she said.

    Zwemke has been golfing competitively since age 8, but her best may be yet to come.

    “She’s simply put in the time to become much better,” West coach Lance Edward said. “She’s stronger and she has a terrific short game. Her game doesn’t go through many slumps.”

    Zwemke said her older brothers, Adam and Jake, who also golfed for West, have provided encouragement and motivation over the years. She could also count on her parents, Leo and Linda, for continuous support.

    “They’ve just really pushed me to get better, and I think that’s really reflected in my scores,” Zwemke said of her family and friends.

    She aced the 122-yard, 17th hole at Yellowstone during the second round of what was her second Women’s State Amateur, hitting a 7-iron into the wind.

    “My brother (Adam) helped me pick the club, so I definitely gave him some credit for that hole-in-one,” Zwemke said. “(The ball) just took one hop and rolled right in.”

    She placed ninth at the State AA tournament last fall, and her highest finish is fifth as a freshman.

    “I’d really like to place better than fifth this year,” Zwemke said. “I’m definitely looking towards that state championship, for sure.”

  • Kalispell Glacier played in the State AA championship last year and fell to Bozeman 24-14.

    The Hawks finished their championship season 13-0. The Wolfpack finished 11-2.

    Wolfpack coach Grady Bennett said his team is eager for the season to begin and ready to take the next step.

    “We have a lot of experience returning and those players got a taste of what it was like to play for a championship and come up just short,” he said. “Hopefully, we’ll be hungry to return to that stage.”

    For Bozeman, last year’s title was redemption for coming up just short in 2012, falling to Butte 38-36. The Hawks were also State AA champions as recently as 2010.

    In Class A, the question is can anybody stop Dillon and Billings Central from playing for hardware a fourth straight season. Dillon downed Central 25-13 for last year’s championship. The Rams had won the championship in 2012 with a 37-7 conquest over Dillon. In 2011 the same two programs faced each other for the chipper, with the Beavers prevailing 44-10.

    Overall, the Rams have reached the championship game seven straight seasons and also were State A champions in 2007.

    In Class B, Baker has earned the moniker “The Beast from the East” with title banners in 1986, 1999, 2001, 2003 and 2004. The Spartans were second in 1996. Last year, however, Missoula Loyola continued to build on its legacy. Loyola downed the Spartans 30-13 to claim the Rams’ second straight championship.

    The titles are the first two for the Rams in football. Loyola was the state runner-up in 2006.

    “We will have a lot of new faces playing after graduating eight starters on both sides of the ball,” veteran Baker coach Dave Breitbach said.

    In Class C 8-Man, Ennis captured its third state title and first since 1982 with a 68-56 shootout victory over perennial-power Wibaux. The game was unique in the fact it pitted No. 1 Ennis vs. No. 2 Wibaux and the media poll worked out.

    If Baker is the “Beast from the East” in Class B, Wibaux matches that description for Class C.

    The championship game marked the seventh time the Longhorns had appeared in the title game in coach Jeff Bertelsen’s tenure. Their last title came in his first season of 2001. Wibaux has won five state C championships and played in 12 title games.

    Wibaux has the highest winning percentage in the state since 2000, going 137-17 for an 89 percent rate.

    Overall, Ennis has played in four title games, also capturing titles in 1978 and 1982 and finishing runner-up in 1983.

    In 6-Man, Geraldine-Highwood defeated Denton-Geyser-Stanford 50-18 in the title tilt.

    “We return six guys that started a lot of games last year and have experienced a deep playoff run,” Bearcats coach Scott Sparks said. “We might not have as much veteran depth as last year, but we will put six guys out on the field offensively and defensively that can really play. If we keep our older guys healthy and a few of our younger guys step up, we should make another deep run this year.”

  • Billings Senior Broncs

    2013: 4-6

    Head Coach: Chris Murdock

    Key Players: FS/RB Nolan Timmons (Sr., first-team all-state), DL Sawyer Barnes (Sr.), WR/DB Eli Tostengard (Sr.), OL/LB Jake Clarke (Sr.), WR/DB Beau Thomas (Sr.), LB Ryan Dick (Sr.).

    Coach Says: “We had a great summer in the weight room and can’t wait to get under those lights Aug. 29 vs. Butte.”

    Billings Skyview Falcons

    2013: 7-5

    Head Coach: Ron Lebsock

    Key Players: OL/DL Kyle Reitler (Sr.), RB Riley Barta (Sr.), FB/DE Justin Keeling (Sr.), WR/DB Taylor Trollope (Sr.) WR/DB Tre’von Dixon-Strong (Sr.) WR/DB Kendal Manuel (Sr.), DL/OL Hunter Berg (Sr.), LB Peter Lee (Sr.).

    Coach Says: “Decent offseason for the most part, need daily improvement, looking forward to working for whatever we can earn.”

    Billings West Golden Bears

    2013: 0-10

    Head Coach: Paul Klaboe

    Key Players: TE/LB Jayson Leinwand (Jr.), OL/DL Mitch Brott (Sr.), OL/DL Justin Rock (Sr.), OL Tanner Payton (Sr.), OL Jake Haemmerle (Sr.), OL Kruger Stiles (Sr.), OL/DL Levi Stovall (Jr.), QB Casey Klaboe (Sr.), WR Brandyn Van Zee (Sr.), WR Brock Bolin (Sr.), WR/LB Parker Bernhardt (Sr.), RB Zach Wolff (Sr.), RB/DB Cody McCombs (Sr.), RB Nick Lawther (Sr.), DE Joe Ferrucci (Sr.), DE Spencer Johnson (Sr.), LB Aaric Spring (Jr.), LB Richmond Paschall (Sr.), DB Chaz Maddock (So.), DB Haden Hendrickson (Sr.), DT Gavin Butz (Sr.).

    Coach Says: “Our team has worked hard in the offseason and we will be vastly improved.”

    Bozeman Hawks

    2013: 13-0 (state champions)

    Head Coach: Troy Purcell

    Key Players: WR/DB Jacob Kleinhans (Sr.), OL/DL Riley McGary (Sr.), OL/LB Cody Wiers (Sr.), RB/LB Cordell Appel (Sr.), WR/DB Brady Coffman (Sr.), WR Win Feigle (Sr.), WR/DB Bennett Hostetler (Jr.), FB/LB Payton O’Reilly (Jr.), RB/DL Trace Bradshaw (Jr.), QB/RB/DL Balue Chapman (Jr.).

    Coach Says: “We have a young team. They are all competing for starting jobs. I love competition.”

    Butte Bulldogs

    2013: 6-5

    Head Coach: Arie Grey

    Key Players: WR/DB Dalton Daum (Sr.), DB Clay Dean (Sr.), WR/DB Paul Campbell (Jr.)

    Coach Says: “We have a lot of question marks going into the season. Every day we must get better.”

    Great Falls Bison

    2013: 1-12

    Head Coach: Matt Krahe

    Key Players: WR Kessler Leonard (Sr,. all-conference), QB Jordan Wilkins (Sr.), LB Logan Bjorsness (Sr.), RB Nate Williams (Sr.), RB/LB Randy Kessler (Sr.).

    Great Falls CMR Rustlers

    2013: 7-5

    Head Coach: Gary Lowry

    Key Players: TB Andrew Grinde (Jr.), OL Ryan Willhollin (Sr.), OL Bryan Wilkes, (Sr.) WR Bryce Luchine (Sr.), WR Karl Tucker (Jr.), TE Kam Mims (Sr.), DB Blake Miller (Sr.), LB Jed Eagebretson (Sr.), DE Payton Sexe (Sr.), WR, Zach Harper (Sr.).

    Coach Says: “Good senior class ... they are committed to each other, to the coaches and to the program. AA conference will be very competitive as usual, and should be interesting to see who steps up to the top at the year’s end.”

    Helena Bengals

    2013: 9-2

    Head Coach: Tony Arntson

    Key Players: LB Isaiah Cech (Sr., all-state), DL Chase Benson (Jr., all-state), RB/WR Lane Kokoruda (Sr., all-state), OL Clay Tamcke (Sr., all-conference), WR Chase South (Sr., all-conference), LB Dylan Kresge (Sr.), CB Anthony Bodner (Sr.), CB Willem Morris (Jr.), C Chris Palmer (Sr.), WR Cameron Enright (Sr.).

    Coach Says: “Good overall team speed ... love to play ... lots of guys who can play ... explosive playmakers ... physical defensive front. Inexperience on the offensive line — lots of young guys.”

    Kalispell Flathead Braves

    2013: 3-7

    Head Coach: Kyle Samson

    Key Players: QB Easton Johnson (Sr.), RB/DE Brad Larkins (Sr.), C Levi Brenneman (Sr.), S Jess Beaman (Sr.).

    Coach Says: “I want to bring back that tradition of Flathead being one of the top AA schools in the state” (Flathead Beacon).

    Kalispell Glacier Wolfpack

    2013: 11-2

    Head Coach: Grady Bennett

    Key Players: QB Brady McChesney (Sr., second-team all-state), RB/DB Logan Jones (Sr., first-team all-state), OL/DL Harrison Kauffman, (Sr.), WR Sam McCamley (Sr., honorable mention all-conference), WR Devin Cochran, (Sr.), OL Hunter Kauffman (Sr., second-team all-state), OL Truman Pisk (Sr., second-team all-state), LB Josh Hill (Sr., first-team all-state), RB/DB Tucker Rauthe (Sr., first-team all-state), DB Cain Boschee (Sr., honorable mention all-conference), DL Andrew Harris (Sr.).

    Coach Says: “We have a lot of experience returning and those players got a taste of what it was like to play for a championship and come up just short. Hopefully we’ll be hungry to return to that stage.”

    Etc: McChesney threw for 3,590 yards and 41 TDs; Jones had 1,014 receiving, 419 rushing and 544 return yards along with 12 TDs; Hill was Western Division defensive MVP.

    Helena Capital Bruins

    2013: 7-4

    Head Coach: Pat Murphy

    Key Players: LB Walker Cozzie (Sr., all-state), LB Nick Argento (Sr., all-state), QB Gus Chancy (Sr.), WR/DB Nick Wrigg (Sr.), WR/DB Will Hunthausen (Jr.), RB Mason Moe (Sr.), RB/DB Ethan Askam (Sr.), TE Sam Bryggman (Sr.), DL Cullen Donahoe (Jr.), DL David Peterson (Jr.).

    Coach Says: “Strengths will be team speed, as we have very good speed from all our skill positions. Weakness will be inexperience, as we graduated nine starters on defense and 10 on offense.”

    Missoula Big Sky Eagles

    2013: 3-7

    Head Coach: Matt Johnson

    Key Players: C Matt Murphy (Sr., honorable mention all-state), RB Cory Diaz (Sr., honorable mention all-state), DL Trevor Frandsen (Sr., honorable mention all-state), LB Seamus Lucostic (Jr., honorable mention all-state), TE Colin Bingham (Sr., honorable mention all-conference), FB Michael Banna (Jr., honorable mention all-conference), S Brock Shaide (Sr., honorable mention all-conference).

    Coach Says: “2013 was the year of the injury for the Eagles. By the third game we lost seven starters. After an 0-6 start, the Eagles finished 3-1. This showed our potential as we had six of the seven injured players returned to this lineup and most of them will be dressed out in 2014.”

    Missoula Hellgate Knights

    2013: 0-10

    Head Coach: Matt Softich

    Key Players: QB Brayden Frolich (Sr.), WR Jack Lewis (Sr.), LB Johnathan Gregg (Sr.), C Ryan Hamilton (Sr.), OL Ryan Handley (Sr.), DB Austin Sant (Sr.), WR Paul Wilson (Sr.), OT Zayne Babbitt (Sr.).

    Coach Says: “If we are able to show as much improvement on the field as we have off the field since February, Hellgate should be able to find some success in 2014. The players have been through some hard times and are determined to get the program pointed in the right direction for this and future seasons. The excitement and effort is there and hopefully these ‘New Knights’ can continue to grow into a more competitive team.”

    Etc: The hiring of Softich means all three Missoula AA coaches are former University of Montana football players.

    Missoula Sentinel Spartans

    2013: 6-5

    Head Coach: Dane Oliver

    Key Players: QB Kade Paffhausen (Sr.), RB/CB Jackson King (Sr.), OL Colin Hammock (Sr.), OL/DL Byron Rollins (Sr.), OL Jake Rebish (Jr.), LB Cy Steele (Sr.), LB Connor McKillop (Sr.), LB Brandon Rauckhorst (Sr.).

    Coach Says: “We got a taste of playoff football last year and have been working all offseason to continue our growth as a program and are ready to take the next step. This group of seniors exemplifies the work ethic necessary to be successful on and off the field. We are excited to see their hard work pay off on the field this fall.”

  • EASTERN A

    Billings Central Rams

    2013: 9-2

    Head Coach: Jim Stanton

    Key Players: OL Zach Cullen (Sr., all-state), LB Colin Holetz (Sr., all-state), DB Jesse Byorth (Sr., all-state). RB Holden Ryan Sr., all-state); S Jonah Studer (Sr., all-conference).

    Coach Says: “We talk a lot about working harder and harder than you have in the past. We hit the kids a lot with ‘that’s behind you now.’ That was accomplished last year and that dissolves. You just have to look at the opportunities in front of you. The team is working hard and improving with each practice.”

    Glendive Red Devils

    2013: 1-7

    Head Coach: Ryan Buckley

    Key Players: C/DT Will Dorwart (Sr.), G/DE Logan Dowson (Sr.), RB/LB Tai Sokoloski (Sr.), G/LB Dalton Craig (Sr.).

    Coach Says: “Our kids have been working hard and they are looking forward to the season.”

    Hardin Bulldogs

    2013: 2-6

    Head Coach: Mike Flamm

    Key Players: OL/DL Oliver Wallace (Sr., second-team all-conference), DL Isaac Mendoza (Sr.), QB/DB Carlos Salazar (sr., honorable mention all-conference), RB/DB Patrick Toyne (Sr.), OL/DL Connor Murdock (Jr.).

    Coach Says: “This will be the least amount of experience we’ve brought back in three years, but we’ve had our best turnout for the weight room, our best team camp and our best skill camp. These boys will work hard and are very coachable. The Eastern A had a small senior class as a whole last season. There are going to be some outstanding teams in the East this year.”

    Laurel Locomotives

    2013: 7-4

    Head Coach: Mike Ludwig

    Key Players: S/WR Jonah Oberg (Sr., all-state), OL Riley Dublin (Sr., all-state), RB Michael Buster (Sr., second-team all-conference), QB Tyler Thompson (Sr.), WR Brandon Kubitz (Sr., second-team all-conference), DE Brendan Cellmer (Sr., second-team all-conference), OL/LB Alec Wagner (Sr.).

    Coach Says: "We have good size up front and good team speed. We return eight starters on both offense and defense. If we stay healthy and improve each week, I think we should be in the hunt for one of the three playoff spots in our conference.”

    Miles City Cowboys

    2013: 5-4

    Head Coach: Dan Stanton

    Key Players: DE Beau Peaslee (Sr., all-state), WR Alec Haughian (Sr., all-state).

    Coach Says: “We have a lot of experience back and we play in a very competitive conference so we will have to see how things play out.”

    Sidney Eagles

    2013: 6-3

    Head Coach: Roger Merritt

    Key Players: QB/DB Gresh Jones (Sr.), TE/DE Kory Halvorson (Sr.), FS/RB Logan Thiel (Sr.), DE/OL John Haraldson (Sr.), WR/SS Ethan Graves (Sr.), RB/LB Bridger Coffman (Jr.), OG/MLB Hunter Severson (Jr.), FB/LB Trent Schilling (Jr.), DL Tristin Fahrnow (Jr.), OL/DL Matt Dey (Jr.), DE/RB Chris Gartner (Jr.).

    Coach Says: “We are fairly young but bring some valuable experience to the field and have some athletic players who have worked hard in the offseason.”


    CENTRAL A

    Belgrade Panthers

    2013: 8-3

    Head Coach: Eric Kinnaman

    Key Players: C Avery Whelan (Sr., all-state), QB Brayden Konkol (Sr., all-state), LB Grady Blewett (Sr., all-state), RET Koby Ruff (Sr., all-state).

    Browning Indians

    2013: 1-8

    Head Coach: John Lucke

    Key Players: RB Zeus Rutherford (Sr., honorable mention all-conference), OLB Cody Lucke (Jr., honorable mention all-conference), TE Josh Moore (Jr.), TE Tristan Polk (Sr.), OLB Kevin Trembley (Jr.), WR Caleb Monroe (sr.), WR Morgan Boggs (Jr.).

