Fergus girl golfers take second at state meet

By: 
Doreen Heintz
Sports Editor

Members of the FHS girls’ golf team (from left) Annie Franz, Val Kolsstad, Kinsey Irvin, Abby Gremaux, Allison Denton and Emily Kolstad pose with their second-place Class A trophy.           Photo courtesy of Brett Thackeray

This is the third, and final, in a series of three stories about local sports in Central Montana in 2017.

Although the golf season in Montana is rather short, the Fergus golf teams provided strong competition against their opponents during the month and a half season. The MHSA’s date for Class A teams to begin practicing was August 10. On Saturday, Sept. 23, the teams competed at the Central A Meet in Livingston and then at the Class A State Meet in Sidney the following weekend.
Even with a short season, the girls’ and boys’ teams had lots of success. For the third consecutive year, the Fergus girls captured the Central A crown with Kinsey Irvin leading the way. Irvin, a senior, is probably the most decorated golfer to play for the Golden Eagles. As a freshman, Irvin placed third at the Central A meet. Irvin was crowned Central A champion for the next three years.
Irvin convinced several of her classmates to come out for golf. After winning a divisional championship during Irvin’s junior year, the Golden Eagles surprised everyone on the golf course by taking third at the state meet, which was held in Hamilton. It was the first state trophy ever won by a Fergus girls’ golf team. Irvin and teammate, Abby Gremaux, both earned all-state honors by finishing in the top 15 at the state meet.
This fall, with three of the top four golfers returning, the girls looked to win a state title. The team won a number of tournaments in the fall. After winning the Central A crown, the team traveled to Sidney for the state tournament. The biggest obstacle facing Fergus was the Sidney team. Sidney had won the state title a year ago, and the Eagles had the advantage of playing on their home course for this year’s state meet.
Strong winds played havoc with all the golfers’ scores on Friday. Saturday was calmer, and the Fergus girls played much better, but were not able to come from behind to defeat Sidney. The Fergus girls finished second. It was not a disappointing finish for the Fergus coaches, Brett Thackeray and Keithon Walter.
Irvin finished third overall, while Gremaux was 12th. Right behind Gremaux was teammate Val Kolstad who finished 13th. All three girls earned all-state honors.
A young Fergus boys’ team was not as successful as the girls. With 10 freshman boys playing golf during the fall, the future looks bright for the boys’ team. Four boys represented Fergus at the state meet -- sophomore Caleb Myers, junior Ben Kolar, freshman Alec Manseau and senior Zack Jensen.
Fergus volleyball team qualifies for state meet
The Fergus volleyball team had another successful season. The team took third at the Eastern A Divisional Tournament, which was held in Lewistown. By finishing third the team qualified for the state meet in Bozeman.
At state, the Golden Eagles lost in five sets in their opening-round match against Libby, came back to defeat Stevensville in three sets in loser-out competition, and then fell to Corvallis in three sets to be eliminated from the tournament.
Two senior transfers to Lewistown, Andrea Russell and Kaitlyn Anderson, helped the Golden Eagles in their play this season. Other seniors on the squad were Bailey Collins, Ajiah Ross, Haydn Potter and Jade Phelps.

Fergus football team qualifies for playoffs
Every regular season game, the Fergus football team played this fall was a conference one after the Central A and the Eastern A combined to form the Eastern A Division. The Golden Eagles finished the conference season with a 5-4 mark. Fergus won its final home game of the season against Dawson County. The win gave the Golden Eagles a fifth seed in the Class A State playoffs. Fergus’s opening round opponent in the playoffs was Custer County.
Despite scoring three touchdowns early in the game against the Cowboys in Miles City, the Golden Eagles fell, 42-26, to be eliminated.
Wyatt Blythe and Wes Jameson of Fergus earned “player of the year” awards for the Central A conference at the conclusion of the football season. Blythe was named as defensive player of the year, while Jameson earned his honors on the offensive side. Fergus Coach Vic Feller earned “Coach of the Year” honors.
Fergus all-conference players included Blythe, Jameson, Mitchell Norslien, Mason Harrison, Matt Weeden, Jayce Philipps, Tanner Trafton, Matt Welsh, Landon Henderson, Jake Clinton and Cody Henderson.
Five Golden Eagles earned all-state honors: Blythe, Jameson, Harrison, Welsh and Clinton.
On Christmas Day, Blythe learned he had been selected as an alternate for the East-West Shrine game this summer.

