2018 — year of championships for Bulldogs

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  • Whitefish's Casey Schneider prepares to kick the ball into the net for the Bulldogs' only goal of the game against Frenchtown Saturday at Smith Fields. (Jeff Dorn photo)

  • 1

    The Bulldogs celebrate their state title with their fellow students Saturday at Smith Fields.

  • 2

    Xander Burger celebrates as time expires in the Bulldogs’ 6-2 Class A State Championship victory over Polson. (Daniel McKay/Whitefish Pilot)

  • 3

    Eric Holdhusen reaches out during a match against Columbia Falls last Thursday.

  • 4

    Tom Hellwig celebrates after getting the final out in a close victory against the Bitterroot Red Sox last week at Memorial Field.

  • Whitefish's Casey Schneider prepares to kick the ball into the net for the Bulldogs' only goal of the game against Frenchtown Saturday at Smith Fields. (Jeff Dorn photo)

  • 1

    The Bulldogs celebrate their state title with their fellow students Saturday at Smith Fields.

  • 2

    Xander Burger celebrates as time expires in the Bulldogs’ 6-2 Class A State Championship victory over Polson. (Daniel McKay/Whitefish Pilot)

  • 3

    Eric Holdhusen reaches out during a match against Columbia Falls last Thursday.

  • 4

    Tom Hellwig celebrates after getting the final out in a close victory against the Bitterroot Red Sox last week at Memorial Field.

Bulldogs sports spent plenty of time in Class A state play in 2018.

In October the Bulldogs boys soccer team capped off an undefeated season with a victory over Polson in the Class A State Title match.

Senior captain Xander Burger exploded for five goals in the match, and Ian Lacey added the remaining goal off a penalty kick.

The state title came one year after the team took second place after falling to Belgrade.

Head coach John Lacey said the championship was a culmination of all the hard work his players put in on the pitch.

“Obviously we’ve been looking forward to this day for awhile, and it’s exciting,” he said at the time. “I’m so proud of the effort they put in. They’ve been building toward this — I don’t want to say anything was expected, but they knew what they were capable of, and they worked and earned it every step of the way.”

Earlier in the spring, the boys tennis team got their first state title since 2008, finishing in a three-way tie for first at the Class A State Tournament in Polson.

Coached by Chris Schwaderer, the team tied with Hardin and Corvallis. The championship came as a bit of a surprise, Schwaderer told the Pilot.

“It was just a huge shock, a huge surprise,” he said. “I didn’t see the state championship coming — we never really talked about it.”

Brendan Buls took second place overall while the duo of Mark Anderson and Forrest Kobelt grabbed fifth place in doubles, which helped boost the team into the first-place tie.

Just a few months later, the Glacier Twins capped off their excellent season as Northwest Class A Regional American Legion baseball champions.

The Twins made a 4-1 finish in the tournament after grabbing the state and divisional titles.

The regional championship is the farthest a Class A team can go in Legion baseball.

The Twins finished the season 41-16 with championships at the league, divisional, state and regional levels.

Whitefish also saw second place finishes at state for the boys and girls swim teams and the girls cross-country team.

Lauren Schulz took a state title in the 400 meter dash, and the 4x400 relay team of Schulz, Mikenna Els, Emily Gunlickson and Lydia Kryshak took first.

Bulldog basketball teams also saw some coaching changes, as the girls’ coach Ben Johnson and the boys’ coach Sean Duff both resigned from their posts after down seasons.

Bob Bolam took over as coach of the girls team while Scott Smith is the boys coach.

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