    Coach Says: “If you give it 100 percent, you may lose on the scoreboard but not in life.”

    Havre Blue Ponies

    2013: 6-4

    Head Coach: Jason Christenson

    Key Players: QB Dane Warp (Jr., two-time all-state), WR Parker Filius (So., second-team all-conference), DE Tyrell Pierce (Sr., all-conference), WR Nate Rismon (Jr., second-team all-conference), RB Kody Pribyl (Jr., second-team all-conference).

    Coach Says: “We are still young in our skill positions but have a lot of game experience. O-line is a concern and we will work hard to get this group on the same page.”

    Lewistown Eagles

    2013: 2-7

    Head Coach: Vic Feller

    Key Players: QB James Derheim (Sr.), OL/DE Jessey Perry (Sr.), DT Matt Harrison (Jr.), WR Hunter Errecart (Jr.), WR Brock Butcher (Sr.),TE/DE Tucker Maxwell (Jr.).

    Coach Says: “We are going to have a great year. We need to stay healthy.”

    Livingston Rangers

    2013: 1-8

    Head Coach: Bryan Beitel

    Key Players: RB Bobby Emter (Sr.), LB Hunter Buids (Sr.), OL Elton Byrns (So.).

    Coach Says: “With several starters returning on both sides of the ball, we expect to challenge for the Central A title.”


    NORTHWESTERN A

    Columbia Falls Wildcats

    2013: 9-1

    Head Coach: Jaxon Schweikert

    Key Players: WR Ty Morgan (Sr.), LB Ike Schweikert (Sr.), NG Spencer Ross (Sr.), WR/FS Trevor Houston (Sr.), GD Garrett White (Sr.), GD Andrew Burgess (Sr.), OT Morgan Totzauer (Sr.), Center Blake Arenson (Jr.), LB Colton Grove (Sr.).

    Coach Says: “The Wildcats are a very experienced and talented team. The majority of last year’s 9-1 team returns. With many of the players being three-year starters. We are bigger, stronger and faster than last year. The team really dedicated themselves to the weight room this offseason.”

    Frenchtown Broncs

    2013: 2-6

    Head Coach: Kyle Rausch

    Key Players: OT/LB Jacob Dilworth, RB Gus Butler.

    Coach Says: “We were an extremely young team last season starting six sophomores. We took some bumps and bruises but also gained some valuable experience and look to bounce back and put Frenchtown football back on the map. We have changed up some stuff on both sides of the ball and look to challenge for a Northwest A title and make a run in the playoffs.”

    Libby Loggers

    2013: 1-8

    Head Coach: Neil Fuller

    Key Players: C/DE Cooper Brown (Sr.), TB/LB Zach Crale (Sr.), OL/DL Michael Curtiss (Sr.), OL/LB Will Emery (Jr.), WR/DB Isaak Jones (Sr.), WR/DB Dylan Lane (Sr.), OL/DL Austin Marshall (Sr.), QB/DB Dom Voorhies (Jr.).

    Coach Says: “Athletic but a lot of inexperience.”

    Polson Pirates

    2013: 5-4

    Head Coach: Scott Wilson

    Key Players: RB/LB Joe Gallatin (Sr. honorable mention all-conference), TE/LB Matthew Rensvold (So. honorable mention all-conference), OL/DL Nick Marquardt (Jr., second-team all-conference), QB Tanner Wilson (So., honorable mention all-conference), WR Hudson Smith (Jr., honorable mention all-conference).

    Coach Says: “We are young and inexperienced, but I like the work ethic of the team.”

    Whitefish Bulldogs

    2013: 8-3

    Head Coach: Chad Ross

    Key Players: QB Luke May (Jr.), WR/LB Jack Streibich (Sr.), RB/LB Chris Park (Jr.)

    Coach Says: “Returning players have worked extremely hard over the offseason and are excited to get back on the field. We are looking forward to being competitive and putting forth our best effort in every game.”

    Etc.: May is a three-year starter who threw for 2,000 yards and 19 TDs last year.


    SOUTHWESTERN A

    Anaconda Copperheads

    2013: 4-4

    Head Coach: Rob Orrino

    Butte Central Maroons

    2013: 5-5

    Head Coach: Don Peoples Jr.

    Key Players: QB Danny Peoples (Sr., first-team all-conference), WR Chad Peterson (Sr., all-conference), OL/DL T.W. Bolton (Sr.), RB Kyle Harrington (Jr.), TE Kyle Schulte (Jr.).

    Coach Says: “Our kids worked very hard during the offseason and we are hungry to be better in 2014.”

    Corvallis Blue Devils

    2013: 1-7

    Head Coach: Clayton Curley

    Key Players: RB/LB Jesse Sims (Sr.), QB/DL Jayce Gilder (Sr., honorable mention all-conference), WR/DB Taylor Sylvester (Sr., honorable mention all-conference), WR/DB Austin Ray (Sr., second-team all-conference), RB Gunnar Fairbrother (Sr., second-team all-conference), LB Sam Burdette (Sr., second-team all-conference).

    Coach Says: “We return all but one starter on offense and defense on a very senior-laden team and with the transfer of Jesse Sims from Stevensville the Blue Devils look to compete with the best teams in the conference.”

    Dillon Beavers

    2013: 11-0 (state champions)

    Head Coach: Rick Nordahl

    Key Players: QB J.D. Ferris (Sr., all-state), RB/LB Jason Ferris (Sr.), OL/LB Parker Tezak (Sr., all-conference), WR/DB Justin Ferris (Sr.), RB/DB Trae Williams (Sr.), RB/LB Tyler Van Slyke (Sr.), WR/LB Brady Richardson (Sr.).

    Coach Says: “Having an all-state quarterback return is a luxury. Our skill-position kids have a lot of experience and speed. Our defense should have great team speed and good depth at all positions. Our offensive line is pretty young as far as varsity experience but they have good size and great speed.”

    Hamilton Broncs

    2013: 7-4

    Head Coach: Travis Blome

    Stevensville Yellowjackets

    2013: 3-5

    Head Coach: Hank Praast

  • NORTHERN B

    1B

    Choteau Bulldogs

    2013: 5-4

    Head Coach: Craig Tucker

    Key Players: RB/LB Liam Breen (Sr.), QB/DB Derrek Durocher (Jr.), OL/DL Denver Krane (Jr.).

    Coach Says: “We’re returning a lot of players that got good playoff experience last year. We’re looking to improve on what we did last year.”

    Conrad Cowboys

    2013: 4-5

    Head Coach: Mick Morris

    Key Players: LB/QB Shane Larson (Sr., all-conference), RB Blake Underdahl (Sr., all-state), OL/DL Josh Breding (Sr., all-conference), WR/DB Tristan Diedrich (Sr., all-conference), TE/LB Hunter Mycke (So.), WR-DB Clark Judisch (Jr.), OL/DL Kyle Murack (Jr.), WR/DB Daylon Jay (jr.).

    Coach Says: “I am really excited about this upcoming season and specifically this football team. We return 19 starters off of last year’s playoff team and our kids are ready to compete for the opportunity to play in November again. Playing in 1B is a dogfight week in and week out. I think from top to bottom it is one of the toughest districts in Class B.”

    Etc.: Larson passed for 1,409 yards and 12 TDs last year and rushed for 1,030 yards and 12 TDs. Underdahl was all-state on defense.

    Cut Bank Wolves

    2013: 2-7

    Head Coach: Hugo Anderson

    Key Players: QB Jess Ray (Sr.), RB Reid VandenBos (Sr.), OK Derrrick Martinez (Sr.), WR Randon Anderson (Sr.), OL Brenden Johnson (Sr.), OL Jaiden Little Dog (Sr.), RB Adrian Growing Thunder (Sr.)

    Coach Says: “We will rely heavily on our offensive line and seniors to carry our team throughout the year.”

    Fairfield Eagles

    2013: 7-2

    Head Coach: Les Meyer

    Key Players: QB/LB Dalton Palmer (Sr., all-state), TE/LB Dru Oveson (Sr., all-state), G/DE Trevor Schenk (Sr., all-conference), WR/DB Christian Melo (Sr., all-conference), OL/LB James Konen (Sr.), RB/DB Mason Murray (Sr.).

    Coach Says: “We graduated 11 seniors from last year’s team. Depth and experience are major concerns heading into this season. The key to this year’s team will be how fast we can develop positive leadership.”

    Shelby Coyotes

    2013: 3-5

    Head Coach: Mike White

    2B

    Glasgow Scotties

    2013: 9-2

    Head Coach: Greg Liebelt

    Key Players: QB/S Jason Thibault (Sr., first-team all-conference), WR/S Chase Fossum (Sr., first-team all-conference), FB/LB Tanner Ronnes (Sr., first-team all-conference), RB/LB Dallas Capdeville (Sr., second-team all-conference), C/DL Ryan Scanlon (Sr.), OL/DL Joe Doney (Sr.), LB Zach Miller (Jr.).

    Coach Says: “We are cautiously optimistic this season. Although we have some very talented players returning, replacing the entire offensive and defensive lines and adjusting without Keil Krumwiede will be a great challenge for our team.

    Etc.: 2013 MVP Keil Krumwiede had surgery on his wrist after a baseball injury and is doubtful for this season.

    Harlem Wildcats

    2013: 1-7

    Head Coach: NA

    Malta Mustangs

    2013: 5-3

    Head Coach: Nick Oxarart

    Key Players: RB/LB Quintan Boos (Sr.), WR/DB Tyson Carney (Jr.), WR/DB Allen Williamson (Jr.), QB/DB Jase Galt (Jr.), OL/DL Antonio Lopez (Jr.).

    Coach Says: “We will need to have a lot of young players develop and mature in order to be competitive with teams such as Glasgow.”

    Plentywood Wildcats

    2013: 3-5

    Head Coach: Bill Nyby

    Key Players: C/DL Justin Marsh (Sr.), RB/DB RJ Becker (Sr.), OL/DL Drew Friedrich (Sr.), RB/LB Isaiah Detienne (Sr.), OL/DL Caleb Dickey (Sr.)

    Coach Says: “We lost 10 seniors, which was a large part of our nucleus last year. We will return five seniors this year with varsity experience. Our strength will be in the interior line and our weakness will be depth and numbers. We will definitely need our younger players to play a bigger role this season to be successful. So far in practice, the players are showing great enthusiasm and desire to learn. We are looking forward to a successful season.”

    Wolf Point Wolves

    2013: 1-7

    Head Coach: Bruce Knerr

    Key Players: WR Tyson Bridges (Sr., second-team all-conference), OL/DL Cameron Quincy (Sr., all-conference), QB Dalton Hafner (Sr.), LB David Knerr (Jr., all-conference), WR Josh Nieskens (Sr.).

    Coach Says: “The seniors worked hard to change previous identity. We installed boot-camp training and they rose to the challenge to be perfect. We are sophomore-heavy; we will have six or seven sophomores starting between both sides of the ball.”


    SOUTHERN B

    3B

    Baker Spartans

    2013: 11-1

    Head Coach: Dave Breitbach

    Key Players: RB/LB Seth Barkley (Sr.), OL/DL Clint Lesh (Sr.).

    Coach Says: “We will have a lot of new faces playing after graduating eight starters on both sides of the ball.”

    Colstrip Colts

    2013: 5-3

    Head Coach: Bill Briggs

    Key Players: RB/TE/LB Triatan Aberle (Sr.), WR/LB Rod Studiner (Sr.), OL/DL Jake Sessions (Jr.).

    Coach Says: “Should be a fun year ... for a young team we are progressing very quickly and the guys are coming together as a team.”

    Forsyth Dogies

    2013: 7-2

    Head Coach: Chris Hess

    Key Players: OL/DL Hunter Webster (Sr.), RB/LB Luke Weber (Jr., first-team all-conference), OL/DL Aaron Bell (Sr.), OL/DL Dylan Bell (Sr.), OL/DL Steven Gabel (Sr.), RB/LB Matt Weber (Sr.), WR/DB Tristan Rogers (Jr.), QB/LB Casey Cole (So.,second-team all-conference), WR/DB Colt McDaniel (Sr.).

    Coach Says: “This is the best offseason we have had as a team so far. We lost some talented players last year, but this group is very dedicated. I believe our offensive line will be strong with a talented backfield. Our defense should once again be a strength for this team and we hope to remain competitive in a very tough conference. 3B had three ranked teams last year and I expect this conference to be very potent again.”

    Huntley Project Red Devils

    2013: 7-3

    Head Coach: Guy Croy

    Key Players: OL-DL Tanner Miller (Sr., second-team all-state), TE-LB Blake Jessen (Sr.), WR-DB Michael Jobman (Jr.), OL-LB Kaleb Reynolds (Jr.), QB-DB Dallas Mack (Jr.), OL-DL Taylor Larsen (Sr.), OL-DL Ryan Olson (Sr.), RB-DL Kian Brown (Sr.), RB-DB Tucker Hould (Sr.), DB Jonah Nelson (Sr.).

    Coach Says: “With several key returning starters and a good mix of younger players coming up, our team is looking to build on a good season from last year. We are excited about our upcoming season.”

    Lodge Grass Indians

    2013: 0-7

    Head Coach: Leroy Wallace

    Key Players: Calvin Nomee (Sr.), RB Zane Horn (Sr.), Dane Dosson (Sr.), David Castro (Sr.), John Smells (Sr.), Ethan Cummins (Jr.), Isiaih Brown (So.), DeAllen Little Light (Sr.), Jericho Big Left Hand (So.), Jaden Frost (So.), Robert Morning (Jr.), Darren Charges Strong (Sr.).

    Coach Says: “We lost a great group of seniors from last year’s team. We have a bunch of new faces this year, including a few freshmen. It will be a rebuilding year, but we will come ready to play. As usual, because of our numbers it will be ironman football for us!”

    Shepherd Mustangs

    2013: 1-7

    Head Coach: Adam Sanchez

    Key Players: QB/DB Hyrum Hanson (Jr.), WR/DB John Mushaben (Sr.), RB/LB Zach Iffland (Sr.), TE/DL Colter Feuerstein (Sr.), OL/DL Chism Mavity (Sr.), OL/DL Ben Oliver (Sr.), RB/LB Noah Smelser (So.), RB/DB Chase Darnelle (So.).

    Coach Says: “This year we return quite a few players. We have a lot of youth on the team, which looks promising for years to come. They are a hard-working unit. We, as a team, are excited to see what the season brings. Hard work and consistency is going to be key week in and week out.”

    4B

    Big Timber Herders

    2013: 3-5

    Head Coach: Bruce Bell

    Key Players: QB/S Walker LaVoy (Sr., all-conference), RB/DB Brent Finn (Jr., all-conference). LB/RB Kalvin Kunda (Sr., all-conference), OL/DL Brycen Lehman (Sr.), RB/LB Ryan Morgan (Jr.), DL Lee Hughes (Sr.).

    Coach Says: “We improved plenty last year and we are curious what effect our great leadership will have on that improvement this year.”

    Columbus Cougars

    2013: 4-4

    Head Coach: John Smith

    Key Players: LB/RB Brady Exner (Sr.), LB/RB Preston Fink (Sr.), QB/RB Kade Osborne (Sr.), WR/OLB Trey Ostrum (Sr.), WR/DB Keifer McKay (Jr.), OL/DL Jackson Booth (Jr.), OL/DL Will Griffel (Sr.), OL/DL Braden Marjerison (Sr.), OL/LB Cortem Wells (Sr.).

    Coach Says: “We will be returning players with experience. Our numbers are down in OL/DL. We will have to convert players in skill positions to be successful. Sacrifice for the team will have to happen. We have a lot of athletes, the question is, will they accept their roll. Jury is out.”

    Joliet J-Hawks

    2013: 2-7

    Head Coach: Dewey Allen

    Key Players: DL/OL Colter Peterson (Jr.), RB/WR/LB Terryn Bermes (Sr.).

    Coach Says: “Wee are small in numbers, big in heart.”

    Red Lodge Rams

    2013: 5-5

    Head Coach: John Perrigo

    Key Players: LB Kyle Draper (Sr.), RB/LB Tyler Metcalf (Sr.), RB/LB Brandon Bohan (Sr.), OL/DL Liam Morse (Sr.), OL Dillon Iverson (Sr.), QB Gunnar Nelson (Jr.), LB/TB Cole Kelly (Jr.).

    Coach Says: “They’ve worked very hard in the offseason to prepare themselves for a great season. They are not afraid of hard work. They are a great group of young men, and they will represent the school, the town and the citizens of Red Lodge very well this year.”

