12 In 12: Top Local Sports Stories Of 2012
By J. Levi Burnfin Courier Sports
Published: Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013
The 2012 sports year was one filled with memorable moments, amazing stories and remarkable teams. It was my first year here in Glasgow and I couldn’t have had a more incredible year to cover some of the teams, athletes and coaches that represent the spirit of Montana sports.
There are moments I’ll never forget and feelings I’ll never get rid of. And I just covered them. Imagine these moments for athletes, coaches and families involved. With that in mind, here are the 12 most memorable sports topics of 2012:
One Of Four With Four
Luke Zeiger managed to become one of four Montana state wrestlers to take four-straight state titles in 2012 as he completed his high-school wrestling career in impressive fashion. He went 4-0 at the state tournament and ultimately finished off the championship by pinning his opponent.
Hinsdale Lady Raiders’
Basketball Wins Districts
The Lady Raiders were able to dispose of both of their rivals, Nashua and Saco/Whitewater, en route to a district tournament championship.
Lustre Earns Two
In small-town Montana, it’s sometimes difficult to get any recognition for athletes, no matter how superb they might be. That wasn’t true for Lustre Christian in 2012 as they were able to earn two All-State honors for their boys’ basketball team as Austin Neufeld and Tom Leland both earned the distinction. The duo led the Lions to a 16-7 record and a spot in the divisional tournament. The pair weren’t the only Valley County athletes to earn all-state honors for basketball, though. Jami Johnson also earned All-State for the Scottie girls in 2012 and Sean Bengochea earned the honor for the Porcupines.
Out of a few big weekends for Scottie sports in 2012, none may have even come close to the weekend the Scotties had in May. Three Scottie teams were competing in divisionals on May 19, and all three came home champions. The boys’ and girls’ track and field teams and the softball team all proved to be the top of their division in stellar efforts and a remarkable Scottie weekend.
Super Scottie Girls’ Softball Makes Miracle Run
The softball team wasn’t done after divisionals as they made a historic run to second place in the state tournament and only one win in two games away from capturing the first state title in team history. Still, the heartbreak was dulled with the knowledge of being the best team in Scottie softball history.
Getting Up Is The Hard Part
Debra Griebel was the odds-on favorite to win the 100-meter hurdles in 2012. She had been dominating all year long and was primed for her championship at the state meet at the end of May. But in her heat, she landed wrong coming over a hurdle and fell. She got up and ran hard but she was out of it. Or so she thought. A rule change gave Griebel a second chance. She was given the last slot in the 10-man final field and didn’t look back. She blew away the competition as the only runner to post a sub-17 second time for the title. In the same state meet, Luke Zeiger won another state title, this time in the pole vault as he hit a 13- 6 mark.
A pair of young, unknown out-of-towners came into Glasgow and rocked the Cat Classic tournament with a pair of monster catches. Gage Gordon and Mackenzie Reid entered the annual catfish tournament without much expectations. Reid had never even fished for catfish before. But they came out of with the biggest catch in tournament history and a whole wad of cash to take home. The five fish they caught totaled a tournament-record 51.6 pounds to smash the second-best weight in 2012. Their biggest fish weighed in at 17.64 pounds.
Young Baseball Players
Set The Stage
The U15 All-Stars took the state tournament in July in an impressive run to a regionals appearance. The state title came on the heels of a U12 second-place finish at state and right before our next memorable sports story of 2012.
The Glasgow Reds were up and down for most of 2012 under new Head Coach Jack Sprague. But they were definitely on the upswing at the end of the year as they were able to place second at state in their best finish in recent history.
Khloe Krumwiede, 13, proved she is one of the best swimmers in the state as she was able to earn high point in her age bracket and took a state championship for the Glasgow Kiwanis swim team. She broke the pool record in each event she swam at the state meet as she took first in the 200-meter individual medley, the 50 free and the 100 free.
The Cross Country Scottie girls became the winningest cross country program in the state as they won their third-straight title and 15th overall with an impressive performance in Helena in October. They were not alone in their success as the boys’ team was able to make the podium with a third-place finish. The success is unprecedented in Montana state history and to have both teams in the top three is quite a feat.
The Scottie football team had a good regular season. They won six games and had made the playoffs. It was a good start in Head Coach Greg Liebelt’s first season. But they had the defending state-champion Fairfield Eagles waiting for them in the first round of the playoffs. The Eagles were heavy favorites after a 7-1 season and after already beating the Scotties by a large margin earlier in the year. But it didn’t matter.
The Scotties played the best game of their season and surprised the Eagles with a 27-26 victory.
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