DEER LODGE – The Deer Lodge Wardens have come out to an impressive start to their 2018 football season and Judd Applegate is a big part of that.
The 5-foot-10 junior is not only a semi-pro rodeo star, Applegate is also the Wardens’ starting quarterback, a linebacker, and, most importantly, the team’s leader both on and off the field.
“Leadership from Judd, definitely. He’s starting to see the field a lot more, a lot better, scan the field, do his progressions and what not,” said Deer Lodge head coach Corey Freeman.
Applegate threw five touchdown passes in the Wardens’ 54-20 win over Anaconda last Friday. It was Deer Lodge’s first time beating Anaconda in more than 20 years. A huge reason Applegate found so much success through the air on Friday was his star wideout, Greydon Nicholson. Their chemistry both on and off the field has paved the way for both of their successes.
“Judd and I, we’ve been playing for quite some time now. Last year I played quarterback and was throwing to him, and this year we decided to switch it up. We still have that chemistry between us either way. He just knows where I am,” said Nicholson.
“Our whole lives we’ve always been competing against each other. He was always a grade above me, and we kind of just built a competitive bond between each other and we’ve always pushed to make each other greater,” added Applegate.
The pair will have this final season to work on that bond. Afterward, Nicholson will graduate and Applegate will be going into his senior season, which makes a lot of people happy to have him back.
“I think this was a building block. I think this is a good indication of what we have at quarterback this year and hopefully next year, too, because he’s only a junior. We’re very lucky to have him,” said Freeman.
The Wardens go on the road this Friday at 7 p.m. for their matchup against Missoula Loyola.