    Roundup Panthers

    2013: 2-6

    Head Coach: Dana Quenzer

    Key Players: RB/LB Hunter Saltzman (Sr.), OL/DL Zach Marty (Sr.), TE/LB Jacob Wolfe (Sr.), RB/LB Cody Pearson (Sr.), WR/DB Brody Smith (Sr.), OL/DL Sam Smith (Jr.), QB/DB Dalton Salthe (Jr.), OL/LB Richard Voss (Jr.)

    Coach Says: “As long as we stay healthy, we should be competitive by conference play.”

    5B

    Jefferson Panthers

    2013: 10-2

    Head Coach: Clint Layng

    Key Players: MLB Trase Le Texier (Jr.), OT/MLB Reilly Leary (Sr.), S Jered Padmos (Jr.), DB/WR/RB Branden Rykal (Sr.), RB/OLB Tate Guisti (Jr.), C/DE Jacob Smith (Sr.).

    Coach Says: “We are young, but we have good team speed. Even though we lost seven starters, we return a good core of players.”

    Manhattan Tigers

    2013: 4-4

    Head Coach: Chris Grabowska

    Key Players: QB/OLB Brock Bitterman (Sr., first-team all-conference), OL/DL Chase Barta (Jr., first-team all-conference), DL/WR Alec Nehring (Jr., second-team all-conference), RB/LB Shondel Connerton (Jr., second-team all-conference), WR/CB Caleb Neith (Jr.), WR/CB Conner Cross (Jr.), WR/LB Cole Visser (Jr.), OL/DL Axel Grubich (Sr.).

    Coach Says: “We have lots of team speed and experience returning to our football team. We have speed at all positions that should be very exciting to watch.”

    Three Forks Wolves

    2013: 2-6

    Head Coach: Tyler Palmer

    Key Players: WR/FS Luke Colberg (Sr.), LB/OL Ty Chandler (Sr.).

    Coach Says: “I am very excited about what this team has the potential to achieve. Each season presents new challenges, that we welcome.”

    Townsend Bulldogs

    2013: 6-2

    Head Coach: Travis Rauh

    Key Players: QB Jace Lewis (Jr.), WR Kenny Wilbur (sr.).

    Coach Says: “We’re going to play aggressive, I mean obviously we’re going to switch our coverage up on occasion. But if it’s not broke we don’t really need to fix it” (ABC Montana).

    Whitehall Trojans

    2013: 5-3

    Head Coach: Dan Lacey

    Key Players: WR/DB Colton Coffing (Sr., first-team all-conference), RB/LB Jed Fike (Sr., second-team all-conference), QB/DB Braden Larsen (So.), OL/LB Mike Woods (Sr.), OL/DL Casey Collins (Sr.).

    Coach Says: “We are a young team that is hungry to compete for a playoff spot in a tough 5B conference. We have a competitive mindset and great leadership.”


    WESTERN B

    6B

    Deer Lodge Wardens

    2013: 7-3

    Head Coach: Patrick Munson

    Florence-Carlton Falcons

    2013: 1-7

    Head Coach: Terry Maki

    Missoula Loyola

    2013: 11-0 (state champions)

    Head Coach: Todd Hughes

    Key Players: WR/S Tommy Terrell (Sr.), WR Danner Linhart (Sr.), QB/LB Stephen Sellman (Sr.), RB/DE Marty Pigeon (Sr.), OL/LB Kenny Tripp (Sr.), OL/LB Brayden Burke (Sr.)

    Coach Says: “Our defense is a very experienced group returning four all-conference players. On offense our skill positions are very fast and experienced.”

    Ronan Chiefs

    2013: 4-4

    Head Coach: Jim Benn

    Key Players: QB/CB Connor Benn, FB/NG Lucas Gerhardt, DT Tanner Mead, OT Sam Bixby, OLB Mark Toler, RB Austin Hakes, C Tyler Anderson, OLB Brandon Dumont, TE/ILB Ron Cullis, K/P Lucas Gerhardt.

    Coach Says: “We return good experience on both lines and have very explosive skill position players. This group has a great attitude and has worked very hard to improve this off season.”

    St. Ignatius Bulldogs

    2013: 1-8

    Head Coach: Peter Hamilton

    7B

    Bigfork Vikings

    2013: 9-1

    Head Coach: Todd Emslie

    Key Players: QB Josh Sandry (Sr.), RB Vinny Quick (Sr.), DL Aaron Luna (Sr.), C Russel Goeden (Jr.), DB Isaac Martel (Sr.).

    Coach Says: “Our expectations are that No. 1 it stays fun and No. 2 that we are able to compete in every football game. We’ve been able to do that the last few years.” (Flathead Beacon).

    Eureka Lions

    2013: 6-3

    Head Coach: Trevor Utter

    Key Players: QB Austyn Shepherd, RB Garrett White, DT Gerald Branscome, C/LB Owen Daris, WR/DB Brand Conard.

    Coach Says: “We are young, talented and getting better every day.”

    Plains Horsemen

    2013: 0-9

    Head Coach: Jim Lawson

    Key Players: Trent Brouillette (Jr., all-conference).

    Thompson Falls Bluehawks

    2013: 2-7

    Head Coach: Jared Koskela

    Key Players: QB Greg Wadsworth (Sr.), WR Trais Hoisington (Jr.).

    Coach Says: “Our goal is to get 100% better everyday throughout the season with an emphasis on over-achievement.”

    Troy Trojans

    2013: 4-4

    Head Coach: Brendan Miller

    Key Players: RB/LB Sean Opland (Jr., first-team all-state), WR/LB Gage Tallmadge (Sr., first-team all-conference), OL/DL Jordan Herrick (Jr., second-team all-conference), WR/LB Michael Miller (Sr.), OL/DE Garrett Chapel (Sr.).

    Coach Says: “We have great team speed, and should compete with every team we play. We are young on the line and will need them to mature quickly. ”

  • EASTERN C 8-MAN

    Circle Wildcats

    2013: 2-6

    Head Coach: Taw Eissenger

    Culbertson-Bainville Cowboys

    2013: 8-2

    Head Coach: David Helmer

    Key Players: LB/RB Tony Williams (Sr., all-state), LB/WR Adam Buxbaum (Jr., all-state), DB Cameron Lambert (Jr., all-conference), OL/DL Garrett Reid (Sr.).

    Coach Says: “We lost a few key players from last year, but we return a handful of starters with eager, talented underclassmen looking to make an impact.”

    Fairview Warriors

    2013: 4-4

    Head Coach: Derek Gackle

    Key Players: QB Monte Cayko (Sr.), RB/DB Alex Taylor (Sr.), WR/LB Jared Gustafson (Sr.), WR/DE Ben Hardy (Jr.), FB/LB Josh Hurley (Jr.), LB Jon Lebsock (Jr.), TE/DE Pat Hardy (So.).

    Coach Says: “We look forward to building on the experience we gained last year.”

    Hays-Lodgepole Thunderbirds

    2013: 0-7

    Head Coach: Shawn Mount

    Key Players: RB/LB Sterling WhiteCow (Sr.), WR/DB Codie Kirkaldie (Sr.), OL/DL Shane Brockie (Sr.), TE/LB Darnell Parisian (Sr.), DL/RB Damon Castillo (Jr.), QB/DB Tyson Shambo (So.), TE/DE Tough Snow (So.), RB/DB Frank Runs Above (So.), OL/DL Colten Werk (So.).

    Coach Says: “First of all, we want to gain respect from other teams. We are tired of being the doormat and the easy win for other schools in our division. Then we want to get our first win. I believe we are heading in the right direction.”

    Scobey Spartans

    2013: 1-7

    Head Coach: Brock Berryhill

    Key Players: DB Hugh Cole (sr.), DB Danny Linder (sr.).

    Coach Says: “We were awfully young last year, but a lot of kids got tons of game experience. This year we are still relatively young with only three seniors, but we should be much improved from last year.”

    Wibaux Longhorns

    2013: 11-1

    Head Coach: Jeff Bertelsen

    Key Players: TB/LB Colton Tousignant (Sr.), OL/DL Trent Farnworth (Sr.), E/LB Conner Leach (Sr.), OL/DL Wyatt Miske (Sr.), E/LB Chad Nelson (Sr.), OL/DL Riley Smith (Sr.), RB/LB Shawn Schaefferkoetter (So.), E/LB Jhett Quade (Sr.).


    SOUTHERN C 8-MAN

    Absarokee Huskies

    2013: 1-7

    Head Coach: Gregg Feddes

    Key Returnees: RB/S Elijah Barber (Sr.), WR/LB Trevor Smith (Sr.), TE/DB Ty Pfingsten (Sr.), OL/DL A.J. Thomson (Sr.), OL/DL Cooper Crabtree (Jr.), RB/LB Calvin Hanson (Jr.), OL/DL Bryce Oderman (Jr.), QB/LB Billy Raville (Jr.), TE/DB Isaiah Mondragon (Jr.).

    Coach Says: “We should have a fairly strong backfield, get Billy and Calvin back, but we’re going to be fairly young. Pile of freshmen and some of them will start. It’s going to be a work in progress.”

    Broadview-Lavina Pirates

    2013: 6-3

    Head Coach: Adam White

    Key Players: QB/DE Taylor Bienvenue (Sr., first-team all-state), OL/DL Andy Moore (Sr., second-team all-conference), TE/DE Scott Bymaster (Jr., honorable mention all-conference), RB/LB Jacob Reed (So., honorable mention all-conference), WR/CB Joel Nelson (Jr.), OL/DL Casey Sainsbury (Jr.), OL/DL Evan Heiken (Jr.)

    Coach Says: “We lost a lot of senior leadership to graduation; looking forward to watching this year’s seniors step up into these leadership roles. I am excited to have some key position players back as this will help in the development of the new faces in starting roles.”

    Ennis Mustangs

    2013: 12-0 (state champions)

    Head Coach: Jay Fredrickson

    Key Players: QB Walker McKittrick (Sr.), RB/LB Wylie Leo (Sr.), OL/DL Dustin Whan (Jr.), LB/RB/WR Haakon Fredrickson (Sr.), OL/DL George Ball (Sr.).

    Coach Says: “We celebrated that state championship in earnest, but that’s in the past and our future is out in front of us. We’ll never forget it but we’re not going to dwell on it.”

    Gardiner Bruins

    2013: 3-5

    Head Coach: Mike Baer

    Key Players: C/DT Seth Tyson (Sr.), RB/DE Eddie Rodarte (Jr.), LB/RB Nick Sabo (Sr.), G/DT Jarred Hurst (Jr.).

    Coach Says: “We have some good size along with some depth. We will look to run the football, control the clock and play some solid defense.”

    Harlowton Engineers

    2013: NA

    Head Coach: Rob Tedlund

    Park City Panthers

    2013: 4-4

    Head Coach: Jason Ness

    Key Players: QB/S Ty Robbie (Sr.), RB/LB Connor May (Jr.), TE/LB Mason Moe (Sr.), OL/DL Lane Miller, WR/DB Grant McNeil.

    Coach Says: “We have a lot of spots to fill after graduating five starters. We will be young in spots but they are a very motivated group and ready for the challenge.”

    Shields Valley Rebels

    2013: 3-5

    Head Coach: Jon Croston

    Key Players: DL Clay Scidmore (Sr., second-team all-conference), S Ryley Waddell (Sr., second-team all-conference), RB Cole Fairchild (Sr.), QB Thad Ferguson (Sr.)

    Coach Says: “This year’s priorities are class, academics and effort. We feel if we continue to improve on these priorities we will have a successful season.”

    White Sulphur Springs Hornets

    2013: 6-3

    Head Coach: Barry Hedrich


    NORTHERN C 8-MAN

    Belt Huskies

    2013: 10-2

    Head Coach: Jeff Graham

    Key Players: Colton Swanson, Paxton Maki, Koltin Haugrose, Matt Metrione.

    Coach Says: “The Northern C will once again be very deep and very difficult to finish in the top four. Each week is very important as any team can get beat on any given week.”

    Cascade Badgers

    2013: 1-8

    Head Coach: Jesse Allan

    Centerville Miners

    2013: 3-6

    Head Coach: Luke McKinley

    Key Players: DL Marty Luoma (Sr.), QB Kade Landon, QB Matt Lynch, DL Austin Scott (Sr.)

    Coach Says: “These boys have shown promise over the summer months by going to camps and putting time in the weight room. We will be young and green, but there’s nothing better than coaching kids that are hungry to get on the field.”

    Chester-Joplin-Inverness Hawks

    2013: 7-3

    Head Coach: Jim Vinson

    Key Players: RB/LB Justin May (Jr.), QB/MLB Brandon Richter (Jr.), C/DE Brandon Theel (Sr.), TE/DE Troy Harmon (Jr.), RB/MLB Brett Hanke (So.).

    Coach Says: “The C-J-I Hawks will be very young and inexperienced this year. There will be 12 boys on the team this year due to school enrollment, so staying healthy will be key.”

    Chinook Sugarbeeters

    2013: 4-5

    Head Coach: Scott Friede

    Key Players: TE Lane Seymour (Sr., all-conference)

    Great Falls Central Mustangs

    2013: 5-4

    Head Coach: Mike Nelson

    Key Players: RB/LB Nolan Donisthorpe (Sr., all-conference), QB/S Reid Nelson (Sr., honorable mention all-conference), OL/DL Carter Anderson (Sr.), OL/DL Joe Bertha (Jr.).

    Coach Says: “Overall, we are a little undersized and have no depth at any position. But if we can stay healthy I think we can get in the playoff mix.”

    Power-Dutton-Brady Titans

    2013: 6-4

    Head Coach: Joe Schmidt

    Key Players: RB Drew Carlson (Sr.), OL Travis Wittmarth (Sr.), WR Matt Hitchcock (Sr.), OL David Shumway (Sr.), DE Kyler Holbrook (Sr.), OL John Zylks (Sr.), C Breyer Hill (Jr.), QB Seth Kitchin (Jr.), WR Chase Rossmiller (Jr.).

    Coach Says: We will be an explosive, quick-scoring team with plenty of speed running the read-option offense. On defense we will be quick and much more physical than last year. Special teams will also be strong.”

    Simms Tigers

    2013: 9-2

    Head Coach: Eric Dirk

    Key Players: TE/DL Jake Bloom (Jr., first-team all-state), RB/LB Devan Goode (Sr., first-team all-conference), OL/DL Kalvin Rohrer (Sr., first-team all-conference), WR/DB Branden Bulik-Chism (Sr., second-team all-conference), RB/DB Kuskey Sakaye (Sr., honorable mention all-conference), RB/LB Noah Clark (Sr.), WR/DB Erik Pscherning (Jr.).

    Coach Says: “The 2014 Tigers are anxious to get into the season and have been working hard each day to build on the momentum of last year’s success.”


    WESTERN C 8-MAN

    Arlee Warriors

    2013: 3-5

    Head Coach: Mike Rogers

    Key Players: QB Riley Rogers, WR Patrick Bigsam (all-conference), WR/LB P.J. Haynes (all-conference), DL/RB Alex Bertolit, LB Isaac Desjarlais.

    Coach Says: “Our strengths are we are returning our whole team but two players.”

    Charlo Vikings

    2013: 9-2

    Head Coach: Mike Krahn

    Key Players: QB Michael Delaney (Jr.), OL/DL Maverikc Nelson (Sr.), WR/DB Jesse Long (Sr.).

    Coach Says: “Charlo will look to rebuild after the loss of five senior starters from last year’s team that went to state semifinals.”

    Darby Tigers

    2013: 0-8

    Head Coach: Loyd Rennaker

    Key Players: QB/DB Rope Rennaker (Sr.).

    Drummond-Philipsburg Trojans

    2013: 6-3

    Head Coach: Jim Oberweiser

    Key Players: QB Tony Bergerson (Sr.), OL/DL Bob Immenschuh (Sr.), WR/LB Danny Mannix (Sr.), QB/S Eric Bohrnsen (Sr.).

    Coach Says: “The big thing is we’ll have eight kids that we can practice against each night. And I know that’s a luxury that some of the teams in our conference don’t always have.”

    Noxon Red Devils

    2013: 1-7

    Head Coach: Josh Patterson

    Seeley-Swan Blackhawks

    2013: 4-4

    Head Coach: Wayne Cahoon

    Key Players: RB/LB Justin Grimes (Sr.), OL/DL Seth Linford (Jr.), OL/DL Matt Teague (Jr.), RB/LB Jacob Haley (Jr.).

