Frissell excels at Polson ABC Invite

By JASON BLASCO, Lake County Leader

The Polson and Ronan High School track teams are stockpiled with talent all throughout the events, and in particular, the distance events for both teams are especially strong.

Both teams showcased their ability in multiple events at the ABC-Invite Saturday afternoon in Polson.

Both of the teams proved they had the athleticism to excel in all 17 events, and the proof is in the results as these teams get closer and closer to the Montana High School Association’s biggest stage.

Barney, Ducharme excel in 100

Ronan’s Kinsley Barney and Mikaela Ducharme both excelled in the 100-meter run. Barney, who finished second in the 100, recorded a time of 12.93, and Ducharme placed fifth recording a time of 13.51. Barney set a personal record en route to her first-place finish in the 200, recording a time of 26.28.

Frissel PRs in 1,600

Bea Frissell is now officially one of the most decorated athletes in the recent history of Lady Pirates cross country, and the senior continues to stockpile more firstplace finishes to her resume.

Frissell, who captured second in the 800, recorded a time of 2:23.00.

Frissell placed first in the 1,600, recording a time of 5:05.38, setting a personal record and breaking her own PHS school record set earlier this year.

Ducharme excels long, high jump

Polson track participant Mikaela Ducharme had two top-five finishes in the jumping events.

Ducharme captured first-place in the long jump recording a distance of 17-03, setting a personal record. Durcharme, and her Lady Pirates teammate Maggie Todd, also finished strong in the triple jump. Ducharme recorded a cumulative distance of 34-09.00 for second place, and Todd finished third with a distance of 32-02.50.

Lady Pirates dominate Combo tourney in Butte

By JASON BLASCO. Lake County Leader

The Polson Lady Pirates softball showcased the strength of the Western portion of the Montana High School Association Northwest-A conference by sweeping all contest in the Laverne Combo Tournament Friday and Saturday at Butte.
The Pirates outscored Havre, Park County, Glasgow, and Miles City by a score of 45-4, which is indicative of the team’s momentum as they approach the Montana High School Association state softball tournament May 23-24.

In the first game against Havre, the Pirates continued to pressure their defense, in the 11-4 victory. Polson scored three-consecutive runs in the first two innings, and the proceeded to score eight runs in the final three innings to end the contest quickly.

Pirates pitcher Lauren Vergeront pitched three innings with four strikeouts.
Katelyn Druyvestein relieved Vergeront for the last two innings, had one strikeout and allowed one hit. The Lady Pirates’ Kobbey Smith hit 2-for-3 at the plate, with a home run. Other top hitters included Paige Noyes and Lisa Costilla. Costilla was 3-for-3 at the plate, and Vergeront was 2-for-3, with a triple, in the victory over the Blue Ponies.

The Lady Pirates also dominated Park County High School (Livingston) on Friday by a score of 9-0.

In Saturday’s games Vergeront continued her dominant pitching with wins over Glasgow and Miles City. The Lady Pirate pitcher didn’t allow a single run in either contest. Vergeront allowed five hits in the shutout in which she got plenty of offensive support from her Lady Pirates team. Kaylanna DesJarlais had back-to-back home runs against Miles City. DesJarlais blasted two home run in the victory and contributed to half of the Lady Pirates’ run total with her six-RBi performance. Lady Pirates’ player Lexi Orien also had a home run, with her two-RBI performance.

Polson boys, girls tennis prepares for MHSA Divisional, state

By JASON BLASCO, Lake County Leader

To understand the fiercely competitive landscape of Montana High School girls tennis take a glance at Polson Lady Pirates No. 1 Shea McGuinness’s win-loss record this year.

Last season, McGuinness went virtually unchallenged and won over 30-consecutive matches on her way to capturing the Montana High School Class A state singles championship.

McGuinness, who faced Whitefish’s No. 1 singles player Gracie Smyley, earned the respect of Whitefish tennis coach Chris Schwaderer, who was very complimentary of McGuinness’s play, according to Pirates coach Bob Hislop.

