High School Sports


State A boys soccer: Whitefish Bulldogs make history, win 3rd straight state title

whitefish state a title.jpg
Posted at 2:14 PM, Oct 31, 2020

WHITEFISH -- On Saturday morning, the Whitefish boys soccer team made history by taking down Columbia Falls to complete the first three-peat in Class A boys soccer history.

In the first half, both teams had solid opportunities in front of the net to put the first goal on the board. The Bulldogs had four corners in a row, before finally connecting on a free kick in the 25th minute.

After a foul, Whitefish's Chase Sabin crossed a perfect ball into the box where junior Gabe Menicke headed it in for the 1-0 lead.

Just before the half, Columbia Falls had two opportunities off the foot of Johnny Carl, but Whitefish's keeper, Will Peppmeier, stood on his head to retain and take the 1-0 lead into half.

In the second half, Whitefish's attack found the net two more times while their defense held tough.

In the 48th minute, Whitefish's senior captain, Brandon Mendoza barely snuck it through the goalkeeper's hands and a defender cleared, but just after the ball crossed the line to make it 2-0.

Then, Menicke put the nail in the coffin in the 64th minute on a gorgeous shot from the right side to make it 3-0.

Whitefish held the rest of the way to win the State A title, making it their third in a row to become the first boys program in Class A to three-peat.

"It’s awesome, I mean we saw it coming at the beginning of the year we were predicted to get here," said Mendoza. "I think the focus just came from within our team not just against other teams. It was all single effort and just good chemistry."

Three other times the Whitefish boys have gotten close to completing the three-peat. The team went back-to-back in 2002-03, 2006-07 and 2011-2012.

"It’s historic," said Whitefish head coach John Lacey. "I think we talked about this over the years, Whitefish has the benefit of a long history of these kinds of things. A lot of it created by coach (Obrien) Byrd before he moved over to Columbia Falls. That legacy allows everybody to buy into what has gone on and know that this is their time."