    Coach Says: “We have some great seniors to anchor the team, a huge football-savvy junior class, and an excellent underclassmen supporting cast. Also our starting ‘D’ was mostly sophomores last season, and as a whole the team is an exceptionally athletic bunch.”

    Superior Bobcats

    2013: 8-3

    Head Coach: Allan Labbe

    Key Players: QB/DB Wyatt Zylawy (Sr., all-state)

    Coach Says: “Toughness and quickness will continue to be the program focus. Western C is very strong and very competitive.”

    Victor Pirates

    2013: 7-3

    Head Coach: Brandon Howell

    Key Players: OL/LB Colton Cavill (Sr., all-conference), TE/DL Ryan Lewis (Sr., all-conference).

    Coach Says: “We are a young team after losing 11 seniors from last year’s team, but we have the potential to be very good if our young guys step in to fill some key roles.”

  • EASTERN C 6-MAN

    Ekalaka Bulldogs

    2013: 0-7

    Head Coach: Tenadore Kittelmann

    Frazer Bearcubs

    2013: Junior varsity

    Head Coach: Dean Blount

    Froid-Lake Redhawks

    2013: 5-5

    Head Coach: Boyce Urdahl

    Jordan Mustangs

    2013: 5-3

    Head Coach: Wally Harbaugh

    Richey-Lambert Fusion

    2013: 2-6

    Head Coach: Shawn Lien

    Key Players: Kyle Watson, Ryder Olson, Brock Frisbie

    Coach Says: “I am very excited about this team. We have a group of guys who want to get better; therefore they work hard.”

    Rosebud Wranglers

    2013: 1-7

    Head Coach: Dan Schrock

    Key Players: WR/DE Kobe Treible (Sr.), RB Barrett Adler (Jr.), QB Shay Adler (Fr.), WR/DL Randy Kraus (Jr.)

    Coach Says: “Our team is both small and relatively inexperienced. As such, our goals are to grow and improve steadily throughout the season.”

    Savage Warriors

    2013: 10-1

    Head Coach: Jim Miller

    Terry Terriers

    2013: 5-4

    Head Coach: Greg Mendenhall

    Key Players: QB/DB Kyle Lassle (Sr., all-state), WR/S Lane Stickel (Jr., all-state), FB/LB Jordan Lassle (Sr., all-conference).

    Coach Says: “We have a solid team with good experience and a lot of drive.”

    Westby-Grenora Thunder

    2013: 9-2

    Head Coach: Troy Walters

    Key Players: Thomas Field, (Sr.), Cooper Olson, (Sr.).

    Coach Says: “Defense is a key to the Thunder. Need to become a better open field tackling team.”


    SOUTHERN C 6-MAN

    Bridger Scouts

    2013: 3-5

    Head Coach: Mike Mathis

    Key Players: FB/DE Trent Goldsberry (Jr.), RB/E/DB Austin Riddle (Jr.), E/DE Kyle Brandt (Sr.), QB/LB Ryan Zontner (So.)

    Coach Says: “We have a good mix of experience and young players this year. There is a lot of talent across the conference and with the hard work we are putting in, we are looking to contend for a playoff spot.”

    Custer-Hysham Rebels

    2013: 6-3

    Head Coach: Brad Hoffman

    Key Players: WR/S Tate Rhodes (Sr., all-state), FB/LB Quane Russel (Jr.), E/DE Oz Munoz (Jr.).

    Coach Says: “Experience, fairly good speed, not much depth.”

    Fromberg-Belfry Falcons

    2013: 1-7

    Head Coach: Mike Storer

    Key Players: RB/DB Triston Barker (Jr.), RB/LB Richy Eagleman (Sr.), QB Jonathon Damjanovich (Jr.).

    Coach Says: “We have a lot of returning starters from last year, who had a great deal of playing time as underclassmen.”

    Grass Range-Winnett Rangers

    2013: 7-3

    Head Coach: Jerry Fortner

    Key Players: RB Logan Sluggett (Sr.), Derek Gee (Sr.), Jerrin Strenge (Sr.), Roman Wouman (Sr.), Chase Nunn (Sr.).

    Coach Says: “ We look to build on the success from last season and what we learned as a first-year playoff team. ”

    Hobson-Moore-Judith Gap Titans

    2013: 9-1

    Head Coach: Jake Stevenson

    Key Players: LB/RB Gavin Melichar (Jr.), S/C Max Hertel (Sr.), S/RB Mark Deupree (Sr.), QB CJ Stevenson (Jr.), OL Aaron Walters (Jr.), DL River Hughes (Sr.).

    Coach Says: “We return a strong core group of upperclassmen that have a lot of experience throughout their careers.”

    Reed Point-Rapelje Renegades

    2013: 3-5

    Head Coach: Adam Wagner

    Key Players: QB Tristen Prescott (Sr.), LB Cody Reynolds (Sr.).

    Coach Says: “This year’s team is working very hard — should pay off!”

    Roy-Winifred Outlaws

    2013: 4-4

    Head Coach: Nick Econom


    WESTERN C 6-MAN

    Alberton Panthers

    2013: 6-3

    Head Coach: Mike Weller

    Key Players: Jack Lehl, Tyler Ishler, Alex Monaghan.

    Coach Says: “We have strong senior leadership and hard-working young talent.”

    Hot Springs Savage Heat

    2013: 7-2

    Head Coach: Jim Lawson

    Key Players: QB/LB Tanner Hoff (Sr.), TE/DE Nate Gray (Sr.), C/LB Lane Foster (Sr.).

    Lima Bears

    2013: 4-4

    Head Coach: Colton Clarno

    Lincoln Lynx

    2013: 4-5

    Head Coach: Shane Brown

    Key Players: RB/LB Coletin Trump (So.), WR/DE Payton Peterson (Fr.).

    Coach Says: “We might not be the biggest team but we play with heart and pride.”

    Etc.: Lincoln made the second round of the 6-Man playoffs last season, but has only five players out and had to cancel its first two games.

    Lone Peak Big Horns

    2013: 4-5

    Head Coach: Matt Bakken

    Key Players: RB/DL Tanner Burton (all-state), QB Justin McKillop (all-conference), WR/DL Justin Mayse (all-conference), RB/K Cooper Shea (honorable mention all-conference).

    Coach Says: “We didn’t lose any seniors last year, so we have a very talented and experienced group of players returning.”

    Sheridan Panthers

    2013: 0-8 (8-Man)

    Head Coach: Ricy Anderson

    Key Players: Sam Wood (Sr.), Nick Hoag (Sr.), Mike Hillicker (Sr.), Caleb Bowlby (Sr.), Lucas Lewis (Sr.).

    Coach Says: “Looking forward to the new challenge of playing 6-Man. We hope to surprise everybody.”

    West Yellowstone Wolverines

    2013: 0-7

    Head Coach: Dustin Portmann


    NORTHERN C 6-MAN

    Augusta Elks

    2013: 0-8

    Head Coach: Nathan Young

    Big Sandy Pioneers

    2013: 3-5

    Head Coach: Walter Sivertson

    Key Players: RB/LB Kyle Strutz (Sr.), OL/DL Cody Bailey (Sr.), OL/DL Jacob Schuster (Sr.), RB/LB Geno Menard (Sr.), QB/LB Zach Works (Jr.).

    Coach Says: “We have a very strong conference this year with the defending state and runnerup team champs and our kids are looking forward to the challenge.”

    Box Elder Bears

    2013: 3-5

    Head Coach: Ronnie Simpson

    Key Players: QB/S Brandon The Boy (Jr.), RB/LB Bodis Duran (Jr.), WR/LB Shane Ketchum (Jr.), RB-LB Jake Jones (Jr.), OL/DL Jacob Bradley (Jr.).

    Coach Says: “I’m excited to coach a great group of guys who have dedicated their summer to playing football.”

    Geraldine-Highwood Rivals

    2013: 12-0 (state champions)

    Head Coach: Rod Tweet

    Key Players: Jake Malek (Sr.), Darren Malek (Sr.), Logan Ferda (Sr.), Jordan LaFontaine (Sr.), PJ Alvers (Sr.).

    Heart Butte Warriors

    2013: 2-6

    Head Coach: NA

    North Star Knights

    2013: 7-3

    Head Coach: Steven Simonson

    Denton-Geyser-Stanford Bearcats

    2013: 10-2

    Head Coach: Scott Sparks

    Key Players: TE/LB Austin Morris (Sr., all-state), RB/LB Conner Bokma (Jr., all-state), QB/LB Kade Woodhall, (Jr.), RB/DE Bart Vaskey, (Sr.), C/DE Jessy Annala, (Sr.), TE/NG Tyler Lee, (Jr.), S Kendall Carpenter, (Jr.).

    Coach Says: “We might not have as much veteran depth as last year, but we will put six guys out on the field offensively and defensively that can really play.”

    Sunburst Refiners

    2013: 0-9 (8-Man)

    Head Coach: Dean Lerum

    Key Players: DL/FB Jarret Bloch, (sr.), C/NG Forrest McEwen, (sr.), QB/S Tyler Tharp, (sr.), RB/LB Blake Morgan, (sr.).

    Coach Says: “We have great size that we want to utilize throughout the season.”

    Valier Panthers

    2013: 4-4

    Head Coach: Greg King

  • Repeat champions? Volleyball has plenty of them.

    Three of the four classes have title-holders that are defending at least two championships. And in those three classes, the defending champs have a good shot to hold on to their crowns.

    In Class AA, it’s Billings Senior, which defeated city rival Skyview in last year’s championship to make it two in a row for the Broncs and a state-record 11th overall.

    The Broncs return two all-state players (Taylor Mims and Emily Orvis) and two all-conference players (Aubrie Steiner and Briley Rowe), but when it comes to picking a favorite, Senior coach Jeff Carroll is pointing elsewhere.

    “Glacier is probably the team to beat, because of the fact they return what I think is the best AA setter in the state” in Hannah Liss, Carroll said. “When those guys are in system, those guys are way good.”

    The Wolfpack lost some important hitters, though, from last year’s team that finished fourth at state and 23-5 overall. Bozeman had a deep roster of young, athletic players, and the Hawks appear ready to challenge for tournament hardware after a 17-8 campaign.

    Despite Carroll’s sleight of hand, the Broncs will be most people’s pick. They went 27-1 last year, and despite a switch in offensive system this year, should have enough firepower to outgun most teams.

    Vicki Carle’s team is one of those with plenty of new faces. Skyview graduated six of the top seven players of its rotation from last year’s runner-up team. The Falcons have returning talent, however, including all-state middle hitter Hailey Copinga, who will also set.

    Kelly Deming starts her fourth season at West, looking to return to the state tournament after a one-year absence. The Golden Bears will be blending in new players to join the likes of returners Tatum Meyer, Kennedy Hildebrand and Jessi Zuroff.

    Class A

    There have been four different Class A state champions in the past five seasons, and with 2013 champ Corvallis graduating seven seniors, it looks like the class will again see another season go by without a repeat.

    But you probably don’t have to look too far to see familiar contenders.

    Coach Tara Taylor always seems to have Lewistown — last year’s runners-up — in the running, and the Eagles will likely be a top team again this season. Frenchtown, the 2012 runner-up to Laurel, had a disappointing 2013 even though it qualified for state. But expect the Broncs to make another strong run this season.

    Columbia Falls, a state tournament team last year, had just two seniors on its roster. Billings Central has won a trophy each of the past five years at state, and though the Rams lost five seniors as well as coach Liz Hanser, their tradition could easily take them a long ways again under new coach Kylie Kufeld.

    Class B

    No volleyball program in any class is on a run like Huntley Project. The Red Devils have won five straight State B titles and nine overall, all since 2003.

    So even with the graduation of three starters, it’s tough to count out a team with a track record like that. Even if coach Iona Stookey has concerns.

    “We definitely have room for improvement,” said the Red Devils coach, who has 646 wins heading into her 25th season. “Our motto this year is ‘Bringing the best out of each other,’ because that’s what we need to do every time we step out on the floor. Everybody is just betting better.”

    Teams like Forsyth, Colstrip and Red Lodge from the Southern B will be trying to chase down the Red Devils, as well as state-tournament teams Florence-Carlton and Choteau. In the end, though, someone is going to have to take that trophy from them.

    Class C

    With Hannah Dean and Tess Thomas back starting for a fourth year, the two-time defending champion Gardiner Bruins have plenty of experience to rely on in a quest for a Class C three-peat. Not to mention a 60-match winning streak that can strike intimidation — and, yes, motivation — into the heart of their opponents.

    Challengers could come from the likes of Manhattan Christian and Bridger, both of which brought young teams to last year’s state tournament. Jordan had just three seniors on its state-tournament roster.

    But the Mustangs graduated some talented players. Neither Twin Bridges nor Harrison-Willow Creek qualified for the tournament last year, but both have all-round athletes that can carry a team far at the Class C level.

  • Billings Senior Broncs

    2013: 27-1

    Head Coach: Jeff Carroll

    Key Players: Taylor Mims, 6-3, Sr., MH (all-state), Emily Orvis, 5-2, Sr., DS (all-state); MB; Aubrie Steiner, 6-1, Jr., MB (all-conference); Briley Rowe, 5-4, Jr., DS (all-conference HM); Brianna Bromgard, 5-5, Jr., S; Naomi Bad Bear, 5-9, Jr., OH; Lizzy King, 5-6, Sr., OH/DS; Jeanann Lemelin, 5-7, Jr., S; Sydney Norwood, 5-10, So., MB; April Cross, 6-0, So., MB.

    Coach Says: "Playing as many new players as we're playing, there's going to be some growing pains. But I sure like the complexion of this team and the challenge that's in front of us. It certainly helps when you have a Taylor Mims and an Aubrie Steiner in the mix, because those are, I think, arguably two of the better players in the state. You look at our back row with Emily, Briley and Lizzy, those are three really solid kids who have been around for a while."

    Etc.: The Broncs broke the 20-win barrier for the 22nd time in the last 24 years and won the Class AA state title for the second year in a row. The championship was their 11th overall, which is a state record for any class. ... Carroll is in his 29th season and has a career mark of 628-199. ... Mims led AA in attack efficiency (.310) and kills per set (4.53).

    Billings Skyview Falcons

    2013: 25-6

    Key Players: Haley Copinga, 5-10, Sr., MB/S; Taylor Burris, 5-7, Sr., OH; Makayla Herman, 5-6, Jr., DS/L; Molly Little, 6-0, Jr. MB/S.. 

    Coach Says: "We had what, six seniors, so we took quite a hit last year. But we have a solid core coming back. The challenge is fitting kids in around them. We're doing a lot of teaching, a lot of coaching, and we're trying to find a combination and some chemistry among them."

    Etc.: The Falcons lost to Senior in the Class AA title match, and took home a tournament trophy for the first time since 2005. … They cracked the 20-win barrier for the second straight season. ... Copinga averaged 0.91 blocks per set, fourth in the Eastern AA. ... Carle, in her 23rd season at Skyview, needs 12 wins to reach the 400-victory plateau. She is 388-246 overall.

    Billings West Golden Bears

    2013: 9-17

    Head Coach: Kelly Deming

    Key Players: Jessi Zuroff, 5-10, Sr., MB; Kennedy Hildebrand, 6-0, Jr., MB (all-conference HM); Tatum Meyer, 5-4, Sr., L (all-conference HM).

    Coach Says: “This team will be young and ready to improve their last season’s record and earn a trip to the state tournament.”

    Etc: Meyer ranked fifth in the Eastern AA with 3.60 digs per set and led the league in serve receive accuracy (2.28). ... Hildebrand averaged 2.60 kills per set, which ranked her fifth in the league.

    Bozeman Hawks

    2013: 17-8

    Head Coach: Erika Gustavsen

    Key Players: Caitlin Lonergan, Jr. OH (all-state); Maggie Green, Sr., L (honorable mention all-state); Hailee Olsen, Sr., S; Lauren Anczak, Sr., MH.

    Coach Says: “I’m really excited about this season and the group of girls we have. We are returning a solid core of girls from last year and have rounded out our roster with some great players.”

    Great Falls Bison

    2013: 14-13

    Head Coach: Katherine Sunwall

    Key Players: Nora Klick, Jr., MH; Libbey Fellows, Sr., OH; Measha Lindstrand, Sr., S.

    Coach Says: “This team will be fairly inexperienced at the varsity level as we had a lot of seniors last year. This crew has a lot of hard workers and good leaders, so it’s imperative that we stay focused on our team goals and work on the little things day in and day out.”

    Great Falls CMR Rustlers

    2013: 3-21

    Head Coach: Theresa Besich

    Key Players: McCall Enott, Kendra Underwood, Karlee Simonson, Adrianna Hennessey

    Coach Says: “We are very excited to get started for this 2014 season. Our girls have been working very hard in preparation for the upcoming year.”

