HELENA — Last year, the Helena Capital girls basketball team was arguably the best in the Class AA with the COVID-19 pandemic taking away the team's ability to prove that. The Bruins shared the 2020 State AA title with Billings West when the state tournament was canceled after the semifinal games.
One key factor that contributes to Capital's success is having many multi-sport athletes on the roster. Four players have committed to play sports after high school, but it’s likely only one of them will continue to play basketball.
Paige Bartsch is committed to play volleyball for Boise State, Audrey Hofer will play volleyball for Montana State, Jaymee Sheridan will be with the Carroll College soccer team next season, and Dani Bartsch will play basketball for the Montana Lady Griz, and those are just the girls committed to play sports in college.
The fact of the matter is, Capital head coach Katie Garcin-Forba isn’t coaching basketball players, but rather athletes, and that’s something she’s happy about.
“Multi-sport athletes are a beautiful thing. I think it reduces injuries, I think it builds other skill sets in players, and it makes them the athletes that they are," said Garcin-Forba. "I love multi-sport athletes, whether it's track, whether it's volleyball, whether it's soccer, and I think that that shows that these girls, they dedicate a lot of time to their craft.”
The sentiment that multi-sport athletes have only helped propel the Helena Capital girls squad isn’t just a thought that Garcin-Forba has. Hofer said it’s a main theme on the team.
“Having multi-sport athletes is the best thing you can have on a team, because you have like different skills from different sports that come into play," said Hofer. "Everything that you do outside of basketball is going to help with basketball. So, just having the number of us that we have that are multi-sport athletes, I think, is a really good thing for our team.”
The Capital girls sit at 6-1 this season.