Bulldogs set to tip off for winter sports

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  • Bulldogs head coach Scott Smith works through a new offensive during a practice Monday afternoon. (Daniel McKay/Whitefish Pilot)

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    Bulldogs head coach Scott Smith works through a new offensive during a practice Monday afternoon. (Daniel McKay/Whitefish Pilot)

  • Bulldogs head coach Scott Smith works through a new offensive during a practice Monday afternoon. (Daniel McKay/Whitefish Pilot)

  • 1

    Bulldogs head coach Scott Smith works through a new offensive during a practice Monday afternoon. (Daniel McKay/Whitefish Pilot)

The days are shorter, the air is colder and Bulldogs athletes are gearing up for the winter season. With competition starting this weekend, here’s a look at the teams Whitefish will be fielding this winter.

Boys basketball

The Bulldogs boys basketball team will see the return of some familiar faces on the court, but a new one at the helm.

Scott Smith, strength and conditioning teacher at the high school, will get his first crack at coaching the Dogs this season after the resignation of former head coach Sean Duff. Duff’s squad went 2-18 last season. He left the position in April.

This year’s seniors include Ryan Kemm, Dillon Botner, Lee Walburn, Jack Schwaiger and Mark Anderson.

In the first weeks of practice the team is working through its offensive system and ironing out a starting lineup. Kemm and Anderson are also both dealing with early-season injuries.

The Bulldogs will open their season on Dec. 4 at Polson.

Girls basketball

Similar to the boys squad, the Lady Dogs also have a new face leading the team.

Bob Bolam is taking over as head coach after former coach Ben Johnson left to pursue teaching opportunities in other districts. Last year the team went 2-18.

Bolam has served as the coach of the girls froshmore team since 2016. From 2002 to 2014 he was the head coach of the varsity girls team at Mt. Rainier High School in Des Moines, Washington, where he amassed an overall record of 221-89.

The team will be led by seniors Marlee Bender and Kit Anderson. Other key players returning include Kaiah Moore, Claire Carloss and Payton Kastella.

The Bulldogs will open their season on Dec.4 at Polson.

Wrestling

The Bulldogs wrestling team is looking to build off of last year’s foundation, returning four of the five wrestlers who qualified for state last season.

Nathan Sproul, Dean Kellogg, Dakota Flannery, and Robert Bertlesen all return to the mat this season. Last season the team finished 10th overall at divisionals.

They’ll open the season at the Polson Invitational, which starts Friday at Polson High School.

The team is coached by Ryan Boyle.

Swim

The Whitefish swim team will look to build on second-place finishes by both the boys and girls at last year’s Class A State Meet.

Preston Ring, who last year finished fourth in the 100 breaststroke and fifth in the 200 freestyle, will return to lead the boys side, while Annie Sullivan will look to improve on last season’s fifth-place finish in the 500 freestyle.

The team is coached by Emily Von Jentzen.

They’ll open the season at the Summit in Kalispell on Saturday. The meet will start at noon.

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