    Helena Capital Bruins

    2013: 12-9

    Head Coach: Hollee Goody

    Key Players: Rayna Pilgeram, Sr., S (all-state); Kenzi Johnson, Sr., OH (all-conference); Amanda Bartsch, Sr., MB.

    Coach Says: “These three seniors have a lot of experience and are great leaders. The whole team is a great athletic group of girls. We are going to be unpredictable and exciting to watch.”

    Kalispell Flathead

    2013: 18-12

    Head Coach: Leon Wilcox

    Key Players: Jessica Simmons, Sr., S (all-state HM); Lizzie Sherwood, Jr., OH (all-conference HM); Jourdon Schutlz, Jr., L; Abbie O’Brien, Jr., L; Jordyn Clare, Jr., MB; Tiana Johnson, So., MB; Xio Lopp, Jr., S; Marissa Postovit, Jr., OH.

    Coach Says: “We are fielding a young squad with only one senior and an outstanding group of juniors and sophomores. While we do not return many all-conference or all-state players, I am excited about our new varsity and junior varsity players.”

  • EASTERN A

    Billings Central Rams

    2013: 29-7

    Head Coach: Kylie Kufeld

    Key Players: Mirrada Clarin, Sr., Ellie Hanser, Jr., Barclay Fagg, Jr., Jade Harrison, Jr., Hope Welhaven, Jr., Carlee Schaff, Jr., Alix Elliott, Jr., Emily Frey, Jr., Morgan Lucas, Jr. Laura Sterup, So., Libby Zorn, So.,Hannah Mollman, So.

    Coach says: “With losing such a talented group of seniors last year, we will inevitably have some hiccups along the way, but I am so excited to see how this team grows. Our juniors in particular are extremely self-motivated, which is something that we will need in order to help battle our relative lack of varsity experience.”

    Etc: Kufeld played volleyball at Billings Senior and also at Dartmouth. She is in her first season at Central, replacing Liz Hanser. ... Central has earned a state tournament trophy for each of the past five seasons. The Rams took third last year.

    Glendive Red Devils

    2013: 2-10

    Head Coach: Eva Crockett

    Key Players: Teia Knutson, Sr., S; Marenah Crockett, Jr., OH (all-conference); Stephanie Carney, Sr., OH.

    Coach Says: “They are excited to get the season going. We had a young team last year and the girls have been working hard this summer and ready to compete.”

    Hardin Bulldogs

    2013: NA

    Head Coach: Tiffany Moullet

    Key Players: Darla Davisson, Sr., Setter; Elissa Lind, Jr., OH; Keaunna Mason, Jr., MH; Savannah Green, Sr., L;

    Coach says: “I am extremely excited for this year! The Bulldogs are a hard working and talented group of girls who are motivated to win!”

    Etc: “We lost a few key seniors last year, but this year we have some big hitters and a solid defense to carry us on. We have a strong senior class this year as well. The Bulldogs have a ton of talent, so it will be exciting to see who steps up and really plays to the next level! I think they all will.”

    Laurel Locomotives

    2013: 2-13

    Head Coach: Nikki Burke

    Key Players: Abbie Lohof, Jr., MH (all-conference); Kayla O’Toole, Sr., RS; Hailey Spitzer, Sr., OH; Annie Norman, Sr., OH; Maddi Fritzler, Jr., S; Maygan McFate, So., S.

    Coach Says: “I was very pleased with how we ended the season last year and we are looking to build on that. We had a young team last year and we will again this year. We will have a pretty strong front row, but we need to make sure we can get them the ball so we are really going to focus on defense and serve receive as we begin the season.”

    Miles City Cowgirls

    2013: 17-18

    Head Coach: Marci Mollman

    Key Players: Kadie Heinle, Sr., MH (all-conference); Makena Ellingson, Sr., S; Stevie Murphy, Sr., L; Alecia Chamberlin, Sr., MH.

    Coach Says: “We will have a strong team this year. If we work together as a cohesive unit, there is no limit to our potential.”

    Sidney Eagles

    2013: 9-16

    Head Coach: Jennifer DiFonzo

    Key Players: Hailey Steinbeisser, Sr., OH; Aubrey Kellel, Jr., MH.

    Coach Says: “This year we are very young. We have little in the way of returning players, but I feel very optimistic that this team can do great things. We are working hard and improving every day.”


    CENTRAL A

    Belgrade Panthers

    2013: 16-9

    Head Coach: Jade Schmidt

    Key Players: Jamie Woolman, OPP (all-conference HM); Olivia Kleinsasser, S (all-conference); Kyra Fisher, L (all-conference); Kylie McCree, OH; Madeline Orrell, MB

    Coach Says: “This team has more depth than we have had in years past. We have position battles every day in practice, which is making every player work hard to improve or keep their starting spot. I have already seen great teamwork and competitiveness out of everyone and am looking forward to seeing them compete against someone other than ourselves.”

    Livingston Rangers

    2013: 10-18

    Head Coach: Joey Lane

    Key Players: Meadow Ingram, Sr., MB; Lindzi Printz, OH; Emily Cornell, Sr., S; Sierra Higgs, Jr., MB.

    Lewistown Golden Eagles

    2013: 23-9

    Head Coach: Tara Taylor

    Key Players: Michelle Monger, Sr., MB (all-conference); Jaree Mane, Jr., MB (all-conference); Sydney Wier, Sr., DS (all-conference HM); Nicole Karhi, Sr., OH; Lexie Anderson, Sr., OH.

    Coach Says: “We are glad to be back in the gym working hard and we are looking to improve week to week. We want to play and compete at a high level and peak at the right time.”

    Etc.: The Eagles placed second at state last season. ... In 12 seasons at Lewistown, Taylor averages just six losses per year. She’s 274-72 overall.


    SOUTHWESTERN A

    Butte Central Maroons

    2013: 0-18

    Head Coach: Becky Hancock

    Key Players: Teresa Piazzola, Jr., OH; Emily St. John, So., S

    Coach Says: “We are really going to have to come together and play together. I have a young talented team coming off a tough season last year, so we are looking forward to a fresh, new start.”

    Corvallis Blue Devils

    2013: 21-0

    Head Coach: Kasey Arceniega

    Key Players: Kelsey Irwin, Sr., OH, Jane Booth, Sr., M, Holly Wilson, Sr., setter.

    Coach says: “Besides Kelsey, our team this year is practically new, which brings on a whole new set of challenges. These girls are eager to take on those challenges and are ready to prove themselves. I’m confident that they have the skill-set and mental ability to do just that.”


    NORTHWESTERN A

    Frenchtown Lady Broncs

    2013: 16-5

    Head Coach: Gypsy Ray

    Key Players: Morgan Ray, Sr., MH (all-state); Haley Cyr, Sr., S (all-conference); Lacey Hochhalter, Sr.; Faith Bauer, Sr.

    Coach Says: “My first season as coach (2012) we had a rought season, but took second at state. The next season we went undefeated in our conference but were out in two games at state. So who knows?”

    Libby Loggers

    2013: 6-10

    Head Coach: Cindy Ostrem-Johnston

    Key Players: Hannah England, Sr., S (all-conference); Mahalah Wedel, Sr., L (all-conference).

    Coach Says: “Our team will make up for their lack of height with experience, solid backcourt defense, aggressive serving, team chemistry and a passion.”

    Polson Pirates

    2013: NA

    Head Coach: Jan Toth

    Key Players: Jaiden Toth, Sr., S (all-state); Taylor Davis, Sr., L; Libby Clay, Sr., DS.

    Coach Says: “Our team is very inexperienced, yet hungry to compete and win. We have a very powerful and dynamic setter that will lead by example. Our hitters are young, but coachable and talented.”

  • NORTHERN B

    1B

    Conrad Cowgirls

    2013: 7-14

    Head Coach: Rebel Rilley

    Key Players: Krista Judisch, Sr., OH; (all-conference); Michaela Deboo, Sr., S; Talia Stephens, Jr., MB.

    Coach Says: “We have had a lot of changes occur in the past few years, but when they decide that ‘we’ is greater than ‘me’ we will become a great team.”

    Fairfield Eagles

    2013: 18-10

    Head Coach: Stephanie Schmidt

    Key Players: Taleigh Isakson, Jr., OH; Allie Steinbach, Jr., MH; Liz Klinker, Sr., OH

    Coach Says: “We lost a lot to graduation, but with some good returning players as well as new faces I think we should slowly develop and be a much tougher team as the season passes.”

    2B

    Glasgow Scotties

    2013: 9-3

    Head Coach: Lori Dailey

    Key Players: Sadie Sukut, Sr., MH/OH (all-conference); Amy Breigenzer, OH/RH; Dana Hughes, MH/OH.

    Coach Says: “This will be an exciting rebuilding year filled with lots of new talent.”

    Plentywood Wildcats

    2013: NA

    Head Coach: Becky Kukowski

    Key Players: Lindsay Wangerin, Sr., OH; Paige Harris, Jr., MH

    Coach Says: “The girls have been working hard, adjusting quickly to my coaching style and expectations and making significant improvements already. I am looking forward to a great season. I am seeing strong leadership from the older players, and I believe the team’s hard work will pay off big as the weeks progress.”

    Poplar Indians

    2013: 3-9

    Head Coach: Hilary Gourneau

    Key Players: Jessica Pipe, Sr., M; Brittany Whiteman, Sr., OH; Alyssa Youpee, Jr., L; Sam Youngman, So., OH; Kylie Stump, So., S.

    Coach Says: “This year is a rebuilding year, but with hard work and high expectations this team will go far.”

    Wolf Point Wolves

    2013: 15-13

    Head Coach: John Sweet

    Key Players: Mariah Weeks; Tyleen Black Cloud; Ashley Page; Sierra Hanks; Kendra Landsrud; Christean Holen; Ky’Lee Driftwood; Erin Presser.

    Coach Says: “We are excited about the opportunity this new year brings us and hope to surprise some teams by the end.”


    SOUTHERN B

    3B

    Colstrip Fillies

    2013: 14-11

    Head Coach: John Poole

    Key Players: Brina Hull, Sr., MH; Hailey Poole, So., OH; Emma Dudley, So., S; Malesha Siegel, Jr., OH.

    Coach Says: “We have a strong group of players this year that have put in a lot of time in the off-season. I look forward to seeing how their hard work pays off.”

    Forsyth Dogies

    2013: 27-7

    Head Coach: Deb Cole

    Key Players: Ruby Kallenbach, Sr., OH (all-state); Kaylee Zard, Jr., OH (all-conference); Sami Hagadone, Jr., MB (all-conference); Mykaila Jensen, So., MB; Kelsie Seleg, Jr., S; Laura Hein, Jr., MB; Alyssa Brewer, Sr., DS.

    4B

    Columbus Cougars

    2013: 7-15

    Head Coach: Jill Lowell

    Key Players: Courtney Martinez, Sr., OH (all-conference); Rachel Ault, Sr., MH (all-conference); Madi Sundelar, Sr., RS; Hailey Campbell, Sr., OH; Kyla Rouane, Sr., MH.

    Coach Says: “We have some experience coming back this year that will be helpful with leadership. We need to work on meshing as a team. I’m excited about the progress we have made so far.”

    Huntley Project Red Devils

    2013: 34-0

    Head Coach: Iona Stookey

    Key Players: Cady Siemion, Sr., MH (all-conference); Keera Stookey, Jr., S (all-state); Rylee Gulde, Sr., OPP; Tessa Hultgren, Jr., MH; Faith Taylor, Jr., L.

    Coach Says: “We are working on getting better each day and to bring out the best in each other.”

    Etc.: The Red Devils have won the last five Class B state titles. They’ve won nine titles overall, all since 2003.

    Joliet J-Hawks

    2013: 9-14

    Head Coach: Colette Webber

    Key Players: McKinne Olson, Sr., S; Madison Unger, Sr., MH; Kaylee Rovolison, Sr., DS; Sheridan Ruggles, Sr., DS; Annie Cooke, Jr., RH; Holly Nowak, So., MH.

    Coach says: “ ‘Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.’ One of my favorite quotes to inspire girls to give 100 percent all the time.”

    Red Lodge Rams

    2013: NA

    Head Coach: Darcy Stracke

    Key Players: Jill Purcell, Sr., MB (all-conference); Daniella Russell, Jr., MB (all-conference); Natalie Hilderman, So., S (all-conference).

    Coach Says: “Red Lodge has a strong program from top to bottom with enormous potential. We look forward to a great year.”

    Roundup Panthers

    2013: NA

    Head Coach: Alicia Godfrey

    Key Players: Kailynn Ray, Sr., MH (first-team all-conference); Hailey Kellum, Jr., MH; Lexee Rangitsch, Sr., S; Norene Neumiller, Jr., OH; Samantha Bonenberger, Fr., S.

    Coach Says: “The girls have worked hard in the offseason and are really coming together as a team. We look forward to another successful season.”

    Shepherd Fillies

    2013: 1-16

    Head Coach: Chase Soennichsen

    Key Players: Janie McRae, Jr., MB; Lindsay Stania, Sr., MB; Kareesa Biez, Sr., L.

    Coach Says: “Last year was a learning year. Every athlete is returning to the program and eager to make some waves.”

    5B

    Big Timber Herders

    2013: NA

    Head Coach: Liz Day

    Key Players: Leichelle Wood, Jr,, OH; Jessica Johnston, Sr., MB/OH; Joslin Holman, Sr., L.

    Coach Says: “We are looking forward to a competitive season. Our girls are working hard on building their skills and team unity.”

    Manhattan Tigers

    2013: 13-6

    Head Coach: Carrie VanDyken

    Key Players: Brooke Jones, Sr., MH/MB (all-conference); Kennedy Grubich, Jr., DS; Sophia Wass, So., MB/MH; Jolena Grevious, So., S.

    Coach Says: “This is a team that isn’t afraid to go after it and give it their all. They are hard workers, driven, and have passion for the sport of volleyball.”

    Three Forks Wolves

    2013: 13-7

    Head Coach: Shann Mack

    Key Players: Nadya Bordewick, Sr., MH (all-conference); Brooke Foth, Jr., L (all-conference).

    Coach Says: “We are excited to build off our district championship.”


    WESTERN B

    6B

    St. Ignatius Bulldogs

    2013: 1-17

    Head Coach: Kendal Anderson

    Key Players: Lindsay Johnson, Sr., MH.

    Coach Says: “This team didn’t have a winning season last year, which was tough for the girls. But rather than writing the possibility of winning this year off, a lot of the girls got involved with spring volleyball and played throughout the summer.”

  • EASTERN C

    1C

    Fairview Warriors

    2013: NA

    Head Coach: Jessie Hardy

    Key Players: Faith Vitt, Sr., MH; Amie Taylor, Sr., MH; Bailey Schriver, Sr., S; Jaena Cotter, Sr.; Alexis Gustafson, Sr.

    Coach Says: “We have a pretty large team this year, two-thirds being freshmen and sophomores. The older classmen have been great with the younger girls and have been teaching and mentoring them.”

    Froid-Medicine Lake Redhawks

    2013: 19-6

    Head Coach: Kiah Smith

    Key Players: Abbi Deubner, Jr., OH (all-conference); Ryah Young, Jr., MH

    Coach Says: “The Redhawks are working hard with hopes of repeating as district champions.”

    2C

    Broadus Lady Hawks

    2013: 9-18

    Head Coach: Gordon Archer

    Key Players: Brooke Hansen, Sr., MH; Amanda Gaskill, Jr., OH; Ashley Bird, Sr., MH; Taylore Draine, Jr. S.

    Coach Says: “We are working hard to get better every day in practice. We will be a contender this year in our district.”

    Rosebud Wranglers

    2013: 2-17

    Head Coach: Tracy Krause

    Key Players: Kami Krause, Jr.; Kelly Seleg, So.; Tionna Smotherman, So.

    Coach Says: “We are a fairly new program. This season we are all working hard and looking to achieve our goals.”

    Circle Wildcats

    2013: 16-8

    Head Coach: Dina Fritz

    Key Players: Courtney Hinnaland, Sr., OH (all-conference); Chantel Schara, Sr., MH (all-conference); Shae Fisher, Jr., S; Ramsey Bailey, Jr., S; Rayne Wilhelm, Jr., OH; Janess Haynie, Jr., MH; Courtney Tennant, Jr., L; Cierra Loudon, So., OH; McKinna Fleming, So., OH; Ashley Becker, So., S; Jianna Clinton, So., MH.