Smyley, a transfer from the state of Florida, is one of the perennial favorites to capture a Montana High School Association state singles title this season but challenged by McGuinness.

“There were 10 or 15 shot rallies, and (Shea) competed with Gracey point after point,” Hislop said. “Even though she fell short on the better portion of those rallies, moving forward if you are realistic and if you are a positive person, you look at two points here, or two points there, and (your perspective) begins to change. The more you win those points, the pressure gets tighter on the other person, and it becomes harder to win.”

The Lady Pirates, who are the defending MHSA team champions from the 2018 season, hope to have an opportunity to defend their title, and it will start with the Montana High School Association Northwestern-A Divisionals May 17-18 in Columbia Falls.

Some of the top-tier teams that will contend with Polson for the MSHA crown include Hardin, Whitefish, Corvallis, Dillon.

“Our division is just stacked in singles and doubles,” Hislop said.

The Pirates have one of the top doubles teams emerging in Berkley Ellis and Qia Harlan. The pair won a tight three-set match against one of the top Whitefish doubles teams.

“(Berkley and Qia) had a great year, they understand each other and they play well together,” Hislop said. Hislop said he’s noticed improvement from Megan Rost, Ara Mercer, Sarah Kinzel, Taylor Bloomfield, and Taylor Collinge.

“Those four girls have all played a ton, Sarah and Taylor are only sophomores, and they are still learning the game,” Hislop said. “Learning tennis is a lot of hard work, and it’s pretty complex. The next couple of years are going to be fun. You have to some patience, and you can’t string them along too fast. These players have to bring themselves up to speed, and when they are ready for that will be the fun part.”

Pirates get ready for the next step

The Polson High School boys tennis team got an opportunity for a tune-up with Whitefish before entering the Montana High School Association Northwest-A Divisionals in Columbia Falls on May 17-18.

Both of the Whitefish girls and boys teams are two of the top-tier teams in tennis, and Pirates coach Bob Hislop admits his team won’t face too many opponents tougher than them heading into the postseason.

The Pirates boys team, by Hislop’s admission, is young and inexperienced, but continues to grow from their experiences in recent matches.

“We had some rough losses, but at the same token, (our team) had some nice wins,” Hislop said. “Some of the kids that lost in individual and single games really showed their mettle and played way better in the dual session. I like what happened, and how the kids competed.”

Hislop said he was pleased with the performance of his top-three boys singles players and how they responded to playing the Bulldogs, one of the top-tier teams in the state of Montana.

The Pirates, who are getting ready to enter Divisional competition, have continued to get a strong performance from their No. 1 player Joe McDonald.

“Joe did a nice job and is almost in every game,” Hislop said. “It was just a matter of winning, getting more seasoned, trying to win those points and playing up to your potential.”

Hislop said he was also pleased with the performance of Matt Hobbs, who played a tough match against a future University of Montana Grizzly football player, and showcased his athleticism in the loss.

The Pirates will take the next step as they continue to march forward into the postseason and will face new challenges in their quest to qualify for state, both as individuals and as a team.

“During the tournament format, there are a lot of changes,” Hislop said. “Divisionals are different, and playing at state is monumentally different.”

Polson High School “PIRATE TRACKS”

Bob Gunderson - Pirate Tracks blog authorWelcome to “Pirate Tracks”, where you will be able to “TRACK” recent results of PHS athletic activities.  Our “Tracking the Pirates” links in the left column show up-to-date results of pirate athletic activities.  “Pirate Treasures” links has information about recent divisional and state competitions, All Conference and All State selections,  as well as previews (when possible) of teams currently competing in their season.  There are also photo galleries of the Pirates and Lady Pirates, again seperated by seasons Fall 2018 – Winter 2019 – Spring 2019 – Posters.  I am continually gathering pictures for the galleries. If you have a picture that can be added to the gallery or comments in general about our PHS Athletic Blog, please email them to rgunderson44@gmail.com