Nicholson returns to the pitch for a cause

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Whitefish’s Haley Nicholson joined some of Montana’s top soccer athletes to bring awareness to mental illness at the 18th annual Shodair Classic in Helena over the weekend.

The event pairs exceptional student athletes with patients at Shodair Children’s Hospital, a free clinic in Helena.

Nicholson, who graduated last month, finished her Lady Bulldog career with 99 goals, second all-time for Class A. This fall she is headed to Mount Royal University in Calgary, Alberta, to play soccer.

All players on the Shodair Classic roster have been selected as All-State and All-Conference in Class AA or A and have demonstrated academic achievement, leadership and citizenship.

“The student athletes selected for this game are not only skilled players on the field, but are also outstanding individuals who hold a care for their communities, a commitment to education, and are supportive of the care provided to Montana families by Shodair professionals,” Shodair CEO Craig Aasved said.

Four teams of men and women played two East vs. West matchups, one womens game and one mens game during the event at Nelson Stadium at Carroll College.

Before the student athletes took to the pitch on Saturday they met with the Shodair patients Thursday night for a baseball game at Shodair Night at a Helena Brewers game.

On Friday morning hundreds of local children also visited Nelson Stadium for some soccer fundamental lessons from the student athletes.

Proceeds from the event support the philanthropic efforts of providing services no matter the ability to pay. Individual tickets to Saturday’s game are $5 or $10 for a family.

For more information, visit shodair.org.

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