While sitting at home watching Snowageddon happen outside – I can’t and won’t take credit for that word – I had a chance to do something I haven’t done in a while … read stories. And while there was a lot of disappointment in some of them, there are others that rocked and informed.
Let’s start with the bad … and when I mean bad, I mean bumming … which comes from my old stomping grounds in Colorado, where the high school football world was rocked a bit by two events – Valor Christian was denied entry into a league, and has been forced to go independent, and Mullen High School fired longtime head football coach Dave Logan.
Apparently, both stories have to do with recruiting, and apparently Logan – a former NFL wide receiver and current Denver Broncos play-by-play man – was not named in the school’s report filed with the Colorado High School Activities Association.
There are two reasons I bring this stuff up … for one, being a former coach who was not a teacher at the school, it’s amazing that – according to other reports – Logan was let go so that Mullen could have a faculty member be the head coach, so that they were on campus all of the time, and hopefully keep an eye on things. Whatever happened to the best person for the job? I do get it, but still … something is amiss.
Also, it brings up the whole Private vs. Public school debate in high school sports. Which I could probably do a column on by itself, but thankfully, I haven’t had a reason to go on that tangent … yet. However, the fact that a school, no matter what its reputation is (and Valor has quite a reputation in Colorado for getting good athletes to go there, but also good students who don’t play sports.) is being forced to go independent in all sports is eye-opening.
Good thing we don’t have that stuff happening in Montana … eh?
What is good here? Well, of course, it is basketball season … and there were coaching changes around the state as well – including in Bigfork, as the Vikes head man last season, Paul LaMott, moved on to be on the bench as an assistant for a NCAA program. However, I would consider the Vikings to be a contender for another run at the Class B Boys title. Head coach Kurt Paulson has them on a roll, and their only losses came to Class A schools Columbia Falls and Stevensville by a combined nine points.
Meanwhile, here in the Missoula area, there’s a redhead that can shoot the lights out in a gym, pass the ball – and is taking his skills to Utah State next season. Riley Bradshaw is leading the charge for the Corvallis Blue Devils as they aim for another run at a Class A boys basketball state tournament berth. Bradshaw has not missed a state tournament yet.
Staying with hoops, there’s a big clash on Friday (provided Snowageddon doesn’t wipe it out) between a pair of 2-C girls basketball foes in Fairview and Culbertson. The Warriors are led by senior guard Tiffany Kittelson, an all-state and Class C Girls Basketball State All-Tournament Team honoree who is averaging about 15 points per game this season. Kittleson has company in helping with the scoring load, but they face a Cowgirls squad which is balanced and will look to take advantage of their size advantage.
Oddly enough, the only difference between the boys and girls games will be the conference records. Both girls teams are 6-0 in conference. The boys – who will also be playing for the inside track on the top seed in the 2-C – are a little different. Fairview (9-1 overall) is 5-1 in conference, while Culbertson (8-2) is 6-0 in the 2-C.
On the wrestling front, Jorrell Jones will move to the heavyweight class when he moves on to his college stop. Jones, from Chinook, is the defending B-C champ at 215 pounds, and will be aiming for his second title. His teammate, Ben Stroh, if all goes well, will be gunning for a fourth this February in Billings.
We’ll see if the weather improves enough to allow for some Saturday games around here … in the meantime, I’ll be here monitoring games on Friday night and getting the finals to you as soon as possible.
And in the interim … time to learn how to cross-country ski.