Daily Inter Lake News Now

Sports Now - Flathead Valley Athletes Shine At State Wrestling & Swimming + Football Recruiting News

February 14, 2023 Daily Inter Lake Season 1 Episode 26
Daily Inter Lake News Now
Sports Now - Flathead Valley Athletes Shine At State Wrestling & Swimming + Football Recruiting News
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

The Columbia Falls Wildcats boys wrestling team took home the 2022-2023 MHSA class A State Championship in Billings last weekend while the Flathead boys and girls took home second and third for class AA. Glacier's Teegan Vasquez joined an exclusive club by winning his fourth straight title, the 39th wrestler in Montana history to accomplish the feat. The Prep Basketball scene was also jam-packed as usual with Columbia Falls beating Whitefish in the Cat-Dog basketball game and Flathead rallying to beat Helena Capital. Plus, the Glacier Wolfpack swim team had a strong showing at the MHSA swim meet this past weekend with the boys finishing second and girls coming in fourth. While Issac Keim and Olivia Gibbons both took home individual state championships in their respective meets. Also, multiple valley gridders signed letters of intent with frontier conference schools so we'll recap our local prep football athletes who are going to be continuing their football journey's right here in the treasure state.

Shoutout this week's Prep Players of the week: 
Issac Keim - Glacier Boys Swimming
Olivia Gibbons - Glacier Girls Swimming.
Justin Windauer - Columbia Falls wrestling
Kaura Coles - Glacier Wrestling
Teegan Vasquez- Glacier Wrestling
Noah Poe-Hatten Flathead Wrestling
Hope McAtee Columbia Falls Basketball

Local sports talk from Northwest Montana covering prep sports, Bobcats, Grizzlies and more! 

Hosted by Josh Dugan 

Special thanks to Nomad GCS and Hagadone Media Group Montana for their support. 


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Welcome back to another episode of Inter Lake Sports Now! It is hard to believe winter sports are already wrapping up quickly here in Northwest Montana. We had swimming and wrestling come to an end last weekend with the state tournament for wrestling and the state swim meet for swimming. It's official, mandatory, and pretty crazy! It feels like we were just previewing these sports, and now we have some basketball to focus on. 

So today's show, I will say, is going to be mainly a Prep Sports Focus show. We'll really dive into that postseason wrestling action, we'll honor some of our local swimmers, and our Prep Players of the Week (little tease there!). A couple of players who stood out - athletes who stood out (swimmers, I don't know if you call them players - athletes, though, definitely considered athletes). 

Alright, let's dive into all that Prep sports action! And as far as the Cat-Griz talk this week, I think we're going to kind of hold off till next week to really dive into the Cat-Griz basketball action. They're playing this upcoming Saturday. We'll recap that game, and then we're really going to dive into the Big Sky Conference with postseason basketball really on the horizon at the college level.

Before we dive into all this Prep sports action, today's episode is brought to you by Nomad, voted the Flathead's best manufacturer. Nomad is a long-time supporter of the local community and sports teams, celebrating 20 years of building great careers and mission-focused custom vehicles. Nomad, a Montana-based company, making a global impact. Visit nomadgcs.com for more info. That's nomadgcs.com for more information.

Quick reminder: you can subscribe to the Daily Inter Lake e-edition to get all your local news right at your fingertips. Go check out thedailyinterlake.com for more information.

Alright, guys, just like last week, we're going to start it out with a little bit of our Prep basketball scores to break things up, and then we'll dive into all of our headlines for this week. Lots going on in the Northwest Montana sports scene!

Alright, Tuesday in the Prep basketball world for the girls, we had Big Fork pick up a 69-22 win over Polson, and that was on the road and playing up a class. So big win there for Big Fork! For the boys, Bigfork was also in action, picking up a 58-43 win over Polson. Those were our two games on Tuesday. As for Thursday, Bigfork girls were at it again with a 72-41 win over Thompson Falls. Brandon Gunlock finished with 28 for the Vals. Browning beat Columbia, Falls, 50-48, and on for the boys, Thursday Columbia Falls picked up a home win first round of 59-53. Alan Anderson had 19 points to lead the Wildcats, including nine in the fourth quarter.

