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Sports Hellgate Softball Taking New Direction Tobin Haefele /staff Writer Softball season is underway, and after a brief scram- ble Hellgate has a coach to go along with their team. Coach Brad Shaffer was hired just a week after previous coach Lisa Macki resigned. Hellgate is also still search- ing for assistants because all the previous ones resigned after learning Macki resigned. Shaffer was hired just days before the Knights first game, a jamboree in great falls. Shaffer was an assistant coach with Hellgate softball from 2006 to 2012, he last helped coach the Hellgate pitching in 20 12. He has over 40 years of experience coaching softball, from men's leagues to his daughter's teams. Hellgate's athletic director Jeff Hays comple- mented Shaffers love of the game, saying he's a softball \junkie.\ Shaffer will be . hoping to improve the turnout for softball at Hellgate and return them to the playoffs. The lady Knights last playoff run was in 2014 when they were bounced from the first round by Billings Sky- view after a great regular season run. Macki ended her run as head coach with a 22-45-1 record. Shaffer will be hoping to improve upon that, seeing himself as long term coaching solution for Hellgate. He is hoping to 1 7 make Hellgate competitive again and eventually make the run for their first state championship. Hellgate will be leaning on a young core, with many underclassmen making their debut at a varsity level. With only one senior in the mix, the Knights will be hoping to bond and grow together as a team to set up a winning atmosphere for future recruits. Senior Dusty Calouri commented saying \After being the only junior on the team last year, I am used to the pressure .\ The lady Knights haven't gotten off to a good start this season, falling to the Broncs in a tight game, they went on to get swept by Billings Skyview. Hellgate then lost a heartbreaker to Billings West after the game went into extra innings.Hellgate then traveled to Billings Se- nior but could not hold on for the win after they got off to a fast start, falling to Senior eventually. The Knights will still be looking for their first win after losing a nail biter to Helena High in which Junior Sierrah Hardy hit her first home run of the season. The Knights will be looking for their first win against defending champ Glacier on April 22. Track and Field Sprinting Towards Success Nick Hanser/ Assistant Sports Editor As the sun starts to shine a little brighter and snow turns to rain • one set of sports always seems to have an incredible showing and al- ways a spectacular season. Track and field started with many other spring sports at Hellgate and this season has had more athletes come out than ever. Track and field is a sport that has something for: almost anyone seeing as Hellgate track offers a great many events · for athletes to choose from. Being a good runner isn't necessarily a prerequisite for a track athlete due to the fact that many of the events that a student can participate in involve little to know running. Some of these include javelin, shot put, and high jump. But much of Hellgate's track prow- ess comes from the cross country and other good runners that bridge the gap and lend their running skills to the track team. Hellgate's track and field team is notorious for competing very well with other city and state track teams with great coaching and a school that takes pride in their spring sports. The coaches in- clude, Jeff Dohn-head coach, Julie Epperly-sprints and relays, Chris Woldstad-javelin, Anders Brooker-distance, Tyson Warner-distance, Joe Slemberger-shot put and discus, Mike Staats-pole vault, and Ron Jones-high jump and hurdles. Not only does track have one of the highest turn outs for student athletes but also for the amount of teachers working as coaches. Appointing Dohn to be the new head coach shows a lot of promise this year. And having a special- ized coach for almost every event attributes to great coaching with people that know what they're doing. The track team has twelve meets in total this season though only some of them are attended by the whole team. The meets have yet to officially start but from the views of the athletes and coaches it is looking up to be a very promising season. \I'm very excited and I think once the meets start people will get even more excited,\ ex- plained junior, Vivek Patel. With so many people the track team is sure to have an exciting and eventful year. Though track and field is a fun sport to do it requires a rigorous practice schedule of Monday through Friday after school. This may seem like a daunting schedule for new athletes but any current par- ticipant would testify that its is not only doable but fun to do. Along with a number of meets track keeps athletes busy throughout the sprmg season. With the new season starting to really pick up, people are get- ting more and more into the swing of the season. It will surely prove to be a stellar year for Hellgate track and field that will not orily be fun but also fruitful. And with such a wide array of popular spring sports like tennis and lacrosse, track has an amazing number of athletes that come out annually rather than play any of the other spring activities. Hellgate looks forward to the track team succeed- ing this year and making it better than ever. • • • • •