Annual St. Patrick’s Day in pictures

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Gianna Chor and Riley Worl take the lead for the Anaconda Little Aishlings at Fred Moodry Middle School to kick off a full schedule of celebrating St. Patrick’s Day. PHOTOS BY BLAKE HEMPSTEAD/CS PHOTO

It’s no secret Anaconda loves its Celtic heritage. Below are some shots from the Little Aishlings performing this morning and of the parade that braved a pretty chilling snow storm through the streets of the Smelter City.

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Annual St. Pats Race records 680 registered runners

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Bill Field has been one of the St. Pat’s Race’s yearly competitors, and pushes his granddaughter across the finish line in the Men’s 60-69 race in an impressive 19:46.27. PHOTO COPYRIGHT CS PHOTO

Although the registered number of racers is not even close to the actual number of people who participate in the annual AOH/Locker Room St. Pats Race, it still proves a healthy amount of runners and walkers flock to Anaconda to take part in one of the longest running races in Montana.

According the the official timing company RunSignUp, 680 registered runners completed Saturday’s race starting on Old Cable Road and finishing on Third Street behind the Locker Room Bar. A total of 617 racers participated in the 3-mile event with 63 braved the six-mile run starting near the Lime Quarry.

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Anaconda native to be featured on prominent outdoors radio show

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Brian Solan, left, and his childhood friend Mike Hawthorne, pose after harvesting a trophy bighorn this year near his native home of Anaconda. Solan will be featured on this Friday’s Northwestern Outdoors Radio Show and can heard at noon weekly on KANA 580 AM. COURTESY PHOTO

BY BLAKE HEMPSTEAD

On Friday, native Anacondan and president of the Montana Wild Sheep Foundation Brian Solan will be featured on the Northwestern Outdoors Radio Show.

Solan, a 1995 graduate of Anaconda High and 1999 engineering grad from Montana Tech, was interviewed by host John Kruse in the shows second segment discussing his role with the WSF. In the near 10-minute interview, the two talk about Solan’s take on Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep populations and the steps he and the WSF are taking to ensure the growth and survival of the species.

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Cael Mikalatos crowned Salt Lake Slam champion

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Cael Mikalatos stands tall after winning the Salt Lake Slam last week in Farmington, Utah. COURTESY PHOTO

FARMINGTON, Utah – Cael Mikalatos, a fourth-grade student at Lincoln Elementary, was crowned Salt Lake Slam champion last week in a Tour Of America wrestling tournament.

Cael cruised through his bracket at Intermediate 75, beating wrestlers from as far away as Kansas and Wyoming in the process. All told there were 850 elite wrestlers involved in the tournament.

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FMMS girls hoopsters band together, donate hair for cancer patients

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Lacey Knadler of Stylin’ Tease, back left, Kesslynn Trent, Madison King, Kora Kelly, Sydnie Thompson, Sami Johnson, Stylin’ Tease owner Tonya Kulaski, Aylissa Peterson, Bianca Torney, Cara DeMarois, front left, Madison Demarois and Kendel Derieux all display their new haircuts Saturday afternoon. COURTESY PHOTO

BY BLAKE HEMPSTEAD

Ten Fred Moodry Middle School girls are wearing noticeably different hair styles this week following an act of giving rivaled by none.

Future Copperheads and sixth-grade basketball players showed an act of love and teamwork beyond the court last week when they all cut their hair to donate it for wigs for cancer patients.

The act was spurred by Kora Kelly, who cut her hair early last week in support of her mother, Kristi, a cancer survivor and coach of the girls’ basketball team.

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A tribute fit for a Copperhead, Mike Sbragia remembered at halftime

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Dan (left), Jerry and Jim Moses take a moment to remember Mike Sbragia during Friday’s game at Mitchell Stadium. PHOTO COPYRIGHT CS PHOTO/MELISSA HEMPSTEAD

During halftime of Friday’s Boulder-Anaconda football game, a Copperhead fanatic and friend Mike Sbragia was remembered by friends and representatives of Anaconda High. “Sbrag” died June 5, 2015 at his home in Anaconda, and so did a piece of the Copperheads.

See the obituary or leave a memory here.

“Sbrag” was always known to be one of the most loyal fans of Anaconda High athletics. In the rare case he couldn’t make a game, usually because he couldn’t find a substitute for the many bowling leagues he was a member of at Cedar Park Lanes, he was toting his radio following along with every word of radio broadcasts on KANA.

Friends Jim, Jerry and Dan Moses, part of the chain gang for Copperhead games (probably since opening night in the 50s if it were my guess), made the memory possible. With a small remembrance of family and friends in the stands, the three brothers came out to midfield and bowed during the short but meaningful ceremony.

On a personal note from someone who’s been associated with Copperhead athletics in writing or broadcasting since 1997, I can’t count how many times I’ve bumped into Sbrag heading for his seat with a fountain pop, always diet, and the biggest tub of popcorn available. It didn’t matter that he couldn’t see the difference from the head, 7 or 10-pins in bowling (it really didn’t matter either, he always managed to work a strike out of the first one he hit anyway), he would brave the conditions and be there rooting on his hometown team.