Alright, let's dive into some headlines. It's been a great time for Prep basketball, but let's rewind a little here to fall sports Prep football recruiting news. Let's dive into that. These were from the Inter Lake last week - a couple of little recaps here. So starting with some Montana Western recruiting news, Bryce Gilliard, a standout tight end at Bigfork, and Caleb Utter, a linebacker at Eureka, both signed to play football at Montana Western last week. Gilead will play tight end, and he ended last year with Bigfork with 14 catches, 295 yards, and three touchdowns, and was all-conference, all-state (excuse me) the year before that.

"He helped them reach the state B championship, Utter was a linebacker his junior year, Allstate, but he missed last year with an ACL injury so he'll be looking to bounce back. He also had some action at quarterback as well for Eureka, so do-it-all kind of talent. We'll see how they look to use him at Montana Western.

So also among Western Siamese is Canyon Sergeant who played running back and linebacker at Mission and helped them make that eight-man title game last fall. As for MSU Northern, we have another big four exciting here, Ethan Rodriguez, a standout two-way lineman, signed with MSU Northern. And Alf Napped, a three-sport standout at Columbia Falls, also signed with MSU Northern. Nabton has an interesting story here, he was a 2021 Columbia Falls grad and he's a mid-year addition for the Lights at tight end and punter after joining the National Guard out of high school.

Astrid Rodriguez, he's a 250-pounder, he's expected to play defensive line. Big boy, put him up front on the line. Bigfork's defense was mean last year, they had a great D, so great addition for MSU Northern. Like that. And then Carol College, last up some local recruiting news here, they brought in Columbia Falls receiver Jace Duvall and another big four players, running back Joe Farrier, who both signed the letters of intent with Carol. The Vol was second on the pass-happy Wildcats' receiving with 438 yards, and he was pretty big down the stretch. I watched him a few times, the kid could definitely play. Inferior Good Fortune watching him play a couple of times as well, runs hard. He was a good defender, I believe, as well, but a heck of a running back talent, a good gift for Carroll College.

Last year, he had 874 rushing yards for the Vikings and 16 touchdowns, so definitely has some solid numbers, and he'll be joining former big four grads Logan Gilliard and Cormack Ben on the Saints roster. So always good to see our local athletes continuing that football journey at the next level. Kudos to them for their hard work and their accomplishments in the classroom and on the field because it is not easy to bounce the books, get that scholarship, and keep that athletic career going because you got to do all the academic stuff as well that's not part of it. We don't always see it in the sports world. Kudos to those athletes, best of luck at the next level with the books and on the field.

All right, let's get into some state wrestling tournament results. As I said, kind of hard to believe we're already at this time of the year when we're wrapping up winter sports. I think I got a sunburn the other day. The spring's coming on quickly, the sun's been out, so I guess it is that time. It's just, you know, the holidays fly by, we have that little break, and then all of a sudden we're talking winter sports postseason action.
So we'll start out with class A wrestling. It was a big time for Columbia Falls, who took home the state championship at the Class A level, big time for them. Our Fritz neighbor was out in Billings covering the action, so this one is from Fritz Neighbor. The Mac Hats' time is right now. This was in the Daily Inter Lake last Sunday, and you can pick that one up, and it's also online at the dailyinterlake.com.

As I said, Fritz neighbor was at the tournament building, so this is his recap of the class A action. It's been a long time since the Northwest Montana team has captured a state wrestling crown, and even longer for Columbia Falls Wildcats. Justin Windauer figured the time was now. "I've known it all along," said Wendower, who picked up the 160-pound title, his second, at First Interstate Arena Saturday. "We had the town last year, but all those injuries held us back. I knew we'd have the town again this year, and it showed on the map this weekend." But Windauer was the lone divisional champion. The Mad Cats piled up 201 points in all, to 152 for Mile City and 146 for Laurel. 

The five-time defending champion Sydney was forced with 144.5. Ten Mad Cats placed, pushing Columbia Falls to its first wrestling title since 1990 and third overall. It's the first time a Northwest team has won since Polson went back to back in 1995-1996 at the Class A level. So, two Columbia Falls wrestlers lost in the finals, Tyler Guilford and Chris Rathjin, but Windauer, the 138-pound champion year ago who moved up to 160, "he was kind of replaced by his teammates who came in and won here." Oh, this was it, 152, excuse me, I thought it was a 130. "I'm like, wow, they had another right back in it." It was Blaze Cronk who beat teammate Josiah Killman in the 152 third-place match. By the way, partly to help the Mad Cats score points or some bonus points that they wrote. It turned out they didn't necessarily need it, but that being said, Windauer, rolled on the day. He had three pins, and his last match was his toughest. It came down the last 15 seconds; he scored a takedown to notch that win, notch the state tournament, and help Colombia Fall seal the deal as state champion. So, overall, awesome stuff from Columbia Falls. 

