Sports year in review! February - June

By 
Chris Mcconnell
Thursday, January 2, 2020
The Park City Panther boys golf team captured their second consecutive State runnerup at Double Arrow Golf Resort in Seeley Lake.

The Park City Panther boys golf team captured their second consecutive State runnerup at Double Arrow Golf Resort in Seeley Lake.

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The LHS 4x100 relay team pose for a picture shortly after breaking the school record in the State meet.

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Carson West winds up for a pitch against the Miles City Mavericks.

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Laurel Middle School gymnast Claire Molnar took first place at the Mismo Magical Meet at Sentinel High School in Missoula.

In January, Zoo Montana’s Ozzy correctly picked the Super Bowl winner for the fifth consecutive year.

In January, Zoo Montana’s Ozzy correctly picked the Super Bowl winner for the fifth consecutive year.

Laurel Middle School gymnast Claire Molnar took first place at the Mismo Magical Meet at Sentinel High School in Missoula.

Laurel Middle School gymnast Claire Molnar took first place at the Mismo Magical Meet at Sentinel High School in Missoula.

The LHS 4x100 relay team pose for a picture shortly after breaking the school record in the State meet.

The LHS 4x100 relay team pose for a picture shortly after breaking the school record in the State meet.

Carson West winds up for a pitch against the Miles City Mavericks.

Carson West winds up for a pitch against the Miles City Mavericks.

Senior Levi Taylor dunks the ball during a game against Hardin at LHS in January.

Senior Levi Taylor dunks the ball during a game against Hardin at LHS in January.

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Former Laurel coaches Don Peterson, Patti Miller and Tom Sprigler were the first inductees into the Laurel High School Hall of Fame during halftime of the Laurel/Billings Central girls’ basketball game.

February

• The Laurel Loco wrestling team took 4th place as a team at Divisionals in Miles City and qualified 14 for the State Tournament. Keegan Campbell was runner–up in the 138 pound division and Cameron Younger was runner–up in the 182 pound division.

• Three former Laurel coaches were inducted into the LHS Hall of Fame at halftime of the Laurel/Billings Central girl’s basketball game.

Don Peterson was a high school math, physics and chemistry teacher as well as Athletic Directory during his 21 year coaching career at Laurel. He started the Laurel golf program and coached basketball, golf football, track and cross country. He coached the Locos to seven State basketball championships. Peterson passed away in 2003.

Patti Miller was a middle school P.E. and Health teacher in the Laurel School District. She coached Laurel girls cross country and track and had one State Championship cross country title, two divisional cross country titles and three divisional girls track championships.

Tom Sprigler was a middle school assistant principal and art teacher who coached the Loco grapplers to two State championships. Sprigler was also a two–time Montana Coaches Association Coach of the Year.

• Four Loco wrestlers placed at the State tournament in Billings: Keagen Campbell 3rd, 138 pound division; Cameron Younger 3rd, 182 pound division; Ivan Lee 6th, 113 pound division and Gabe Hernandez 6th, Heavyweight division. The Locos placed 7th overall as a team.

• The Joliet boys basketball team took second at the 4B district tournament to advance to the Divisional tournament after falling 45–41 to Huntley Project in the championship game.

• The Park City boys and girls basketball teams advanced to the Southern C Divisional tournament in Laurel. The boys fell to Plenty Coups in the 6C championship game and the Lady Panthers came up through the loser bracket to qualify for divisionals as the 4th seed.

• Both Laurel basketball teams took 4th place at divisionals and qualified for the State tournament in Great Falls.

March

• The Laurel Middle School wrestling team took 4th place in the Montana State Middle School Wrestling Championships in Lewistown. Laurel improved from last year’s 8th place finish and had two individual champions: Logan Cole at 100 lbs and Camden Johnson at 160 pounds.

• The Lady Locos took 4th in the Class A State basketball tournament and the boys were eliminated in two games.

• Fifteen players from Laurel, Joliet and Park City received All–State/All–Conference recognition in their respective classes.

For the Lady Locos, Aspen Cotter and Mya Hansen made the All–Class A girls team and Eastern A First Team. Gaje Leischner was selected to the Eastern A Second Team.

Joliet had Ry Olson as a 4B All–Honors First teamer and Caleb Bailey was selected to the second team. Skyler Wright and Shayla Webber wear both selected to the All–Class Second team.

For Park City all five of the starters on the boys team were selected to the All–Class 6C team. Connor McNeil and Tristen Johnstone were selected to the All–6C starting five. Austin Popp was selected to the All– Conference second team. Blakely Verke and Breanne Smith were selected to the All–Confer- ence 1st and 2nd teams respec- tively.

