MISSOULA — We highlight another nominee for student-athlete of the year at the KPAX Sports Awards Banquet. Missoula Hellgate’s Matt Baldridge has put in plenty of work as a Knight and truly shined on one particular field.
The soccer star twice won Montana Gatorade player of the year and, according to Montana High School Association records, scored more career goals and assists than any other Class AA boys player in Treasure State soccer history.
While no one could keep up with Baldridge on the pitch, he also kept running in basketball and track for Hellgate while carrying a 3.44 GPA.
But soccer was always his dream for the next level, and he found a home away from home when he committed to Fort Lewis College.
“Super excited, actually,” said Baldridge when asked about his college future. “My former assistant coach, Keane Hamilton, is down there right now. I have a former teammate, Peter Byrne, down there. So it will be fun to re-unite with those guys and see what we can do down there. I also just really felt like I fit in there. It’s kind of like Missoula. It’s just drop down in Colorado. It’s definitely like a home feel, so that all contributed.”
Baldridge and the rest of our nominees and award winners will be honored this Wednesday night at the KPAX Sports Awards Banquet. Missoula native and well-traveled football coach Jim McElwain joins the party as our guest speaker at the Hilton Garden Inn. Social hour starts at 5:30, with dinner served at 6:30.