Dan Sturdevantnew.jpg

Dan Sturdevant

Spring put in an appearance as Jefferson High’s tennis team opened its season on Thursday. The girls enjoyed sunny skies and very little wind — the first time I can remember a beautiful day like this for the first meet of the year. Normally, for the first competition, fans are bundled up with coats and gloves; this time, people were looking for sunscreen and shade. Two days before, it had been snow and wind — which just proves we live in Montana, where the weather can change in minutes.

This was a three-way meet, with Three Forks and Lone Peak both visiting Boulder. The girls had waited a year to play, as last year’s season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. So it was great to get some matches in. 

The Panthers took on Three Forks first. Rita Buffa kicked things off by defeating Alex Pierce, 8-1, Sam Zody followed with an 8-1 win over Chaylee Wester; Morgan Knickerbocker defeated Shay Kirwin, 8-4; and Joelle Quigley finished out the singles with an 8-5 win over Maddie Griffiths.

The doubles team of Sam Zody and Rita Buffa took an 8-5 win over Kenzie Howey and Katie Kirwan. Aliza Heys and Shayna Williams lost to Ruby Warren and Alicie Derian, 4-8; and Rylee Baird and Aliza Heys were defeated by Kerin Williams and Jackie Rollyson, 9-8, 9-7 in a tie breaker. That gave the Panthers a 6-1 meet win.

Lone Peak did not have enough girls ready for a team score, so the girls got in some exhibition matches. Rylee Baird lost to Avery Dickerson, 3-8; Aliza Heys lost to Verna Grabow, 0-6; and Shayna Williams lost to Charlie Sue Dresbach, 7-8.

The tennis squad will host Red Lodge on Saturday, April 10.

The golf teams were not so lucky. The JHS golf meet scheduled for March 30 at Bill Roberts Golf Course in Helena was canceled due to snow and cold weather. This is the fourth year in a row the meet has been canceled, three times due to snow and last year because of COVID-19. The meet has been rescheduled to May 3. By then, the varsity golf teams will have traveled to Townsend on Thursday, April 8, and to Big Timber on Saturday, April 10. JV golf will be in Livingston on Friday April 9.

Meantime, track and field has been practicing with good numbers of boys and girls. Their first meet is April 10 in Laurel.

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