Great Falls Public Schools AD Henneberg proud of Winter Sports Athletes
Winter sports are wrapping up around the state with State Basketball tournaments scheduled for March 8th through the 11th. Great Falls is the host for several events each Winter and Athletic Director Henneberg is heavily involved with all of them.
Great Falls Public Schools have had a great winter run and Athletic Director Mike Henneberg talked about the success that GFPS have had.
Mike: The last couple of weeks we wrapped up swimming and wrestling, which are two of our winter activities that we offer. And Great Falls was the host of the all class state swimming meet two weeks ago and we had 24 teams in town and over 430 athletes. We were very fortunate. Great Falls High Girls came home with their second consecutive state championship and the CMR girls actually got second for the second consecutive year. Very proud of their efforts.
Mike: Our wrestlers returned from Billings, where I think we had a total of five boys that wrestled for championships. Two of them were able to come home as the individual champion, and we had one girl that also wrestled for an individual championship and the Bison boys placed third. So very proud of them and their efforts.
Mike: And pretty good couple of weeks for Great Falls Public schools and we've got two big games this week, the second crosstown game that'll be played at CMR and Great Falls High. And then we're prepping to host the 2023 Eastern Divisional basketball tournament at Swarthmore Fieldhouse over at Great Falls High. The following week, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, (March 2-4, 2023) with all eight Eastern teams in town for both genders, there'll be 16 teams in town and games pretty much from 9:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. at night. On all three of those days. So we're excited to be the host for that. Excited to get people into our community and watch our teams compete. And I think it'll really be a very competitive tournament for both genders and some exciting basketball for people. So pretty excited to have that as well. Then we turn around and state is the following weekend in Butte down at the Civic Center, which is a great facility in my opinion, to watch a state tournament. And we're hopeful to get some teams qualified and competing for that week.
Mike: Monday (March 13th) spring sports start after that. So our tennis teams, our softball teams and our track and field teams will get going on Monday, even though we don't have school that day, they'll start practice on those days and get going into our spring season.
Student Athlete Requirements to participate
Mike: In order to practice, they have to have a physical. It has to have been done after May 1st of the previous year. So anybody who hasn't been out for sport at this point but is thinking they're going to participate in the spring, needs to probably get that taken care of sooner rather than later. The MHSA does have a rule about the number of practices that you have to have before you can compete in an event. And those practices without a physical, you know, we can't let you practice, but we also can't count them towards that that ten. So we like all our kids to have that taken care of on the first day. So it's taken care of when you start counting those practices and start working towards the season.
Mike: We get creative, you know, this time of year it's not a big deal because all of our sports are indoors. But you know, as we get into spring, that's kind of, if you want to place a bet on when the snow is going to fly, the first day of spring sports is a pretty safe bet traditionally. But our coaches’ work together, you know, and use the indoor space that we have. We have to get creative and do some things that are maybe a little bit different. But I think all of our programs understand that, you know, as much as we want to get out and practice and be outside, the stuff that matters happens in May. And so we got to sometimes pump the brakes and just get through these tough weather days and there's brighter days ahead. So that's kind of our approach. And it's worked pretty well for us over the years.
High School Baseball
Mike: We're still continuing to have conversations with some community members on that. Last spring we went to the school board and got a tentative approval to start in 2024. We're still working towards that end. I think the dynamics have shifted a little bit around the state in that we anticipate there'd be a lot more schools that were getting involved in 2024. Right now there's two teams that are playing this year in 2023. So we're still continuing to work with some entities of both schools and community partners and try and get a plan in hopes that we could maybe make this thing go in 2024. I do know there's some other schools, schools that are out there looking at possibly 2025. So it's kind of a wait and see approach. But we are working towards that end. And both our schools would field a team.
Mike: Most of our programs run some sort of summer camp and that's one of the things that we've traditionally done and we want to make it affordable for the community and a good experience to expose kids to our programs and get them in our buildings and hopefully plant the seed that they want to be. Information is usually found by contacting the school. Both schools, have websites that they put that information up as it's finalized and they're still working on finalizing dates and those type of things. But the athletic office usually can point in the right direction as well.
Mike: Contact school or my office, and we'll get you in communication with the coach and answer any questions that you may have.
Mike: Excited to get this winter sports season wrapped up. Obviously very proud of our wrestlers and swimmers and certainly excited about spring sports and hopefully some sunshine and warmer days and an opportunity to get out and compete in some great facilities that we have here in Great Falls between, our tennis courts and Memorial Stadium is a great place to watch track meet and multi sports complex is great for softball so we're excited to get rolling into the spring and excited for our kids to get out and represent us.
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