Windower was the driving force, but overall, as a team, a few names mentioned in the article here who had strong performances: Trade Fainer, Rowdy Crump, Brandt Roll, and then third-place finishers, excuse me, fifth-place finisher Matthew Resk, Winslow Peters, Billy Josephine, and Blake Horner. So, they had a full team effort from the Wildcats. Wanted to shout out those names, and give them their credit.

Congratulations to Columbia Falls on pulling in the state championship. First one in quite some time, love to see it. Hard to believe that yeah, that was 30-33 years ago, I believe, since they won one, so that is awesome. Or in '92, here. Sometimes I forget, 33 years ago, but hey, that's the reality of a situation. Congratulations to Columbia Falls. Also, having a big weekend out at the tournament was Libby's Chase DeShazer, who capped off his second straight title in impressive fashion with the pin 53 seconds into the 205 final. It was the Junior's fourth win by fall on the weekend; all three of his matches ended in under a minute. So, strong showing from the Northwest Montana wrestling scene in the class A level. Congratulations to Columbia Falls' Windauer and to Libby's Chase DeShazer on another title.

Let's move on to Class Double-A. The Brave Brawlers settle for silver, and the Brave Bats settle for bronze, by Fritz Neighbor of The Daily Inner Lake. With their sights set on three straight titles, the Flathead boys and girls wrestling teams have a right to be disappointed with just the place. The brave Brawlers and the brave Ants can also be proud since it took a herculean effort on the part of Billings West to win the boys' title and a breakthrough weekend for the Billings Senior girls to win after two straight runner-up finishes. So regardless of maybe they didn't take home the championship, great effort from Flathead this year. You're still at the top of the state. The top three boys and girls working hard, they've established themselves as a premier wrestling program. There's no denying that. Let's get back to the recap from Fritz here. The drama came in the State Double-A boys' race where West and Flathead entered the championship round tied with 207 points each. West had four finalists, all lower weights. 

Flathead had Anders Thompson at 170 and Noah Pound Hohattan at 182 and Sawyer Troop at 205. As for the Bears, the thing is they had some success with Michael Gayu and Zack Morris picking up decisions at 103 and 113, and Kian Hernandez joined Morris's repeat champion at 120. So West, their guy, showed up when they needed to. They took home the crown. This is what Flathead head coach Jeff Thompson had to say on the day today, "Just wasn't our day. I don't think you can judge a team in one tournament. We had such a great year, such a great season. Just today wasn't our day, and I feel the pain for all these wrestlers that put in so much hard work and dedication to their craft. It just didn't work out." The tournament did see the 39th and 40th four-time winners crowned in State history of Tegan Vazquez of Glacier and Avery Allen of Bozeman becoming four-time State champions. As for the Braves, they did have one individual champion on the day with Noah Pound Hohattan taking home the State title at 182 pounds after a 9-7 decision over Great Falls CMR's AJ Lafurge. 

Oh, Hatton has this to say about his championship: "When those team goals fall, it sucks, but you still have to worry about yourself. It's an individual sport. After I saw we couldn't catch Billings West, I just had to focus on my match." 

Jeff Thompson said this about Pound Hohattan on the day: "He's been knocking on the door. I'm so excited to see him reach a goal. He's a man of few words, but you can just see that emotion, that happiness. I'm super excited to have the opportunity to coach him in high school." Congratulations to Noah Pound Hohattan and Flathead's wrestling team. As I said, overall strong performance from them. Yeah, you come up a little bit short of your goal of a third straight State title. It's special to even have that opportunity, to have the opportunity to a third straight title, whether you're trying to win your third straight Super Bowl or your third straight NBA title or your third straight State title, it doesn't matter.

"It is so hard to have that target on your back. You won the first time, that second one is extremely hard because now people know you're the real deal. That third one, every single team's gunning for you, they know who the top dog is. Flathead came out with a target on their back earlier. They said early on, 'We want to win that third straight.' It was tough overall though, great season by the Braves. And like I said, they've established themselves as one of the premier wrestling programs in the state.
Now, as for the girls' side, the Brave Bats finished third and the Pack finished fifth. Flathead's girls lost a bunch of momentum Friday night. This one's from Fritz Neighbor as well, like I said he was out at the tournament covering the action. Shout out to Fritz for making the trek out to Billings and taking it all in for us. 