    Coach Says: “We are a much more experienced team with some veteran leaders. They have big goals and are working toward reaching them.”

    3C

    Nashua Porcupines

    2013: NA

    Head Coach: Shersteen Cline

    Key Players: Faith Keys, Natahsa Chamberlain, Sandy Viste.

    Coach Says: “We have a lot of potential this season. I’m excited to watch them continue to develop their skills and to win some volleyball games.”

    Opheim Vikings

    2013: NA

    Head Coach: Shane Bartschi

    Key Players: Ashley Carroll, Sr.; Kira Rosencrans, Jr; Grace Carroll, So.; Sarah Morgan, So.; Shelby Fuhrmann, Fr.; Haylee Fauth, Fr.

    Coach Says: “This is our first year having a team in quite a while. We are very excited to have a team this year and ready to get this season rolling. Look for a team that plays hard and works well with each other.”

    Saco-Hinsdale

    2013: 15-4

    Head Coach: Kathy Siroky

    Key Players: Courtney Capdeville, Sr., MH; Hanna Whitaker, Sr., OH/RS; Delaney Beil, Jr., S; Payton Chopper, So., OH/DS; Madison Taylor, Sr., OH; Alana Malmend, So.,OH/MH; Casity Boucher, Fr., S; Bailey Funk, Fr., OH/MH; Mickayla Johnson, Fr., MH; Jada Sudbrack, Fr., OH/MH; Challisse Young, Fr., MH.

    Coach Says: “The girls have been working hard in the offseason and have come to the first practice ready and hungry to play. I am excited to see what is happening with the team dynamic and how the girls are working together while on the court.”

    Scobey Spartans

    2013: NA

    Head Coach: Melissa Holum

    Key Players: Erin Wahl, Sr., MB; BoDayle Battleson, Sr., DS/L; Mayson Hudyma, So., OH/DS.

    Coach Says: “We have six starters returning from last year’s team, plus five other girls who saw varsity floor time. It’s exciting to start this season with so much returning talent and varsity experience.”

    Wibaux Longhorns

    2013: NA

    Head Coach: Tiffany Llewellyn

    Key Players: Skylar Stenson, Hannah Bakken, Lexi Begger.

    Coach Says: “Success isn’t given, it’s earned — on the track, on the field and in the gym with blood and the occasional tear.”


    SOUTHERN C

    4C

    Absarokee Huskies

    2013: NA

    Head Coach: Tonya Steffenson

    Coach Says: “At this point in the season, this group of young ladies has more than met my expectations and I’m very excited to see how far their talent takes us.”

    Bridger Scouts

    2013: 17-12

    Head Coach: Wayne Moorman

    Key Players: Emily Tucker, Sr., MH (all-state); Shaniah Schwend, Sr., OH.

    Coach Says: “Like last season, we are a developing team. We hope to get up and running by tournaments.”

    Custer-Hysham Rebels

    2013: 22-5

    Head Coach: Connie McQuire

    Key Players: Jory Doner, Sr. L; MH Shiloh Skillen-Robison, Sr., MH; Taylor Schaak, Sr., MH-MB.

    Coach says: “Hard work and determination will be the key to a successful season.”

    Fromberg-Belfry Falcons

    2013: 2-17

    Head Coach: Krystal Van Dyke

    Key Players: Jenna Bunch, Sr., MB; Courtney Richardson, Jr., MB; Angel Barker, So., OH; Joci Campbell, So., OH; Alyssa Gonzales, So., DS; Breanna Kinn, So., S.

    Coach Says: “Our won-loss record from 2013 doesn’t reflect the growth our team experienced. We’re continuing to improve every year, and are expecting to make leaps this year with the addition of the Belfry athletes.”

    Grass Range-Winnett Rangers

    2013: 23-2

    Head Coach: Kate Johnson

    Key Players: Angela Murnion, Sr., MB; Holly Matovich, Sr., S.

    Coach Says: “We are a hard-working team and hope to be competitive in our conference.”

    Park City Panthers

    2013: 5-13

    Head Coach: Jenna Beck

    Key Players: Morgan Popp, Sr., MH; Grace Jacquot, Jr., S; Bailee Anderson, Sr., OH; Mackenzie Bernhardt, Sr., S; Hailee Gregerson, Jr.

    Coach Says: “All 18 girls are key players. Every one of them has an important role in the success of our team. I’m looking forward to a great season of coaching some hard-working girls.”

    Reed Point-Rapelje Renegades

    2013: 10-10

    Head Coach: Mary Beil

    Key Players: Brianna Krieger, Sr., L (all-conference); Tera Goddard, Sr., MH; Miranda Youngren, Sr., OH; Brooke Krieger, Jr., OH.

    Roberts Rockets

    2013: 6-16

    Head Coach: Alissa Buckstead

    Key Players: Rylee Perkins, Sr., OH; Claire Shoening, Sr., L; Brittany Prinkki, Jr., MH; Sydney Miller, Jr., RS; Danni Lynn Nardinger, So., S; Savvy Weimer, So., MH; Kylee Everett, So., OH.

    Coach Says: “Roberts loses one senior last year. We have a lot of young talent ready to play this year. Nobody else is doing burpees as hard as us at 6 a.m.”

    5C

    Broadview-Lavina Pirates

    2013: 7-12

    Head Coach: Kristen Hering

    Key Players: Kylie Schott, WS; Kristy Schott, S; Brenna Becket, M; Lexi Payne, M; Tana Allen, OH.

    Coach Says: “My girls are role models on and off the court. Their hard work and dedication to this sports makes me extremely excited to have them as my team.”

    Harlowton Engineers

    2013: 13-12

    Head Coach: Allison Jones

    Coach Says: “We have a new coaching staff and a great group of young, talented athletes this year.”

    Hobson-Moore-Judith Gap

    2013: NA

    Head Coach: Jill Gilko

    Key players: Jaegen Hughes, Jr., MH; Ember Drivdahl, Jr., MH; Franny Royer-Obert, Sr., Utility; Megan Weinheimer, Sr., S.

    Coach Says: “We have a lot of upperclassmen and experienced players returning this year. I have high expectations for this season.”

    Roy-Winifred Outlaws

    2013: NA

    Head Coach: Jolene Ehlert

    Key Players: Emily Bergrum, Jr.; Denae McClure, Jr.; Tyra Knerr, Jr.; Lorianne Stulc, So.; Jada Kananen, So.

    Coach Says: “We have a young team with a lot of heart. They play well as a team.”


    NORTHERN C

    6C

    Big Sandy Pioneers

    2013: 11-5

    Head Coach: Sherri Roth

    Key Players: Abby Gregory, Sr., MB.

    Coach Says: “This will be a rebuilding year for us. We graduated eight of the nine varsity players from last year. We have an athletic group of freshmen this year.”

    Chester-Joplin-Inverness

    2013: 4-12

    Head Coach: Windie Goldhahn

    Key Players: Madeline Woods, Jr., OH/S; Emma Earl, Sr., S; Allix Goldhahn, So., MH; Erin Wolfe, Jr., MH (all-conference); Kristina Dahinden, Jr., OH.

    Coach Says: “We have a younger group of athletic girls. They are working hard right now and are excited about playing volleyball this year.”

    7C

    Belt Huskies

    2013: 36-2

    Head Coach: Christine Smith

    Key Players: Dakota Romero, Sr., MH/DS; Bailey Cooper, Jr., OH/DS; Emily Stoker, Jr., OH/DS; Alison Stoker, So., L.

    Coach Says: “It’s a rebuilding year. We are a young team with lots of talent, however this is the first time this group will have played together. We are working on everything as a team.”

    Cascade Badgers

    2013: 7-9

    Head Coach: Darcy Schwindt

    Key Players: Ember Schwindt, So. (all-conference); Elsie Carpenter, Sr., MB; Mariah Satterwhite, Sr., OH; Kacie Cummings, Jr., S; Calies Ludvigson, Sr., S.


    WESTERN C

    8C

    Ennis Mustangs

    2013: NA

    Head Coach: Betty Klein

    Key Players: Delaney McNally, Taylre Sitz, Kelsie Roberts, Taylor Green, Brigit Croy

    Coach Says: “I think we will be stronger defensively this year.”

    Gardiner Bruins

    2013: 34-0

    Head Coach: Carmen Harbach

    Key Players: Hannah Dean, Sr., MB; Tess Thomas, Sr., Setter; PJ Thomas, Jr., OH;

    Coach Says: “We look to improve a little bit with every practice and add a new dimension to our game every week.”

    Harrison Wildcats

    2013: 20-9

    Head Coach: Lisa Cooper

    Key Players: Brit Cooper, Sr., MH (all-state); Addie Nesbit, Jr., MH; Alecia Panagakis, Sr., S.

    Coach Says: “We have some solid returning players with great athleticism.”

    Lone Peak Bighorns

    2013: 4-9

    Head Coach: Sarah Griffiths

    Key Players: Gabrielle Gasser, Sr., MB; Luisa Locker, So., L; Tehya Braun, Sr., MB; Kuka Holder, Fr., S; Katie Reid, Jr., OH

    Coach Says: “We have great expectations for the Bighorns this year. This is our fourth year of varsity play in school history and we feel that our team had developed so much in the last three years, that this is our year to put all the pieces together.”

    Shields Valley Rebels

    2013: 10-9

    Head Coach: Callee Peebles

    Key Players: Brianne Peterson, Sr., S (all-conference); Timbre Barnes, Sr, AA.; Kylie Kerkaert, Jr., MH; Kayla Gagen, Jr., S/MH; Rylee Hoyem, Sr., AA.

    Coach Says: “With the loss of two solid seniors in 2013, we bring back a mix of talented athletes that know what it takes to play at the next level.”

    Superior Bobcats

    2013: NA

    Head Coach: Beth Janney

    Key Players: Jordan Mueller, Sr., S (all-conference); Nadieia Ewoniuk, Sr., DS; McKenzie Stager, Sr., S/DS; Danielle Ewoniuk, Jr., OH; Marissa Koke, Jr., M.

    Coach Says: “Our team is small this year, but we couldn’t ask for a better group of girls. They all want to be here working every day and they set high standards for themselves. Everyone is going to get a lot of playing time this year.”

    Twin Bridges Falcons

    2013: 8-14

    Head Coach: Jenifer Kearns

    Key Players: Paige Phillips, Sr., L (second-team all-conference); Megan Martin, Jr., MH; Kjersten Sandru, Jr., S.

    Coach Says: “I am very excited about this year’s team. This is a group of athletes who are not afraid of hard work and pushing themselves while truly enjoying the sport of volleyball. The chemistry is impressive.”

    9C

    Drummond Lady Trojans

    2013: 18-7

    Head Coach: Tina Wetsch

    Key Players: Sabrina Shows, Sr., S; Claire Fickler, So., OH; Addison Schindler, So., MH

    Coach Says: “Our team is very young this year with only one returning starter. However, we look forward to a competitive year with seven returning varsity letter winners.”

    Seeley-Swan Blackhawks

    2013: 13-11

    Head Coach: Tammy Lewis

    Key Players: Paige Holmes, Jr., S/MH (all-conference); Stephanie Robbins, Jr., OH; Alex Bohlman, So., S/MH.

    Coach Says: “After graduating seven seniors this should be a building year for us. But sometimes those building years can yield the best surprises.”

    Victor Pirates

    2013: 0-18

    Head Coach: Nikki Casale

    Key Players: Amber Ibey, Sr., OH; Michaela Portner, Sr., OH; Carlyjean Conley, Sr., OH/MH.

    Coach Says: “This team is showing real promise. I think we’re going to surprise a few people.”

  • Playing for championships is what the Billings Senior girls soccer program does. The Broncs won the Class AA title 1-0 over Helena last season on Gabi Heflin’s corner-kick goal.

    Senior has played in the past four state title matches and has advanced that far six times since Megan Parish took over as coach in 2007. But this season offers new challenges with the loss of six seniors, including top scorers Heflin and Maddy Emerick.

    “We really kind of relied on those kids, especially Emerick and Heflin, for goal-scoring,” Parish said. “They scored maybe all but three or four of our goals last year. We’ve still got a lot of talent; it’s just a matter of putting it together and filling those gaps.”

    The onus will fall on holdovers such as sophomore midfielder Bailly Woodring, who had a solid impact last season. Her sister, senior Emma, will also hold the fort in the midfield. Sarah Coghlan and Jordyn Wagner are expected to be strong on defense.

    The Broncs, like everyone else, will be battling Bozeman for supremacy in the East. The Hawks boast Averie Collins (19 goals last year), who might be the best player in the conference.

    Skyview graduated 11 players from last year’s state-tournament team, but still has senior Caylin Cathey and sophomore Paige Hatzenbihler, both midfielders, to lead a young squad.

    West has solid experience returning, including scorer Kayla Marker and defender Delaney Clement as senior stalwarts. This will be the first full year for coach Casey Marlenee, who took over early last season.

    In Class A, everyone knows about Central’s dominance. The Rams are seeking their seventh consecutive championship, and have won 41 consecutive matches.

    Laurel, also coming off a playoff berth, looks to compensate for the loss of Lexi Lewis, who collected more than 20 goals last year. But returning seniors Allie McGrath, Demi Albrecht and Bre Reilly are all-conference players.

    On the boys side, Bozeman won the AA championship with a 2-0 victory over Helena. It was the Hawks’ second consecutive title. Is a three-peat in order? It might be more difficult with the graduation of 19-goal scorer Elias Herman.

    Senior coach Zach Robbins enters his seventh season facing big-time roster turnover, including the graduations of such stars as Mason Luse, Colin Gregory and Sage D’Ambrosia. The Broncs have placed at the state tourney in each of the past four seasons, including a second-place showing in 2011.

    Dylan Barnard is the new coach at West, and he’ll look to take the Bears back to the state tournament after missing out last season for the first time since 2009. The Bears have six seniors, anchored by talented midfielder Donovan Luce.

    Skyview also has a new coach in Cameron Icenoggle, an alum of the program. The Falcons won just two matches last season. Icenoggle will be coaching his brother, junior midfielder Ryne Icenoggle, as well as senior defender Max Miller and goalie Ryan Benge.

    In Class A, Central’s boys made it to the playoff semifinals before bowing out with a 4-1 loss to Stevensville. The Rams lost a handful of senior leaders but bring back an all-state midfielder in Kylen Laber.

    Livingston, the No. 3 seed from the East, made a surprising run to the state title last season, capping it with a 3-1 victory over Stevensville.

  • Billings Senior Broncs

    2013: 13-3-0

    Head Coach: Zach Robbins

    Coach Says: “Every player will have a key role in our success this year — if we have success it will be because of a multiple players contributing to the whole of the team. We are a young team but as we mature and grow this year we have quite a few players capable of stepping up and leading us into a state tournament.”

    Billings Skyview Falcons

    2013: 2-10-0

    Head Coach: Cameron Icenoggle

    Key Players: Max Miller, Sr., D.; Ryne Icenoggle, Jr., M; DC Chalgren, Sr., GK; Trey Hale Jr., D.; Tanner Liddell, Sr., GK; Ryan Benge, Sr., GK.

    Coach Says: “The team has spent an immense amount of time this offseason improving in all facets of their training. I have seen massive improvements already and expect that dedication to pay off once the season starts.”

    Billings West Golden Bears

    2013: 5-6-1

    Head Coach: Dylan Barnard

    Key Players: Donovan Luce, Sr., M; Dylan Lilyquist, Sr., GK; Eric Ashmore, Sr., M; Kevin Welliever, Sr., D; Seleti Tupou, Sr., D/M, Nick Brown, Sr., M.

    Coach Says: “In my first year as coach, I am extremely excited to carry on the strong tradition of West High soccer. Attacking-wise we have some very talented seniors. Our defense will be anchored by some of our other seniors. Also, look for contributions from some of our juniors, including Jared Langford, Jory Abelman, and Kevin Rangitsch who all played varsity minutes last year.”

    Great Falls CMR Rustlers

    2013: 5-7-2

    Head Coach: Joel Marinaccio

    Key Players: Ryan VanPevenage, Sr., S; Joel Lechman, Sr., M; Ben Evans, Sr., F; Dan Enseleit, Jr., GK; Corbin Klinefelter, Sr., M.

    Helena Capital Bruins

    2013: 6-7

    Head Coach: Glen Wall

    Key Players: Jack Ackeret (honorable mention all-state), Colin Patterson, Aldan Cormier, Spencer Keeton, Connor Whyte.

    Coach Says: “Our team has a lot of good leaders that work very hard. We are a good mix of old and young players that has come together well.”