Boys’ cross-country team goes up just short
The Fergus boys’ cross-country team was gunning for its third consecutive state trophy in Helena in late October. The team had great success throughout the season, including winning the Central A Fall Classic (Central A Divisional) in Livingston a week before the state meet. The boys’ competed well at state with senior Noah Majerus and sophomore Sam Fulbright winning all-state honors by finishing in the top 15 at the state meet. Majerus finished fifth, while Fulbright was sixth. Other Fergus runners who contributed to the boys’ team score were on in 24th, sophomore Logan Wisenbaugh in 42nd and senior Alex Wickens in 75th. It was Wickens first year in cross country.
After all the scores were added up for the teams, Corvallis won the state A title. Finishing second was Frenchtown-Alberton, followed in third by Columbia Falls and Fergus in fourth.
The Fergus girls’ team finished ninth at the state meet. It was the Golden Eagles best finish in several years. The Fergus girls also won the Central A Fall Classic.
The top finisher at state was freshman Trinity Edwards in 34th place. The second Fergus girl to cross the finish line was sophomore Emily Smith in 50th place. Other girls contributing to the team score were senior Lissy Southworth in 56th place, sophomore Sydney Kelsey in 59th and junior Ashley Brand in 61st.

Lady Outlaws compete at Class C State
Volleyball Tournament

The Lady Outlaws of Roy-Winifred won the District 5C Volleyball Tournament in Harlowton and finished second to Bridger at the Southern C Divisional Tournament in Laurel to qualify for the Class C State Tournament in Bozeman. The Lady Outlaws had finished second to Grass Range-Winnett in regular season conference play, but the Lady Outlaws defeated the Lady Rangers in the district championship.
Four teams from District 5C qualified for the Southern C Divisional Tournament. Besides Roy-Winifred and Grass Range-Winnett, Tri-City (Moore, Hobson, Judith Gap) and Harlowton also qualified.
The top two teams at the divisional tournament, Roy-Winifred and Bridger, qualified for the state tournament.

Rangers earn win in first ever home football playoff game
After finishing second to Bridger in the Southern C Six-Man Football Divisional, Grass Range-Winnett played Noxon in a first-round play-off game. The Rangers came away with a 50-12 win over Noxon to claim their first ever home play-off win.
The win also moved the Rangers into a quarterfinal game against Valier. The game, played in Valier, saw the Panthers come away with a 40-7 win over Grass Range-
Winnett.
In eight-man football, the Titans of Tri-City earned the number one seed out of the Southern C Division. The Titans stumbled only once during regular season conference play. Joliet, a Class B school, which was allowed to play Class C eight-man football by the MHSA, scored a come-from-behind win over the Titans.
Tri-City had an equally stunning victory over defending Class C state champion Ennis. The game between Ennis and Tri-City was scheduled to be played in Moore on a Saturday, but when smoke covered most of the state because of wild fires, the game was moved to Monday in Hobson.
In a first-round playoff game, the Titans broke open a close game in the final two quarters to defeat Plains, 32-20. Plains and Tri-City were tied at halftime 20-20.
In a quarterfinal match up against Circle, the Titans fell, 22-34 to the Wildcats.
At a November Board of Directors meeting of the MHSA, the Board approved allowing Denton-Geyser-Stanford to move back to six-man football after playing eight-man for two years.
This is in no way a complete roundup of all the sports that happen in Central Montana. It seems as though some type of sporting event is happening in the area every weekend. There is drag racing, BGM racing, demolition derby, club soccer, the Lewistown Hoppers and many more. The new skate park in Lewistown is another example of the role sports play in Central Montana. Ice hockey continues to grow with at least one tournament a year at rink at Frank Day Park. We even had a father and son hit holes-in-one on the same hole during league golf at Pine Meadows. We love to cover as many sporting events as possible throughout the year. If we cannot make it to an event, we welcome photos and stories about those

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