So this one's by Fritz Neighbor: 'In the Daily Inter League play, Flathead's girls lost a bunch of momentum Friday night, qualifying no semi-finalists. Just to read, Brave its place, but still, Flathead had piled up the points. A Billings Senior was far ahead with 202, and but 156 overall. Flathead's head coach, Amber Downey, was pleased with the effort, if not the result. She singled out Autumn Thompson, Allie Greenfield, and Skye Shelmerdine for their efforts. She was down in her match and looking at me with the look of, 'I don't know if we can do this,' and she pulled it out in the third. And Shelmerdine, we're super happy with how she finished. We would love to see a few more wins on day two, but sometimes that's just how the tide goes.' Well said, coach, well said.

So, Ronan did get a state championship title from Jersey Two Teeth. It's, or excuse me, yeah, the estate title from heavyweight turns to two teeth and at fourth as a team, so Ronan had a good day at the state tournament as well. Glacier was next with 114.5 points behind Ronin, so strong showing from Northwest Montana at the tourney here. Meanwhile, Caracol is a Canadian transfer who became eligible for Glacier right before the divisional. She scored three pins ahead of a technical fall at the 114 level and went on to win the tournament. So awesome stuff from the freshman transfer. Here's a quote from Glacier head coach Ross Dankers: 'Just incredible how dominant she was this weekend. For a freshman to step in halfway through the season and do what she has, it's impressive.'

Alright, so that was a lot of wrestling to take in. I kinda... It's hard to wrap your head around such an action-packed sport, you know? It'd be great to take it all in person, but we can't, so we gotta live through Fritz in this recap. Thank you, Fritz, awesome stuff. Let's move into a little local head coaching news on the soccer ranks. So Glacier made a big hire. 

This one's by the Daily Inter Lake's Katie Brown, and this article was condensed for the show, but make sure to check out the full read on thedailyinterlake.com. And shout out again to all our wrestling state champions and everyone for their success and hard work throughout the season.

So, Glacier hired Doug Mellow as their girls' soccer coach. Coach Mellow officially retired from Carroll College in December 2022 after nine years at the helm and immediately began looking to land a new coaching home near his new home in Eureka.
"That was always the plan," said Coach Doug Mello. "After 45 years, I made the choice at the end of this season that I'm going to retire, but not from soccer, from the Collegiate game." Bellow said, "I hope that I would latch on with the club or find something that was compelling it would keep me in the game. You gotta tip to Glacier High, which was searching for a girls' head coach. So we applied for the position and the rest is history." Placer athletic director Mark Danny announced the hiring of Mello in an email Tuesday: "Doug brings a wealth of experiences to the position as well as a passion for soccer that is infectious. So, very excited about the hire." As for his experience with Carol, he went 64-71 and 10 as the head coach. They qualified multiple times for the Collegiate Conference playoffs, reaching the semifinals multiple times. He's been coaching since 1978, starting at the age of 20, making him the youngest-ever head coach at the college level, which is pretty remarkable in itself. So, shout out to Coach Mello, a man with a lot of experience. 

With him, he brings over 1,000 matches coached and over 400 men's wins, and over 275 women's wins. So, overall, a coach with a lot of experience is coming to Kalispell Glacier, a great gift for the school and the community, somebody who's going to have the experience to work with these young men and women and bring them the coaching experience they need to be successful in high school as a student-athlete and at the next level because he's been there, he's seen what it takes, and he can pass that knowledge along. Awesome stuff from uh Katie Brown Daily Interlink for reporting that, and awesome stuff for Coach Mello and Glacier, excited to see their journey.

So, let's wrap up the Prep basketball scores, then we'll get into our basketball games of the week. Friday, on the girls' side, we had Helena pick up a 43-31 win over Glacier at the Wolf Den. Whitefish beat Libby 40-28. And for the boys, Plains won on the road 56-46 versus Helena High. Noah Dollar had 22 for the Wolf Pack, and Helena Capital won at home for his Flathead 60-27. On Saturday, Capital won 58-23 over the Glacier girls. This is also on the girls' side, Polson won 43-41 over Ronan, and Haver handed Browning their first loss of the season. 

