By Bay Stephens EBS Staff Writer

Volleyball

Lone Peak High School’s varsity girls’ volleyball team has kept the heat up, trumping Shields Valley at home, and West Yellowstone away, in matches on Sept. 1 and Sept. 7, respectively.

Despite being exhausted from a multi-day hiking and backpacking trip with the school, the Lady Big Horns took down Shields Valley 25-18 in the first game, and 25-14 in the second and third.

After every match head coach Missy Botha awards a game ball to an outstanding teammate. For the Shields Valley match, the ball went to junior Dounia “Solid” Metje for her consistent and reliable play.

“Dounia has the whole package,” Botha wrote in an email to EBS. “She communicates well, has all the skills, and is a great teammate.”

A week later, the Lady Big Horns loaded onto the Karst Stage bus for a jaunt to West Yellowstone where they took care of the Wolverines in three sets: 25-18, 25-13, 25-14.

“Our girls were so excited to play all day, I think they overplayed,” Botha said. “I likened them to a fighter jet launching off an aircraft carrier.”

Botha added that they played great—once they burned off the high-octane jet fuel.

To remind the team to be aggressive, but in a measured manner, senior captain Kodi Boersma came up with a new mantra: “Calm, collected, crush!”

The game ball for the West Yellowstone match went to Emma “The Dilemma” Flach for her steady passing and hitting.

The final scores for the Big Horns in West: 25-12, 25-11, 25-5.

Botha thanked the fans who drove to West Yellowstone to cheer on the Lady Big Horns. Fans can turn out to support the team at 5 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 14, for their home match against Gardiner. The junior varsity game starts at 5 p.m., and varsity at 6 p.m. Their homecoming match against Manhattan Christian School begins at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 20.

Football

Bigger teams with deeper benches outgunned the Big Horn football team at Park City on Sept. 1, and at home against Joliet, Sept. 8.

After a two-and-a-half-hour drive, the Big Horns were dealt a 55-0 loss by the Park City Panthers.

“We got beat pretty soundly by one of the best teams in the state, definitely in our conference,” head coach Adam Farr said, adding that his players nevertheless fought to the end.

Along with the game, they lost freshman starting receiver Bennet Miller, who, on a bad foot plant, tore most of the ligaments in his knee.

After shuffling players to fill Miller’s void, the team, more than half of whom are freshman, faced off with the Joliet J-Hawks, the fifth-ranked Class C eight-man football team in the state, according to 406mtsports.com.

Due to a combination of missed tackles by the Big Horns defense, swarm tackles by the J-Hawks defense and too-brief blocks by the Big Horn offensive line, Lone Peak hadn’t answered a single point of Joliet’s 54 by the middle of the fourth quarter.

Until the game’s last two minutes, that is. Junior Frankie Starz’s blockers held just long enough for him to send a deep pass to junior receiver Austin Samuels’s ready hands. He ran it in and put the Big Horns on the scoreboard for a final score of 54-6.

Park City, Joliet and Tri-Cities—who they play in Hobson on Saturday, Sept. 15—comprise some of the season’s burliest competition, Farr explained. The team looks forward to their homecoming game against Harlowton on Friday, Sept. 21, at 7 p.m.

As of Sept. 11, the team ranked ninth in the nation for donations for Touchdowns Against Cancer, a program that raises funds for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to fight childhood cancer.

Soccer

The Big Sky Futbol Club started the season strong, kicking competition to the curb on Sept. 8 in Great Falls, scoring six unanswered goals against the home school team. At the Big Sky Community Park Sept. 10, they did it again against Mount Ellis Academy, 4-1.

Although Mount Ellis scored early, catching the Big Sky players off-guard, coach Jaci Clack said the co-ed Big Sky team persevered with aggressive, intelligent play. The new team’s chemistry allowed them to maintain possession through repeated series of passes while the defense shutout the opposition after the first goal. Miles Hoover scored 3 goals, which earned him a coach-bought steak, Clack said. Evan Iskenderian scored on a penalty kick.

Two Saturday home games lie ahead on Sept. 15 at 1 p.m. against Billings Christian Academy, and Sept. 22 at 12:30 p.m. against Heritage Christian School. Both will be held at Big Sky Community Park.

Introducing the first Lone Peak High School cross-country team. From left to right, coach Lucas Westblade, Cody Clack, Tracen O’Connor, Nate McClain and coach David Brekke embark on the inaugural Big Horn cross-country season. Coach Brekke said they are looking to race on Sept. 22, once all the runners have 10 practices under their belts. PHOTO COURTESY OF LUCAS WESTBLADE