• Gaje Leischner of Laurel, Tristan Johnstone and Connor McNeil of Park City and Ry Olson of Joliet were selected to play in the Billings Hotel Se- nior Classic which gathers the best Montana high school basketball players to showcase the state’s talent for fans and college scouts.

April

• Pat Hansen stepped down after one season as head boys and girls basketball coach. Before Hansen took over both coaching roles he coached the boys’ program for 13 years. In his time at Laurel, the Hansenled Locos won the 2010 and 2015 Class A State Championship. Before taking taking over the Laurel program, Hansen also led the Gardiner boys to a Class C title in 2005.

• In spite of a slow start to the Park City golf season due to spring snow and cool tempera- tures, three players qualified for the State tournament in their first event. Coach Mark Rathbun said “Austin (Popp), Tucker (Johnstone) and Tristen (Johnstone) all did a fantastic job.”

May

• History was made at the Midland Roundtable Top 10 track meet when Levi Taylor broke the school record for the 1600 meter run previously set by Patrick Casey in 2008. Taylor’s time was 4:17.29, breaking Casey’s record of 4:19.84. The next week Taylor broke another Casey record in the 3200 meter run at the Glendive meet. Taylor finished with a time of 9:19.01 to beat the previous record of 9:27.50.

Casey started his post high school running career at Montana State, transferred to the University of Oklahoma and is currently an Olympic hopeful as a professional Under Armor runner. Taylor has committed to run for Montana State University.

• Laurel track and field dominated the Eastern A Divisionals in Belgrade with both the boys’ and girls’ teams taking first place. The Laurel boys scored 120 points which was 22 points more than second place Custer County. The Lady Locos earned 129 points to beat second place Belgrade by 51.

• The Park City boys golf team finished as Class C State runners–up for the second consecutive year at Double Arrow Golf Resort in Seeley Lake. Austin Popp was the top Panther finisher after shooting 84–83 to finish T2 individually. Coach Mark Rathbun said he was happy with the team’s finish. “The boys did a great job grinding it out with everyone playing better and improving their scores from the previous day to finish as the runner up.”

• The Laurel boys’ track team tied for first place at the State meet for the first time since 1991. They tied Dillon with 81 points to share the title. Levi Taylor won the 800, 1600 and 3200 meter run and Chris Abell took first in the 110m hurdles.

June

• Joliet seniors Justin Harris and Grant O’Rourke were selected to play on the Red Team in the 2019 Montana 8–man football All Star game in Butte. After the game, O’Rourke was selected as the Red Team’s Defensive MVP.

• Taryn Wommack was selected as First Team All–Conference for the Lady Loco softball team and Zoe Thomae was selected to the Second Team. Taylor Feller, Deyshia Goodwin, Riley Chapman, Bailey Chapman and Lexie Stahlman were selected as Hon- orable Mention.

• The Laurel Dodgers went on a hitting spree and scored 103 runs over the course of six games. During this run they scored 24 runs in a single inning against Malta. The score was 8–2 going into the fifth inning and after it was over they led 32–

2. Dodger players hit three grand slams in the inning. Besides two blowout games against an inexperienced Malta team, they also beat Miles City 16–1 and 10–0.

• Carson Hackmann had the round of his life on the final day of the Montana State Golf Association State Junior tournament at Lake Hills in Billings. The incoming 7th grader started the day three shots back in the Boys 13 and Under division then blistered the par 72 course with a six–under 66 to win the tournament by eight shots. His round featured seven birdies against a lone bogey. LHS sophomore Haylee Adams extended her first round lead in the Girls 14–15 division after posting an 82 to win her division by 11 shots.

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Upcoming Events

Monday, July 13, 2020
2nd Mondays, 6:30 p.m., at Wood's Powr-Grip, 908 West Main St., use the west entrance, open to the public. 
Monday, July 13, 2020
2nd Tuesday, 6 p.m., Laurel Public Library
Monday, July 13, 2020
Mondays, 1:30 p.m., 201 1/2 E Main St.
Monday, July 13, 2020
Second & fourth Monday at 11 a.m., Big Horn Resort, 1801 Majestic Lane, 281-8455
Monday, July 13, 2020
Free, 2nd Monday, 3-5 p.m., Frontier Cancer Center, 1315 Golden Valley Cir., Billings, 800-227-2345
Tuesday, July 14, 2020
2nd and 4th Tuesdays, 5:30 p.m., Council Conference Room

Poll

Will you be attending the Laurel Chamber of Commerce’s Car Show and Downtown Laurel Farmer’s Market this Saturday?

The Laurel Outlook

 

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