The Browning girls were previously undefeated; they lost 16-57 to Haver. So, tough loss, but sometimes you learn from those losses almost more than a win. Late in the season when you're an undefeated kind of team that's been a powerhouse, you don't learn a couple of things, reconfigure from your mistakes, and next thing you know, those mistakes turn to no positive. You know Browning will have the opportunity to learn from it or, you know, to that little bull, you're probably going to lose a game. It's tough to go undefeated, but shout out to Browning; they've been a force on the girls' side all year long. As for the boys, Helena High beat Flathead 82-66 in Helena, and the Capital Braves beat Glacier 54-47. So, the Helena schools pulled off a sweep on the boys' side over the Kalispell schools.

Jam-packed time in the Northwest Montana Sports scene, gotta love it. Thank you to everybody rocking with us here on Inter Lake Sports. Now it's been a jam-packed time. I know there is a lot to take in with all the prep sports action, but gotta honor these local athletes for all their hard work and accomplishments. Like I said, in and out of the classrooms, love to see it. So we're gonna get into our games of the week, and then we got some more fun stuff we'll dive into. So let's dive into our basketball games of the week. Coming up soon, it's gonna be basketball playoffs, so get ready, it's only gonna get better.

All right, so Flathead, on Friday night, picked up a hard-fought 47-42 win over Helena Capital. I was at this one. Back-and-forth battle all game long. Clarkson of Capital had 25 points all game long. It felt like Capital had it rolling, they were falling out, then all of a sudden, Flathead really found their flow, took over late, and came up clutch for the win. Aquila Kubi had 14 to lead the BraveX, and Maddie Moy hit two three-pointers on the way to 13. Boy, who battled back from a knee injury this year, had a major impact rebounding the ball. Here's a quote from Flathead coach Sam Tudor on Boy's effort: "Maddy Boy rebounding was a big difference-maker for us tonight and just kind of finding her feedback on the court again. It's been good to see her really find herself on the court. I'm really happy for her."

The score was tied 11-11 through one quarter, and early in the second, the Brave Vets went on a 13-7 run to make things 24-18 with less than three minutes in the half. That's when Jada Clarkson, who I mentioned before, scored seven straight unanswered points over the final 2:25 in the second quarter to give Capital a 27-24 lead. All of a sudden, after the half, Capital led the first 7:30 of the third quarter. Then, as time's running down in the corner, Flathead's Cecilia Vandebosch found Moy for a three-pointer to make it 33-33. From there, Candy Moore really made her stamp on the game. It was a back-and-forth battle, but late, Candy Moore really made an impact, felt by drawing a charge, making a sign in the paint, and then downing two free throws for 51 seconds left to play. That is kind of what put Brave that's over the top late. Moore finished with 12 points to round out three scores in double digits for Flathead. Cecilia Vandebosch also had multiple clutch plays for the Brave Ads, had a big offensive rebound and up, and also made a free throw late. So, it was a total team effort. Overall, though, one of those games where in-person watching it, you have no idea who was going to win, and Flathead just kept fighting back, never really gave up, and regardless of the score, it felt like they were always in it. And in the end, they took care of business.

As for Saturday, we had our cat-dog rivalry. We had Whitefish and Columbia Falls squaring off in Columbia Falls. The Wildcats took care of business with a 74-47 win over Whitefish. I was at this one as well. This was on the boys' side, absolutely scrappy game. The Whitefish Bulldogs made things tough early on Columbia Falls. It felt like a close game, but late, the Wildcats put it together.

"They upped their press defense, they really turned up the tempo, and they did their thing. Here's a quote from Wildcats head coach Chris Finberg on this game and why it had a little extra meaning: 'First time since 2015 there were conference champs and hopefully we can build off that and made it to the stink for the first time since 2015 as well, so big win for Columbia Falls.' Tacoma, their Northwest A title, with that one. Wildcats guard Allen Anderson finished with 19 on the game. He hit three three-pointers on the night. Hunter Goodman was a force around the basket with 14, consistently making plays around the rim. Things were tied early in this one, I will say, it was 15-15 heading into the second quarter. Mason Couch of Whitefish drained a buzzer-beater heading into that second quarter. All of a sudden, you're like, 'This is the ball game.' Whitefish kept it close, it was 35 to 29 heading into the break, and all of a sudden Columbia Falls really pulled away. 