    Kalispell Flathead Braves

    2013: 1-9-2

    Head Coach: Dan Ferguson

    Key Players: Eli Frandsen, Sr., D; Sam Clarin, Sr., M; Carter Warnell, Jr., M.

    Coach Says: “We graduated 11 seniors last fall, but with a very strong group of juniors moving up. Fitness, composure, and unity will be aspects that will define our season.”

    Missoula Hellgate Knights

    2013: 11-2-2

    Head Coach: Jay Anderson

    Key Players: Jonathan Taylor, Sr., def; Peter Vandam, Jr., def; Peter Byrne, Jr., GK.

  • Billings Senior Broncs

    2013: 13-1-1

    Head Coach: Megan Parish

    Key Players: Sarah Coghlan, Sr., D (all-conference); Clancee Ferrin, Sr., GK; Tiffani Finley, Sr., M/F; McKenna Myers, Sr., M/F; Alexa Torbert, Sr., M/F; Jordyn Wagner, Sr., D; Emma Woodring, Sr., M/F.; Bailey Woodring, So., M/F.

    Coach Says: “The girls have worked extremely hard all summer and during preseason. They are ready to get on the field for another season of high school soccer. We have a strong group of seniors who will combine well with our young talent. We know that we will be able to compete in the very tough Eastern Conference.”

    Etc.: The Broncs have been in the championship game six of the last seven years and were state champions in 2011 and 2013. The Eastern Conference is usually very strong and I expect the same strength this year.

    Billings Skyview Falcons

    2013: 6-3-3

    Coach: John Wisler

    Key Players: Caylin Cathey, Sr., M; Paige Hatzenbihler, So., M.

    Coach Says: “This year’s team has many talented new players that are fired up and anxious to work together and compete and show how good they can be. We expect to compete well with all other teams and want to continue to play stronger all season and improve on last year’s fourth-place finish.”

    Etc.: Cathey has finished in the top five in scoring in the Eastern AA each of the last two years. She scored six goals and had six assists last season ... the Falcons, who have qualified for the state tournament each of the past three years, graduated 11 seniors and return just five varsity players.

    Billings West Golden Bears

    2013: 5-6-1

    Coach: Casey Marlenee

    Key Players: Kayla Marker, Sr., M/F; Delaney Clement, Sr., D; Alyssa Tryan, Jr., D; Lauren Cornwall, Jr., D; Madison Marlenee, So., M/F; Shaylee Addington, So., D; Maia Wetzel, So., G.

    Coach Says: “The greater experience lies in the defense, middle and goalkeeper positions. The players are very excited about the upcoming season and are looking to be very competitive in the conference.”

    Etc.: Marker led the team with six goals last season. ... The Bears return 13 varsity players.

    Bozeman Hawks

    2013: 11-3-2

    Head Coach: Erika Cannon

    Key Players: Averie Collins, Sr., F, (all-state); Jacey Delaney, Sr., M, (all-conference); Sydney Rollison, Jr., F, (all-conference).

    Coach Says: “We are looking foward to a very competitive soccer season this year. The level of soccer in the state seems to get better and better each year. We look forward to competing at the highest level and playing an exciting brand of soccer.

    Etc: Collins scored 19 goals and had 10 assists, while Rollison scored nine goals and had seven assists. ... Delaney scored six times. ... In 18 seasons at Bozeman, Cannon has a 194-44-27 record.

  • Billings Central Rams

    2013: 10-2-2

    Head Coach: Didier Ndedi

    Key Players: Kylen Laber Sr., M; Braedon Trunkle, Sr., F; Pat Comstock, Sr., M; Matt Cranston, Jr., D.

    Coach Says: “After losing the seniors we had, this is going to be a learning season for us with the upcoming freshmen and sophomores. It’s going to be a very interesting season for us.”

    Corvallis Blue Devils

    2013: 8-3-2

    Head Coach: Greg Shifflett

    Key Players: DJ Pekoc, Sr., F; Cayden Ayers, So., F; Shelby Gifford, Sr., GK; Kyle Shifflett, Sr., M; Lorenzo Wissenbach, Sr., D.

    Coach Says: “Although we lost seven starters from last year’s squad, we have a core of seniors with experience and leadership along with a sophomore class which will include five or six good, young players. Our season will be fun and exciting to watch. Our league (Southwestern A) is fairly balanced this coming season. Stevi lost several key players as did Hamilton, so I think that we have the opportunity to win some games despite our youth.”

    Hamilton Broncs

    2013: 2-8-2

    Head Coach: Kirk Gammill

    Key Players: Valeriy Chinikaylo, Sr., M; Travis Weinant, Sr., D; William Jauquet, Sr., D; William Kelly, Fr., F.

    Coach Says: “our team is dedicated and hard working.”

    Laurel Locomotives

    2013: 1-11-0

    Head Coach: Leroy Vanderpool

    Key Players: Cameron DeMars, Travis Nation, Forrest Crowl, Braley Heimbigner, Brett Banks, Jackson Maurer, Daniel Stamper.

    Coach Says: “The beautiful thing about a well-conditioned team is the men have fun till the 90th minute.”

    Libby Loggers

    2013: 5-6-2

    Head Coach: Charlie Webster

    Key Players: Collin Johnson, Sr., D; Jacob Wood, Sr., GK; Zander Peterson, Jr., M/K; Isaiah Sickler, Jr., D; Cody Wood, So., M/F; Giovanni Cano, So., F/M; Colin Maloney, So., M/F.

    Stevensville Yellowjackets

    2013: 14-1

    Head Coach: Ralph Serrette

    Key Players: Ian Perry, Sr., HB; Dylan Gaulak, Sr., FB; Joseph Fecteau, Sr., F.

    Whitefish Bulldogs

    2013: 9-2-1

    Head Coach: O’Brien Byrd

    Key Players: Jared Johnson, Sr.; Walter Sobba, Jr.

    Coach says: “We have a young team this year with lots of promise. With the (seniors) gone, we have room for some new traditions.”

  • Billings Central Rams

    2013: 15-0

    Coach: Sara Campbell

    Key Players: Mariah Wittman, Jr., F; Michaela Stock, Jr. D/M; Natalie Ruegsegger, Jr., GK.

    Coach Says: “This is going to be one of the most challenging seasons this team has faced in some time. I can’t wait to see these amazing players learn more about what they are capable of on and off the field as individuals and a team.”

    Etc.: The Rams have won the last six Class A state championships. They are 89-1 in their last 90 matches and have won 41 in a row.

    Laurel Locomotives

    2013: 9-2-1

    Head Coach: Aloma Jess

    Key Players: Allie McGrath, Sr. (first-team all-conference); Demi Albrecht, Sr. (second-team all-conference); Bre Reilly, Sr. (second-team all-conference).

    Coach Says: “It is going to be an interesting ride for the Lady Locos with a mix of several upperclassman and new underclassman. They have a lot of talent individually. Hopefully we can gel into a strong, competitive team.”

    Polson Pirates

    2013: 4-3-1

    Head Coach: Michael Hewston

    Key Players: Sarah Howell, Sr. (All State); Linnea Madsen, Sr., (All Conference); Olivia Hewston, So. (All Conference).

    Coach says: “Play for each other, can you buy that.”

    Whitefish Bulldogs

    2013: 12-3

    Head Coach: Wendy Farrens

    Key Players: Jess Baldonado, Sr, F; Grace Kurtz, Sr., F; Cassidy Grace, Sr., CB; Anna Peterson, Sr., C, M/Forward; Julia Houston, Jr., M/F Haley Nicholson, Jr., M/F.

    Coach Says: “The Lady Bulldogs once again have a very competitive season. We are young this year, but we have great potential and are improving each and every day. With the leadership of returning veterans and our captains, we are looking at each training session as a new opportunity to grow as individual players and as a team. This year promises to be a great one.”

    Etc.: “The Northern Conference for A schools is getting more competitive each year. In the past, Whitefish and Columbia Falls have dominated play; however, we are seeing improvements from the other three schools and no game is taken lightly.”

  • Billings Senior Broncs

    2013: Girls second at state; boys fifth at state

    Head Coach: Sarah Lord

    Key Runners: Girls — Christina Aragon, Jr., defending state champion; Elena Borges, So., 12th at state; Devin McDonald, Sr.; Lily Dyre, Jr.; Mykal Volk, soph.; Courtney Hutton, Jr.; Jessica Raty, Jr. Boys — Dylan Johnson, Sr., sixth at state; Carter Gall, Jr.; Peder Rickbeil, So.; Anthony Overcast, Jr; Dawson LaRance, So.; Trevor Hamman, Sr.; Tyler Sather, Jr.; Nathaniel Stiffarm, Fr.

    Coach Says (girls): “We are a young team with limited experience, but these girls have an incredible work ethic. We will be relying heavily on strong leadership from our juniors and small group of seniors. It will be exciting to see how we learn, grow and progress throughout the season.”

    Coach Says (boys): “Our move up from eighth place at state in 2012 to fifth place last year was really motivating for this young group. They are very cohesive and can really push one another when they choose to do so. They could see some real improvements this year.”

    Billings Skyview Falcons

    2013: Boys and girls eighth at state

    Head Coach: Carol Kuhns

    Key Runners: Girls — Amanda Nelson, Sr., 11th state meet; Keegan Day, Sr., 14th state meet; Breanna Schwalbe, Sr.; Nikkie Terkildsen, Sr.; Rosie Solorio, Sr.; Ashlee Richards, Jr.; Tayla Harper, Jr.; Harper Gellner, So.; Maddie Fievet, So. Boys — Jakob Kok, So.; Austin Grewell, So.; Nick Painter, So.; Connor Chirrick, So.; Michael Augustine, So.; Ian Quinn, S.; Austin Smart, Sr.; Jacob Winter, Sr.; Jake Burkhalter, Sr.

    Coach Says (boys): “The five sophomores committed to train hard as a group over the summer and it has been evident in practices. So with incoming freshmen we have, with returning juniors and seniors, it will round out a group of runners who are eager to improve and push to be a strong, competitive team. Their attitudes have been super the first week and if this is any indication of what is to come, it is going to be a great season.”

    Coach Says (girls): “The girls team has a different look than the boys. Along with Amanda and Keegan, there are two other seniors, two juniors and two sophomores who saw varsity action last year. So with this diversity of grade levels and our new group of runners mixed in, it is going to be an exciting season of pushing each other to excel and be successful. I am pleased with all the girls attitudes and how they are encouraging each other.”

    Billings West Golden Bears

    2013: Girls fourth at state, boys 6th at state

    Head Coach: Lauren Zent

    Key Runners: Girls — Taylor Grove, Sr.; Brittney Grove, Sr.; Jess Keller, Jr.; Madeline Beckstead, Sr.; Shellbi Robinson, Jr.; Marissa Kossman, Jr.; Jaelynn Nielson. Boys — Issac Petsch, Sr.; Brennon Worthington, Sr.; Simon Petsch, So.; Garrett Beckstead, So.; Conrad Smith, Jr.

    Coach Says: “We have most of our team returning this year, which is great for leadership and experience. We have a lot of talent and a lot of dedication, which will help us have a strong season. However, it will be tough. There are a lot of great teams in Montana and even just in Billings alone. We have our work cut out for us, but I think we will surprise some teams and maybe even ourselves. We have the largest team in the state with over 120 kids. Each year we get a little bigger, which is great for the sport of cross country.

    Bozeman Hawks

    2013: Boys and Girls state champions

    Head Coach: Clint May

    Key Runners: Girls — Bridget Creel (all-state), Piper Meuwissen (all-state). Boys — Chase Equall.

    Coach Says: “After graduating not only our deepest, but also most talented senior class, the shape of this years team is in the “forming” stage. I have been pleased to see that a solid core of runners are putting in a good amount of work this summer. I am excited to help the 2014 Hawks find their identity and shape new goals. I believe that although we are younger than most years, our teams will remain very competitive.”

  • Belgrade Panthers

    2013: NA.

    Head Coach: Rachel White

    Key runners: Boys — Jonathan Eastwood, Sr., second at state.

    Coach Says: “I believe it is the largest team we’ve ever had. Many are seniors and many newcomers who have already been working hard so they have a great start. I am looking forward to this season with eager anticipation. The meets will be very exciting to watch.”

    Billings Central Rams

    2013: Girls third at state

    Head Coach: Randy Chase

    Key Runners: Girls — Alexa Horrell, Sr., sixth at state; Shelby Gordon, Sr.; Sarah Gibb, Jr. Boys — Michael Gulledge, Sr.; George Beddow, So.; Steven Fisher, So.; Michael Chase, So.; Tate Thompson, Fr..

    Coach Says (boys): “Last season the team was young with only two seniors, which allowed our younger runners to gain some much needed racing experience. This experience will be valuable to the runners as the season begins. We look forward to individual success of the runners and the competitiveness of the team. The runners are competitive during practice, which is providing for some excellent workouts. This competitiveness during practice will help the team as the season progresses.”

    Coach Says (girls): “We graduated five varsity runners, which helped the girls’ team to their highest finish at state last season. This means we have some spots to fill. Our seniors are showing great leadership as we begin. The potential is there for girls on the team to have a successful year. The team started by showing tremendous hard work and effort and this will benefit them as they progress through the season.”

    Columbia Falls Wildcats/Wildkats

    2013: Girls eighth at state, Boys 14th

    Key Runners: Samantha Mundel, (all-state), Merideth Stolte (all-conference).

    Corvallis Blue Devils

    2013: Girls state champions, boys second

    Head Coach: Joanne Cleveland

    Key Runners: Girls — Isabella Pape, Sr., second at state; Amelia Gardner, Sr., 11th; Sidney McClendon, So., 12th, Rachel Wissenbach, Jr., 19th. Boys — Ronald Venema, Jr., 11th; Carson Jessop, So., 29th

    Coach says: “We had a lot of kids who put in some good miles this summer, so we are starting the season with a good base and will build on that.”

    Frenchtown Broncs

    2013: Boys second Northwest A, girls fourth

    Head coach: Dennis Normand.

    Key runners: Boys — Frank Dean, So.; Anders Holmquist, So.; Casey Jones, Sr.; Joren Nabozney, So.; Michael Swell, Jr.; Tyler Touchstone, So. Girls — Noel Normand, Sr.; Shelby Shourds, Jr.; Kellie Hunter, Sr.; Moa Bendes, Sr.; Kyle Habeck, Fr.

    Coach Says: “ The boys should be one of the better teams in the West in Class A. They are very young, but very talented. We have set very high goals for the upcoming season. The girls team is working very hard and should improve their overall performance compared to last year.”

    Laurel Locomotives

    2013: NA

    Head Coach: Lisa Condon

    Key Runners: Boys — Tyler Mogan, Sr., third at state; Garret Schneider, Sr.; John Preller, Sr.; Marcus Twichel, Sr.; David Henning, Sr.; Myles Stricker, Jr.; Daniel Armstrong, Jr.; Eric McKamy, Jr.; Devin White, Jr.; Ben Longbottom, So.; Toby Wisecup, So.; RJ Gill, So.; Ben DeBar, So.; Kyle Guy, So.; Colton Atkinson, Fr.; Austin Amestoy, Fr. Girls — Lexi Gradwohl, Sr.; eighth at state; Annie Orednick, Sr.; Katie Conrad, Sr.; Courtney Hallock, Jr.; Shae Wiggins, Jr.; Michaela Merritt, Jr.

    Coach Says: “Boys defend the conference title. They should, once again, be a top three at state. I expect four to five individual placers at state. We’ve got good, quality runners and they are ready to go. They’ve worked hard this summer and most of them have a good base, so we can get right to competitive training.”

    Lewistown Eagles

    2013: Boys seventh at state, girls 16th

    Head Coach: Suzie Flentie

    Key runners: Girls — Sheanna Larson, So.; Kaitlyn Lodahl, So.; Kaitlyn Ross, Sr.; Maida Walters, Sr. Boys — Hayes Majerus, Jr.; Dylan Sipe, Jr.; Ty Parsons, Jr.; Austin Brand, Jr.; Danyon Rice, So.; Anders Pederson, Sr. .

    Coach Says: “Both boys and girls teams are looking strong and we have high hopes for a great season. We have a strong core of returning runners and look to several of our new runners to round out our teams.”

    Livingston Rangers

    2013: NA

    Head Coach: Kirk Lentz

    Coach Says: “We still have a young team — several have been running for more than a season but we have a few still recovering from past injuries. I would say that this season will set them up for what they will be capable of doing next year when several will be seniors.”

