2016 sports year in review #2

———— July ————
Dodgers go
undefeated for week
The Laurel Dodgers beat the Richland County Patriots, Glendive Bluedevils and the Glasgow Reds each twice and went 6-0 for the week. Highlights came from their 7-0 game one victory over Glendive where pitcher Carson West pitched seven shutout innings. In Game two of the same series Dodger Dawson Cortese went 2-4, drove in one and scored one run. Game one in the Glasgow series also produced a 7-0 shutout behind the pitching of Carson Hoke.

Ludwigs head to Shrine game
The 70th annual Montana East-West Shrine game is the premier All-Star game in Montana. The “best of the” players and coaches are selected from around the state and Laurel had more than a few representatives. Mike Ludwig was selected as the coach of the East Team and in a dream come true scenario he had the opportunity to coach his son, Connor, an All-State safety who was unanimously selected.

Dodgers take Eastern
A championship
The Laurel Dodgers became District Champions after beating the Billings Cardinals. The win sent them off to state in the same day. They got hot at just the right time leading up to State from all their players, but Carson Hoke pitched seven strikeouts to give Laurel the 6-0 victory and a trip to State.

Laurel hosts baseball tourney
The top eight American Legion Class A teams spanning from Alaska to Utah played in the Northwest Regional Class A tournament at Dodger Stadium. The tourney location rotates every year and Laurel Dodger’s parents voted to host. There were eight solid days of renovations that took place to get the stadium ready for the five days of baseball. Volunteers and others refurbished the bullpens, snack shacks and stands as well as the 111 bleacher boards.

———— August ————
Dodgers lose to Twins at State
Laurel won every game at the state Legion tournament, except two and those two were what mattered most. The Glacier Twins played Laurel in the first game and lost 8-2, in the midst of an amazing performance from Carson Hoke, who went 4-5 at the plate. They won three in a row before running into the Twins again, losing 8-2 and ending their tourney play.

Dodgers take second at Regional Tournament
Of the eight teams that participated in the Northwest Regional Class A Tournament in the end it came down to a championship game between the Laurel Dodgers and the Bitterroot Red Sox. The home team gave it their all and had even beaten the Sox in previous weeks, but couldn’t put together enough hits in their 13-3 loss in the last game of the tourney.

Sam’s Run
Laurel hosted a 5k run to promote mental health and suicide awareness named after Sam Meling whose death opened up a community-wide-conversation about mental health and teen suicide in Laurel Schools. The run brought out over 800 participants of all ages and the program Step In provided booths on mental health and suicide programs at the end of the run as well as rafflling off gift baskets. Sam was active in the LHS cross country program and head coach Amy Caldeira played a large part in planning the event in his memory.

———— September ————
LHS soccer starts strong
The Lady Locos started hot with a 5-0 win over Loyola and a 2-0 victory over Frenchtown. Taylor Ludwig and goalie Paige O’Toole played large parts in the early season. The boys in their third year under coach Leroy Vanderpool beat Missoula Loyola 2-0 before taking on Frenchtown for a 2-1 victory. Vanderpool inherited the team after a 0-13 season and has started to turn the fundamentals of the soccer program around.

Panthers volleyball
sweep two in a row
Park City were without senior Tehya Ray and still came up with two tough performances against Roberts and Fromberg. The team had 33 kills in their three game sweep of Roberts and never let the opposing team get close in any set. It was deja-vu in the their next match against Fromberg as the Panthers easily dispatched their opponent in a clean three set sweep.

J-Hawks football
light up scoreboard
Joliet began the game against Lodge Grass with a 90-yard kick return from Ty Olson. The offensive frenzy didn’t take long to erupt to 52-0 and a J-Hawks win. Wyatt Kramer ran in for a score as well as Taylor Rowlison catching a 10-yard pass from Ty Olson, and just about every other Joliet player scoring at some point of the game, led to one of the most lopsided wins of the season.

Locomotives explode
for Homecoming
Laurel played Butte for their Homecoming game in front of a completely packed stadium. Many came for the game, which was a blowout win for Laurel, 42-19. Casey Cole put on another dazzling performance rushing and passing for over 100 yards. The rest of the fans in attendance came for the halftime show, which had the LVFD put on a fireworks display not to be missed filled with explosions and bright lights.