The thing for Coach Columbia Falls Finberg did really credit Whitefish for their effort though: 'I thought it was...I thought in the first half Whitefish did a good job of breaking us down on the dribble, hitting in the key, and getting a lot of points either by layup or free throw. In the second half, we were able to take that away and force them to shoot from the outside a little bit. Once we're able to contain their penetration, takeaway shots in the key, then we were able to get in transition, and that's where we thrive. That is really where the Wildcats described in this one, as soon as they started getting out on the break, turning up the tempo, they were the ones who said, 'Go.' Had an old basketball coach teach me that sometimes you just gotta be the one to say 'go.' It goes a long way, and they were the ones saying 'go,' making the first step, making the first move. So a big win for the Wildcats. They took home that conference title, they beat the rival, and overall just a big team effort. 

Bamberg did have this to say, 'The rivalry, fun rivalry, good crowd. It was a physical game and a good game to coach and watch,' so overall fun stuff. Kudos to both teams for the effort, because despite the score, Whitefish played hard till the final buzzer. They left it all on the line, no doubt. As for the Lady Wildcats and the Lady Bulldogs, had to split out a little early, I couldn't stick around for this one unfortunately, I wanted to but had to make paper. But Hom-eacty stuffed the stat sheet in this one for the Wildcats as they won 70-33. McAtee finished with 15 points, 10 rebounds, seven assists, and seven steals. Those are like Yo-Kitchen-LeBron type triple-double numbers. All right, I'm dropping the gun there, but I mean really, those are quadruple numbers quadruple double-type of numbers. Big game for McAtee and the Wildcats."

They had 11 total players score on the day, so it was just a full-blown team effort for Columbia Falls. As for Whitefish, Bailey Smith was a bright spot with 17 points and Drew Perry chipped in 11. So overall, Cat-Dog basketball was a success, as usual. Like I said, regardless of scores, shout out to the athletes for both teams for leaving all on the court, leaving their hearts on the line, and playing tough. That's what it's all about.
Before we move along to our Prep Players of the Week, let's get to a quick word from our friends at Nomad. At Nomad, the key to our success has always been the amazing talent and experience of our team. Based on one of the most beautiful places on Earth, our Kalispell, Montana headquarters is home to some of the most skilled engineers, integrators, software developers, welders, electricians, carpenters, mechanics, and professional staff on the market. Our team is dedicated to working collaboratively with our valued clients to ensure success in every mission. Join our team! Check out our Careers page at nomadgcs.com/careers to view current job openings. Reminder: go check out NomadGCS.com/careers.

And a reminder, you can check out all the full Prep recaps, all the recaps of last week's games, on the dailyinterlake.com, or pick up that Sunday edition of The Daily Inter Lake, because there's a lot of Prep sports action in there.

All right, y'all, let's dive into our Prep Players of the Week, presented by Hagano Media Group Montana. The team in Montana is here to help you grow. Our skilled team will assess your marketing goals and craft ROI-focused campaigns. Home to meet your business needs, our integrated marketing solutions will help your people find you wherever they are looking, whether it's Google, YouTube, apps, or your local newspaper. Contact Anton at 406-758-4410 for more information.

All right, let's get to those Prep Players of the Week, starting with Glacier swimming duo Isaac and Olivia Gibbons. These two both showed out at the Montana State swim meet this past weekend. Time took home the State title in 50 and 100 on the boys' side, and Olivia Gibbons was a strong performer for the Wolfpack on the girls' side by earning the State championship in the hundred. Overall, a very impressive performance from the Wolfpack swim team. It's safe to say the boys came in second, the girls came in fourth, and Gibbons were the two leading the way. Congratulations to both of them on their Prep Players of the Week nod and their success at State. Awesome stuff!

As for wrestling, we've mentioned a few of these names, but we had to shout them out one more time. Columbia Falls wrestler Justin Windauer finished off a perfect season with a State title at 160 pounds and helped those Columbia Falls Mad Cats win their first State wrestling championship since 1990. Awesome stuff! Windauer, like I said, had three pins on the day. He landed a clutch takedown in the final 15 seconds of his title match to seal the deal and win it all at 160 pounds. Heck of a run for Columbia Falls Athletics this year in general. The soccer team pulled in a State title back in the winter, and the wrestling team wins the title, setting up a big spring for the Wildcats. We'll see who's next. I'm kidding, no pressure. But awesome stuff. Congratulations to Windauer and the Wildcats.