A lot of people left last night’s game when the lightning delay and rains came pouring down and thus didn’t get to see this tribute to one of the truly good guys associated with high school athletics. Always positive, always supportive, always there — and only because it was one of his passions. He is the model for which every fan of prep athletics should be measured by.

Roll on Sbrag.

 

Two local softball teams finish second in ASA state tournaments

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Club Moderne won second in the Women’s D division last weekend at the ASA Women’s State Tournament played in Anaconda. COURTESY PHOTO

Over the weekend, 24 teams in Women’s C and D and Men’s Masters 40-plus and 50-plus converged on Charlotte Yeoman Martin Sports Complex for the 2015 Montana ASA State softball tournament.

Two local teams placed second in the Women’s D and Men’s Masters 50-plus divisions.

Club Moderne lost to Kalispell’s Rocky Mountain Aircraft in the championship for the runner up finish in Women’s D. Team members were Maria Robinson, Hattie Thatcher, Courtney Moodry, Bri Orrino, Angela Piazzola, Vanessa Jense, Lisa Laslovich, Keri Orrino, Korey Krumm, Aleesha LaBreche and Bailey Thatcher.

Three teams playing a round robin format tournament in the Men’s Masters Plus 50 led to Anaconda’s Goosetown/Club Moderne finishing second.

Below are all the state place-winning teams.

Women C
1, Press Box/Bill Long Trucking Missoula. 2, T & C Squad Billies Missoula. 3, Commercial Bar, Helena. 4, DFCI, Billings. 5, Sandy Macs, Helena. 6, Steel Etc/Ninja’s, Great Falls.

Women’s D
1, Rocky Mountain Aircraft, Kalispell. 2, Club Moderne, Anaconda. Eagles, Missoula. 4, Cowboy Softball, Great Falls. 5, Grub Stake, Helena. 6, Hit’N Pitches, Great Falls. 7, Serve Pro, Helena.
 
Mens Masters +40
Team Geritol, Missoula. 2, Press Box, Missoula. 3, Old Chicago, Billings. 4, Longhorn, Great Falls. 5, Butte Depot/Svejkovsky Construction. 6, Brewhouse, Helena. 7, DFCI, Billings.
 
Mens Masters +50  
1, Paradise Falls, Missoula. 2, Goosetown/Club Moderne, Anaconda. 3, Amigo/Bud Light, Great Falls.

Anaconda’s ‘how to’ on celebrating athletic excellence

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Jessica Massey, left, and her mother and father Ethel and Rick, ride through the streets of Anaconda in celebration of her Gold Medal-winning performance during the 2015 Special Olympics World Games in LA. PHOTO COPYRIGHT CS PHOTO

Commentary by Blake Hempstead

On Tuesday, Anaconda again showed how much they love their athletes.

Jessica Massey, a Special Olympian kayaker for Team USA, was given the parade and serenade to end them all during an afternoon ride through the streets of her hometown in celebration of a Gold Medal performance last week at the 2015 World Games last week in Los Angeles. Continue reading

Anaconda parade planned for Gold Medalist Jessica Massey Tuesday, Aug. 4

On Tuesday, Aug. 4, Anaconda will welcome home a Gold Medalist in style.

Jessica Massey, who won the Gold in the 200m kayak event for Team USA at the 2015 Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles on Friday, July 31, will take her championship fire truck ride through the streets of Anaconda starting at approximately 4 p.m.

The route will start on the east end of Anaconda at Albertson’s, travel west on Commercial Ave. to Lisacs Tire, turn around and return east down Park Ave. to the final destination at Benny Goodman Park. People are invited to welcome Massey along the route or at Benny Goodman following the parade. And don’t forget to fly your American Flag with pride!

To read about Massey’s triumph, click HERE

To listen to commercials running on KANA 580 AM about Massey’s extraordinary accomplishments, click below.

Massey is the daughter of Rick and Ethel Massey.

Anaconda’s Jessica Massey wins Special Olympics Gold in 200m kayak

Now you can say you know a World Champion and Gold medalist.

Anaconda’s own Jessica Massey, competing for Team USA in the 2015 Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles, won Gold in the 200m kayak today announced by the ecstatic athlete on her Facebook page this afternoon. Results were confirmed on the official page of the games at la2015.org or by clicking HERE

Massey finished the race in 1:54.42, almost 10 seconds ahead of Silver Medalist Kathryn Smith of Great Britian. Massey earned a fourth-place ribbon in the 500m race on Wednesday as well.

Jessica Massey kayakWell wishes came rushing in from her coaches and friends via her Facebook feed too fast to refresh.

Jessica Massey Facebook

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“Awesome! So proud you are a world champ!” said one of Massey’s former coaches Liz Tuss, among many of her fans wishing her congratulations on the accomplishment.

Now all there is to plan is the celebration and parade for when Anaconda’s World Champion returns. If tradition says our State Champions get a fire truck ride through the streets of Anaconda, it’s time to release the whole fleet for a Gold medal.

Below is the congratulatory message running on KANA 580 AM