    Miles City Cowgirls/Cowboys

    2013: NA

    Head Coach: Paul Yoakam

    Key Runners: Girls — Emily Regan, (all-state). Boys — Austin Stradley, (all-state).

    Coach Says: “The boys team is building off of their best year ever and is bringing our top-five runners back. The girls have improved their team place at the state meet for the past three years and are looking to do so again.”

    Polson Pirates

    2013: NA

    Head coach: Matt Seeley

    Key runners: Girls — Isabella Seeman, soph., all-conference; Anna Young, soph., all-conference. Boys — Warren Wood, Jr. all-conference.

    Coach Says: “We have a very young team but watch out for our girls who will probably surprise a few people at some of the big meets this fall.”

    Sidney Eagles

    2013: NA

    Head Coach: Jay Borseth

    Key Runners: Girls — Tess Ler, Jr.; Tessa Hill, So. Boys — Christian Anglesey, Sr.; Zack Sommerfeld, So.

    Coach Says: “Last year, both our girls and boys teams were small. However, our top runners are back and we have a couple of good runners that are moving up to the high school from the middle school. Hopefully as our program continues to improve, our numbers will go up. Many of the runners have been working hard and putting on the miles this summer. Hopefully we will see the fruits of their labor show up in their races.”

    Whitefish Bulldogs

    2013: Girls second at state, Boys fifth

    Coach: Sara Brist

    Key Runners: Girls — Sarah Latcham, Sr., 16th at state; Peyton Twete, Sr.; Katie Smith, Jr.; Sara Perez, Jr.; Annika Gordon, Jr.; Barrett Gray, Jr.; Kennah Fuller, Jr. Boys — Keaton Grove, Sr.; Christian Newby, Sr.; Ethan Lannaghan, Jr.; Ethan Potthoff, So.

    Coach Says: “We return several of our top girls from last years team. Our boys team is fairly young. We are hoping to do as well or better than last year at the State meet.

  • Colstrip Colts/Fillies

    2013: NA

    Heach Coach: Yvonne Gardner

    Key Runners: Boys — Tyus Mendoza, defending state champion.

    Coach Says: “No one has more fun than we do! Coaches and athletes included. Friends off and on the course.”

    Columbus Cougars

    2013: Girls state champion

    Head Coach: Paul Barta

    Key Runners: Girls — Briana Haskins, Tana House, Kenedy Wiggs. Boys — Padon Little, Hunter Kent.

    Coach Says: “This is a great group of runners who are looking to inspire our grade- and middle-school runners to come out and enjoy a great sport.”

    Eureka Lions

    2013: Girls 14th at state, boys 22nd

    Head Coach: Andrew Gideon.

    Key Runners: Girls — Alex Bartmess, fifth at state. Boys — Taj Hagan.

    Coach Says: “We will be a competitive team this year and we will surprise some people — unless the press points this out and then the surprise will be gone. We had a great summer of running and some awesome enthusiasm in early practices. Eureka cross country now has a culture of success.”

    Glasgow Scotties

    2013: Girls state champions, boys eighth

    Head Coach: Rod Karst

    Key Runners: Girls — Josie Braaten, Sr., two-time all-state; Amanda Wolff, Sr., 10th at state; Alex Simensen, Jr.; Julia Kolstad, Jr. Boys — Walker Allen, Jr.; Kasey Seyfert, So.

    Note: Glasgow girls have won four straight state titles and seven of the last nine.

    Manhattan Tigers

    2013: Boys second at state, girls sixth

    Head Coach: John Sillitti

    Key Runners: Boys — Tony Krogstad, Jr., two-time all-state; Colter Smith, Sr., 15th at state; David Schachman, Sr., 18th at state; Reid Wiersema, Jr., 24th at state; Emry Olsztyn, So.; Charlie Rasnck, Fr.; Leonard McComas, Fr. Girls — Jordan Wyse, Jr., 22nd at state; Anna Losasso, Sr.

    Coach Says (boys): “The Red Lodge boys edged us at state last year and they return five of their top six runners. They will be the clear favorites in Class B. We graduated three key members of last year’s team and a fourth (Reid Wiersema) suffered a major knee injury, so we definitely have some work to do. But we return three of the top 18 guys from state last year and if Reid Wiersema can get healthy by state, that’s four pretty solid guys.”

    Coach Says (girls): “Due to graduation, health issues and a runner moving out of state, we return only one girl with only one year left of cross country experience. I don’t think anyone in the state will expect our girls to be fighting for a trophy in October, but I expect they will surprise some people by the end of the season.”

    Plains Horsemen/Trotters

    2013: Girls fourth at state, boys 18th

    Head Coach: Tony Banovich

    Key runners: Boys — Russell Kujala, Sr., fourth at state. Girls — Kimberly Earhart, Jr., ninth at state; Demi Horton, Jr., 11th at state.

    Coach Says: Russell Kujala is focused on a top-three finish for his senior year and had some solid summer base miles to get ready for the season. We have a solid girls team who is hungry to bring home another state trophy.”

    Rocky Boy Stars

    2013: NA

    Head Coach: Rachel Seiler

    Key Runners: Girls — Jude The Boy, Minnie The Boy, Reanan Plain Bull. Boys — Tristan Belgarde, Chase Corcoran, Isiah Turn Toes, Shadow LaForge.

    Coach Says: “We are looking to improve on times from last year. The team is already showing an increase in dedication and determination. Many runners put time in this summer running on their own and are starting off in better shape.”

    Roundup Panthers

    2013: Girls 10th at state, boys 24th

    Head Coach: Spike Tuss

    Key Runners: Girls — Baylee Green, Jr., third at state; Carrie Cota, Jr.; Katie Browning, Sr.; Cassie Haverkamp, Jr.; Brittany Cockerham, So. Boys — Lane Pascall, Sr., Kris Thompson, So.; Harley Dowling, So.; Jon Benes, So.

    Coach Says: “This is the second year of a revived program that was dropped in the mid-1980s. Our goal is to get everybody to the state meet. By hard work and dedication, we will be there at the end.”

    St. Labre Braves

    2013: NA

    Head Coach: Joan Jilka

    Key Runners: Girls — Tamia Two Moons, So., second at state. Boys — Virgil McCormick, So. seventh at state.

    Coach Says: “Will have a strong nucleus of sophomore boys and girls returning this season.”

  • Belt-Centerville Miners

    2013: Girls second at state

    Head Coach: Mark Garber

    Key Runners: Kenzie Lencioni, Sr., eighth at state; Lauren Winder, Jr.

    Coach Says: “The team has been running on their own during the summertime and is looking forward to the upcoming season. One goal in mind: Finish strong!”

    Bridger Scouts

    2013: First year of program

    Head coach: Tammi Rogers.

    Key runners: Boys — Dan Lavy, Sr.

    Coach Says: “We had two participants last year and we have five or six this year. I am really happy to see the increased interest.”

    Ennis Mustangs

    2013: Sixth at state

    Head Coach: Cori Koenig

    Key Runners: Boys  Race Owens, Jr., 17th at state; Lane Sitz, So., 31st at state.

    Coach Says: “We have a young team of hard, dedicated workers. I can’t wait to see their times as we get into the season.” 

    Hobson-Moore-Judith Gap (Tri-Cities) Titans

    2013: Boys fourth at state, girls sixth

    Head coach: Kenneth Roberts

    Key runners: Girls — Faith Stevenson, Sr.; Christina Eike, Fr. Boys — Kevin Bingham, Jr., all-state; Luke Westbrook, Sr.

    Coach says: “We have a tight-knit group who are truly dedicated to running and determined to explore their limits and push and develop their athleticism. They have also shown their dedication in the classroom in the past by winning the Army National Guard Academic All-Team Award for the past three years. Single-handedly the hardest working group of student-athletes coach Roberts has had since coming to Hobson School.”

    Manhattan Christian Eagles

    2013: N/A

    Head coach: Nate Te Shea

    Key runners: Girls — Nikki Allen, fourth at state; Emma Adams, 14th at state. Boys — Colton Leum, 11th at state; Daniel Buchignani.

    Coach Says: “It is going to be a good season. I have a lot of young kids but they are working hard and improving.”

    West Yellowstone Wolverines

    2013: No team

    Head coach: A.J. Chlebnik

    Key runners: Girls — Bailee Parker, Jr., 800, 1,600, 3,200 state champion and record holder for 1,600 and 3,200.

    Coach Says: “We’re looking forward to a strong first season. We have a great place to train and a good group of athletes.”

  • When it comes to State AA boys golf this fall, it might be tough to beat the three Billings schools.

    Billings West will be looking to defend its state championship, but city rivals Senior and Skyview also pose a serious threat to the Golden Bears’ reign.

    “I think Senior is going to be really good, and Skyview, too,” West coach Lance Edward said. “Their top three are pretty solid, so Billings is going to be well represented this year. I think Bozeman could be pretty good … state will be played in Bozeman and they’ve got some players.”

    So does Kalispell Glacier and Great Falls CMR, he added.

    Skyview, which was third at state last year in a tight race, returns juniors Payton Stott and Gage Passon, for starters, from last year’s state team.

    Senior, which placed one stroke behind Skyview in fourth, will counter with seniors Sean Benson, Austin Walter and Adam Henneberry returning.

    West lost state medalist Austin Berg and two other seniors, but returns junior Garrett Woodin and sophomore Riley Kaercher off last year’s state title team.

    “We’re really young, but incredibly deep,” Edward said. “One through 12, they are kids that can play.”

    Entering the mix will be freshman Joey Moore, who — at age 14 — was the lowest scoring junior player at the Montana State Men’s Amateur this summer in Whitefish.

    “He’s certainly going to add something to the program,” Edward said.

    In Class A, last year’s champion Sidney lost four of its five players, including its top three scorers.

    Billings Central placed fourth at state last fall and will return Dylan Neutgens, Kaiden Caraveau and Jackson Boos.

    Girls

    In looking to repeat as AA champs, the Golden Bears will be counting on their closeness to carry them through again.

    West returns its top three finishers from state: junior Hayden Flohr, along with seniors Hannah Zwemke and Mike’la Atkinson.

    The Bears have placed among the top three teams at state the past three seasons.

    “They’ve just had a lot of fun,” Edward said of his girls. “They’ve kind of grown up together. They push each other and they compete with each other, but they definitely pull for each other. That helps a lot.”

    State medalist Teigan Avery will be back for Glacier, along with senior Kortney McNeil of Billings Senior, who was the runner-up. McNeil captured state titles as a freshman and sophomore.

    Helena Capital’s Coral Schulz was third last year — and will also be returning.

    “I think there’s definitely some competition out there,” Edward said.

    That includes last year’s runner-up Butte, which returns Shealyn Hafer, who placed fifth individually last fall.

    Great Falls High, sixth a year ago, will also contend with twins Casey and Catrina Babinecz.

    In the Class A ranks, Polson’s girls have captured the past three state championships.

    Laurel, which advanced to state last year, returns juniors Morgan O’Neil and Madi Tucker, who placed fifth and 11th overall, along with Kallie Linse and April Wheeler.

    Central will have Sophia Mascarena and Chloe Michaelson back for another season.

    The State AA tournament for boys and girls will be played at Bridger Creek Golf Course in Bozeman on Oct. 2-3.

    The State A tournament for boys and girls will take place at the Hamilton Golf Club on Oct. 3-4.

  • Billings Senior Broncs

    2013: Fourth at state

    Head Coach: Terry Caekaert

    Key Players: Girls — Kortney McNeil, Sr.; Allie Bofto, Jr.; Emma Dyre, Jr.; Abbey Mohr, So.; Taryn Gutierez, So.; Sarah Qualls, Fr.; Jalen Wagner, Fr. Boys — Sean Bensen, Sr.; Austin Walter, Sr.; Adam Henneberry, Sr.; Hayden Peters, Sr.; Warren Findon, Sr.; Eli Caekaert, Jr.; Andrew Driscoll, Jr.; Patrick Zimmer, Jr.; Shane Bykonen, So.; Ty Torbert, So.; Braxton Humphrey, Fr.; Connor Kelckbusch, Fr.

    Coach Says: “Senior has a remarkable group of students that can play exceptional golf. Our goal is to have our performance equal our potential.”

    Billings West Golden Bears

    2013: State champions

    Head Coach: Lance Edward

    Key Players: Boys Colton Hunt, Tanner Dyk, Garrett Woodin, Bryley Woods, Parker Elliot, Riley Kaercher, Barron Edward, Caleb Trost, Joey Moore; Girls — Hannah Zwemke, Mike’la Atkinson, Hayden Flohr, Hillary Smith.

    Coach says (girls): “Our girls, in contrast, are as experienced as anyone, but very thin. It will be fun to see how things progress as the season goes.”

    Coach says (boys): “Our boys are as deep as any team in the state, but very young.”

    Billings Skyview Falcons

    2013: NA

    Head Coach: Kas Ioane

    Key Players: Boys — Payton Stott, Jr.; Gage Passon, Jr.; Logan Martin, So.; Alex Hilario, Sr.; Braxton Patterson, Sr.; Jameson Willems, Sr.; Nathan Rodacker, Jr.; Sean Wilson, So.; Chase Walters, So. Girls — Delaney Schmidt, Sr.; Madison Bartleson, Sr.; Angela King, So.; Emma Tolzien, So.; Madiliene Fugate, So.

    Note: Stott finished tied for fifth last year at state.

    Coach Says (girls): “They’re hard-working girls. They’re always striving to be the best they can be.”

    Bozeman Hawks

    2013: Boys fifth at state, girls eighth

    Head Coach: Pat Darbro

    Key Players: Boys Conner Brown, Tyson Odden. Girls Bridget Beyer.

    Coach Says: “We are very young and inexperienced both sides, but we are mentally tough.”

    Great Falls Bison

    2013: 12th at state

    Head Coach: Lance Olson

    Key Players: Boys Cody Babinecz, Sr.; Schaefer Paladichuk, So.; Keaton Sunchild, Fr.; Girls Abigail Davidson, Sr.; Casey Babinecz, Jr., Catrina Babinecz, Jr.

    Coach Says: “Our boys team is young this year with two seniors, two sophomores and two freshmen playing for varsity spots. I believe we can be competitive this year. Our girls have some experience with four of this year’s players playing varsity all year last year. I think we can be in the top half of the team scores for each tournament.”

    Kalispell Glacier Wolfpack

    2013: Boys sixth at state, girls seventh

    Head Coach: Jim Schaible

    Key Players: Girls Teigan Avery, Jr. Boys Cody Sherrill, Sr.; Scott Larson, Sr.; Tom Mann, Jr.

    Coach Says: “Both Wolfpack boys and girls are expecting to bring home a trophy.”

  • Billings Central Rams

    2013: Fourth at state

    Head Coach: Matt Stricker

    Key Players: Boys — Dylan Neutgens, Sr.; Jackson Boos, Jr.; Kaiden Caraveau, Jr.; Samuel Berry, So.; Liam Clancy, Fr. Girls — Sophia Mascarena, So.; Chloe Michaelson, So.

    Coach Says: “Really looking forward to this year! Only missed the podium at State for boys team by six strokes last season and there should be no reason we can’t make podium this year, all the kids have been working very hard on their games this summer and are motivated to bring back some hardware from state.”

    Frenchtown Broncs

    2013: NA

    Head Coach: Tim Ockler

    Key Players: Boys  Chris Delaney, Sr. Girls  Jamie Mcnalley, Sr.; Jamie Knight, So.; Dani Flynn, So.

    Coach says: “Girls’ team can make a very strong showing at divisionals this year. Chris Delaney has a very good chance at a top 10 finish at state.”

    Laurel Locomotives

    2013: NA

    Head Coach: Amber Griffith

    Key Players: Boys — Ian Novasio, Sr.; Garrison Allen, Jr.; Andrew Day, Jr.; Layne Willis, So.; Logan Allen, So. Girls — April Wheeler, Sr.; Morgan O’Neil, Jr.; Madi Tucker, Jr.; Kallie Linse, So.

    Coach Says: “We’re ready to get to work and continue to improve each day! We’re looking forward to the girls making a return trip to state and improving upon last year’s finish.”

    Lewistown Golden Eagles

    2013: Boys Central A Divisional champions

    Head Coach: Brett Thackeray

    Key Players: Boys  Zach Hould, Sr.; Trip Crouse, Jr.; Tyrell Walter, Jr.; Girls  Dani Birdwell, Sr.; Kayla Irish, So.; Madison Lewis, So.

    Coach says: “The girls we have are excellent and I expect them all to qualify for state, but we need more participation in our women’s golf program to be competitive. Our boys took the district title and finished fifth at state last year — I believe we will do better this year.”

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