Next up, plays for wrestling. Tegan Vazquez became the 39th four-time state champion in the history of Montana wrestling. When you start adding up the numbers and how many wrestlers there are competing on a yearly basis, only 39, and now 40, there was another member of this elusive Club added this year after Vazquez did it, so you have 40 people in the history of the state that have been four-time state champs. Congratulations to baskets, that is quite the accomplishment.

As for Glacier, another wrestler earns the prep player of the week. Not here, Cara Coles, a freshman transferred from Canada, took home a State title as a freshman, so maybe somebody four years from now we're talking about becoming number 41 in that elusive Club of Wrestlers who have won a bid four-time state champions.
That being said, major kudos also to Kohls for overcoming the challenge of relocating and having to dial in as a freshman in a new place midway through the season. That takes a lot of mental stamina and focus and toughness, so major kudos. Wrestling is a mentally tough sport, can't say I'm not surprised, but I had to throw it in there, awesome stuff.

Flatheads No Pohan rounds out our wrestlers on the Prep Players of the Week list this time around. He picked up his first State title at 182 pounds. And like I said earlier, the Brawlers may have come up a bit short in winning that third straight State title, but it does not take away from their accomplishments as a program and the greatness of Pohatan this year represents that perfectly because they're always going to have guys in it. They're always going to have guys or girls competing at the top level.
Shout out to No Pohat for taking over that crown at 182. Despite maybe not winning the State title as a team, they have a lot to be proud of for being the individual champion in their weight class. So kudos to No Pohat.

Blast up on our Prep Players of the Week, and what has been a jam-packed show of prep sports action. We probably could have picked 100 different prep athletes this week, so I just wanted to say before we dive into our last athlete, kudos to all of our local athletes who are competing across the board, whether it's basketball, wrestling, or swimming. Well deserved, thank you for your time, your effort, and like I said, the time it takes to balance being a student-athlete at the top level because it is not easy to balance the classroom and the athletics, so major kudos. Everybody deserves credit regardless of if their name is called on the list or not.

These athletes really just, you know, had some accomplishments that had to throw in that extra little bit of recognition, I guess. So our last prep player of the week is Columbia Falls Hooper Hope McAtee for her 15.7 rebounds, 7 assists, and 7 steal performance I mentioned earlier against Whitefish. Yeah, it's nice you beat your rival in the cat-dog game, but you almost have a quadruple-double. The win's important, it's a team ball game, that's the most important thing, but sometimes you gotta look back and have those games you go that was just a little different, something special happened.

Sometimes you just get in that zone and it just clicks because of the quadruple-double type of game regardless if she didn't quite hit 10 points or excuse me, 10 rebound statuses, 10 steals. To be in the conversation is not easy, so credit to Hope McAtee for the win.

Just absolute stat stuff and the type of performance that makes you think of the type of players who really have the biggest impact on a basketball game across all levels because when you can do it all, you're so like the ultimate Swiss army knife for your team. It goes such a long way, so those were your Prep Players of the Week presented by Hagerdone Media Group Montana. The team of Montana is here to help you grow your skill team. We will assess your marketing goals and craft ROI-focused campaigns home to meet your business needs. Our integrated marketing solutions will help your people find you wherever they are looking, whether it's Google, YouTube, apps, or the local newspaper. Contact Anton at 406-758-4410 for more information. That's 406-758-4410 for more information.

All right, y'all, what a time to be a Prep sports fan in Northwest Montana or involved in Prep sports in Northwest Montana. I mean, just jam-packed right now. Thank you, everyone, for checking out the show. Before we wrap this thing up, I do want to give a special thanks to Hagerdone Media Group Montana for their support and remind everyone listening that this episode was brought to you by Nomad Flatheads, the flag's best manufacturer. Nomad, is a longtime supporter of the local community and sports teams, celebrating 20 years of building great careers and mission-focused custom vehicles. Nomad is a Montana-based company making a global impact. Nomad has worked with NASA and various branches of the United States military, so you know Nomad is a name you can trust with your manufacturing needs. For more info, visit nomadgcs.com. I repeat, nomadgcs.com.

That'll do for the day. Thanks again to Flathead's best manufacturer, Nomad, thanks again to Hagerdone Media Group Montana, and thanks again to you for checking out the show. Next week, we'll be back with that Big Sky Basketball top or prep hoops action. Fun stuff, y'all. I need a glass of water. Have a good one. That one was jam-packed. Thanks!

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