Park City football have 48-point first half
The Panthers ran over, under and through the Broadview Pirates in the first half of their blowout win, scoring 24 points in each of the first two quarters and 62 for the game. Brandon Flemmer ran in for three scores and his teammates pitched in every where else in the team’s season highlight reel. Quarterback Tucker Zuhoski ran in for a few scores of his own to add to his touchdown passes. The final score was 62-12 in Panther victory.

———— October ————
Laurel boys golf take
third at State
Behind an outstanding year of golf from head coach Amber Griffith and her coaching staff the Loco’s golf team placed third overall in Hamilton for third place. They were only five stokes behind second place, Polson and many of the boys placed in the top 24 of the individual performances. Paul O’Neil placed third overall in individual scores with a two day total of 157. Layne Willis tied for 17th place and Kallie Linse finished her high school career just missing out on the top 15 placers with a score of 198.

Levi Taylor runs very fast
Laurel’s own cross country runner Levi Taylor finished first at the Miles City Invitational with a time of 16:00, also giving him his personal best. The girls all had personal best in individual times, but as a team placed outside the top seven. The boys team finished just behind St. Labre, placing second with help from Ethan Doty, Kyle Guy and RJ Gill who all had times within the 17:03 and 17:07 marks.

Kelsey Kraft with
Laurel FFA wins big
The NILE livestock judging competition had 198 individuals and 39 teams competing in livestock events, but it was LHS student Kelsey Kraft who had the big night. The Laurel FFA team of Kelsey Kraft, Zach Proue, Garrett Bromenshenk and Emma Rawhauser placed ninth. Kraft took first place overall individual, first place individual in beef, sheep, and swine and third in reasons.

———— November ————
LHS girls soccer play
in state championship
After another remarkable season under coach Aloma Jess, the Laurel girls played their rival Billings Central for the championship once again. This year’s game was remarkably close, with the Rams just edging the Loco’s 2-1 in the end, but the girls stuck in there until the very end. In the last nine state championships, either Laurel or Billings Central has played in, Laurel coming away with the trophy three years ago.

J-Hawk volleyball
play at State
This was the first year the Joliet volleyball program made it to State after moving to a Class B school six years ago. The girls beat Florence in four sets and Choteau in four before meeting Thompson Falls in their last match of the year. The J-Hawks lost in four sets, but their coach couldn’t have been prouder of her teams play all season, with coach Collette Webber having nothing, but praise for their run.

18 LHS girl soccer players make Academic-All-State
The academic All-State recipients were announced and given to student/athlete’s who earned a varsity letter and attained a 3.5 or better grade point average during the soccer season. Aloma Jess’s soccer team had 18 girls make the cut. Congratulations to: Aspen Cotter, Kaitlyn Dawes, Jessica Elmer, Ashtyn Hoppel, Taylor Ludwig, Alexis Ludwig, Alexis Mattson, Carly McGrath, Megan Mosby, Emma Myhre, Caitlyn Novak, Paige O’Toole, Lauren Schwab, Julia Smith, Samantha Spitzer, Megan Steinmasel, Teresa Twichel and Paige Ventling.

———— December ————
Panthers rip through Rockets
The boys Park City basketball team put together an early season shooting spectacular defeating the Roberts Rockets 74-38. Talon Johnstone and Rylan Gauthier led the way in scoring with 19 and 11. The girls beat Roberts by 44 points in a 61-17 win and a all around great team effort to give them a strong start to the season.

Joliet undefeated at
Red Lodge Tourney
Taylor Rowlison lead the J-Hawks to a strong start for the season leading his team to a 2-0 trip to the Red Lodge tourney. He dropped double-digits in a 59-47 win over Colstrip and a 57-47 win over Park City. The J-Hawks gave their fans a real showcase on how their team would function this season as they had strong efforts from everyone and everywhere on the court.

Horseshoe tourney in Laurel
Laurel hosted a MHPA horseshoe tourney in Laurel where president of the Laurel club, Nick Kisch, brought together players from Big Timber, Red Lodge, Billings and Laurel to compete. Ed Morgan from Red Lodge took first and Nick Kisch from Laurel placed second. Laurel hosted the event at the inside Horseshoe Pits at Riverside Park.

Locomotives have tough start
With a record snowy winter in Montana this year basketball games and school were cancelled for the kids during the month of December. It brought on a strange and slow start to the girls and boys basketball teams. Both teams played only a handful of games to start the season and had identical records at 1-2 entering the winter break. Both teams have high hopes for the season and with the rescheduled games still ahead there will be time to make up for a slow early season.


Have you gone to a city park this year?

The Laurel Outlook


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