High School Sports


KTVH Year in Review: 2019

Posted at 6:34 PM, Dec 31, 2019
and last updated 2020-01-01 10:16:03-05

HELENA -- I figured we could have a little fun before this year is set and done. So I’ve written a poem, and I promise it’s not some paltry bro hymn.

Would you like to hear it? Well then, come on, sit!

It’s been a busy year for sports in the Capital City, and if you think otherwise then that’s a pity. We saw champs, both state and world, and after this hopefully ... nary a brick will get hurled. I know I may miss some feats, but this year in sports has been a beast.

We’ll start a bit further in the past, Hall of Fame head coach Mike Van Diest said 2018 would be his last. Many gasped and wondered who next, the question had many perplexed.

Around this time last year, the answer became clear. Troy Purcell would replace the man, that helped pave Carroll College football’s plan.

But before we get to Purcell, it was a busy year for basketball, as well.

The Helena High girls finished the 2019 season feeling oh, so, sweet for they had completed the long anticipated three-peat. Now looking to 2020, the familiar faces aren’t as plenty. But the goal is still the same -- to put up a fourth straight title on the wall of fame.

Now we’ll head to the hardwoods of Missouri, where in March there are seldom snow flurries. Though something special happened in Carroll men’s coach Kurt Paulson’s first year -- the taste of a national championship was near. It was their first time playing for the national title. However against Georgetown, their dreams began to idle. The men may have fallen short in the national championship game, but the final goal for Carroll men’s basketball would never be the same. The Carroll men begin their trek to get back to the "natty" soon after they traverse the Frontier Conference dunes.

Now to the ice, because in 2019, the Bighorns added spice. They won their division, and, with tactile precision, the Bighorns were headed to the Fraser Cup. Though when they got there, they had a hiccup. The Bighorns went two and out, and this year it doesn’t look like they’ll be as stout. Though that's not an accomplishment to scoff at, as we tip our hat.

With winter, spring and summer come and gone, fall would be back soon before long. East Helena stormed the field for the first time and down the line, and they could spell trouble for the Class A, but those days are a little ways away.

And back in Helena, Troy Purcell’s gears got spinning, and the Fighting Saints football team got to winning. They put together their first winning record since 2014, a bit of success which people could glean. This year we saw the likes of Matt Burgess, Zach Spiroff and Deven Bridgewater, as the trail back to the playoffs gets a little bit hotter.

Now back to the hardwood, with one net and not two, was there anything the Helena Capital volleyball team couldn’t do? Armed with players like Audrey Hofer, Sarah Ashley, Paige and Dani Bartsch, the Bruins made their march. Back to the title game, and for a moment it seemed that back-to-back titles was no longer a dream. With one team to beat, it came down to the team across the street. The Bengals and the Bruins duked it out, and it would be the Bruins who won that bout. A state title, they won their second straight -- will there be a third? We’ll just have to wait.

We’ll wrap up this poem, with a man. If you don’t, you should know him. At this year’s NFR, after 10 years of working hard, Ty Erickson claimed his first gold buckle after downing steers he had to white knuckle. The buckle came with a nice check, and I hope he said "Pay the Man," when he came to collect.

Let me be clear, the 2019 year was as fun as it gets, shall we head into the next year? Lets.