Montana Western sophomore football player, Dilan Starkel, has been named as a recipient for a 2014 Montana Athlete in Service Award. (read more)
The University of Montana Western volleyball team had three players earn all-conference honors. Seniors Kendra Mendicino and Breanne Kelley and freshman Joanna Avery were honored. (read more)
The University of Montana Western football team has officially announced the commitment of two new recruits that will be joining the program in 2015. (read more)
The University of Montana Western was named one of the NAIA Champions of Character member institutions. UMW received the award for demonstrating a commitment to the core values of the NAIA. (read more)
The University of Montana Western’s football team will head to Havre to take on Montana State-Northern in the 2014 season finale and a victory secures a winning season. (read more)
Bulldog senior safety Jesse McCloud wins Frontier Conference defensive player of the week for the second time this season for his play in Montana Western’s win over College of Idaho. (read more)
Montana Western's volleyball team visited Great Falls and Havre this weekend and split the road matches winning on Friday and dropping their match on Saturday. (read more)
UMW football places seven on all-conference teams
The Montana Western football team placed seven members on the 2014 Frontier Conference all-conference teams that were recently announced. The Bulldogs had three players selected to the first team and four players selected to the second team.
The players selected to the defensive all-conference team include senior defensive back Jesse McCloud, senior defensive lineman Phil Selin, junior linebacker A.J. Wilson, and junior linebacker Joe Coker. The offensive selections for the Bulldogs were junior offensive lineman Will Thacker, senior offensive lineman Nick Brown, and sophomore running back Sam Rutherford.
Jesse McCloud is a 6-foot 200 pound safety from Manhattan, Mont., who was selected to the first team all-conference defensive team. He has been chosen to the all-conference team three consecutive years. In addition to the 2014 selection he was also a first team selection in 2013 and a second team selection in 2012. Jesse played in nine of UMW’s eleven games this season patrolling the defensive secondary. He was the quarterback for the defensive secondary and his presence was a deterrent for the opposing team’s pass game. In addition to his team leading five interceptions he had 60 total tackles and a blocked field goal.
Senior defensive lineman Phil Selin was selected to the first team all-conference team. The 6-foot-2 240 pound Great Falls, Mont., native has been chosen to the all-conference team two consecutive years. His 2014 selection follows his second team selection in 2013. Phil was the anchor to the defensive line and led the conference in sacks two consecutive years. In addition to his nine sacks this season to lead the conference he ranked seventh nationally in total sacks. Combining his prowess for getting after the passer he was also a menace to opposing ballcarriers with a team leading 10.5 tackles for loss totaling nearly 40 yards of lost yardage.
A.J. Wilson is a junior from Helena, Mont., who garnered second team honors from the conference. The 6-foot-1 240 pound linebacker played in all 11 of the Bulldog games totaling 66 tackles. In addition he had 7.5 tackles for loss ranking him second on the team. Wilson showed his versatility when he dropped into pass coverage closing throwing lanes and eating up opposing receivers. A.J. had one interception in 2014. This was his first all-conference selection.
Junior linebacker Joe Coker was selected to the second team defense. The 6-foot 215 pound Helena, Mont., native was selected to the all-conference team for the first time following 2014. Despite playing in only nine of Montana Western’s games due to an injury he totaled 72 tackles tying him for second most on the Bulldog defense. Coker had seven tackles for loss totaling an astounding 100 yards. He averaged nearly one tackle for loss a game he participated in totaling over eleven yards lost. From his inside linebacker position he forced two fumbles. In addition to his defensive play he was a wrecking ball on the Bulldog special teams interrupting opposing teams and their return game.
Offensive lineman Will Thacker gained first team all-conference honors for his steady and powerful play at his right guard position. The 2014 selection was his second consecutive all-conference selection as he was selected to the second team following his sophomore campaign. Thacker is a 6-foot-1 290 pound native of Winnemucca, Nev., and anchored the Bulldog offensive line. His combination of agility and power helped lead the Bulldog offense to 2,300 yards rushing for an average of 209.1 yards a game.
Senior Nick Brown gained his second selection to the all-conference second team. His other honor came in 2012. Brown is a 6-foot-2 275 pound left tackle from Spokane, Wash. He was a key member of the UMW offensive line that helped lead the offense to 4,246 yards of total offense if 2014.
Sam Rutherford is a 6-foot-1 215 pound running back from Great Falls, Mont. He has a unique blend of power and speed that helped him lead the team in rushing with 1,061 yards gained. He is the first Bulldog rusher to gain over 1,000 yards in a season. Sam averaged over five yards a play and one touchdown a game during the 2014 season. He finished with 11 total touchdowns. His selection to the 2014 second team was his second consecutive such honor.
For complete teams click here.
Local student athlete honored by Montana Campus Compact
Twin Bridges native and current Bulldog football player has been named by the Montana Campus Compact as a recipient of a Montana Athlete in Service Award.
“We are very proud of Dilan and excited to hear he is being recognized for the time and work he gives back to his community of Dillon, Montana through the youth baseball and wrestling programs,” head football coach B.J. Robertson said of Dilan. “Starkel's high achieving attitude in the classroom, on the field, and in the community is one example of the many student athlete servant leaders we have at Montana Western.”
The honor is awarded to student-athletes who exemplify civic engagement within their home community as well as their involvement within their academic communities. The award recognizes the student-athletes who throughout the year exhibit service as a role model in numerous situations and arenas.
UMW Football signs Twin Bridges senior receiver
Montana Western’s head football coach B.J. Robertson has announced the addition of Cody Pierson to the Bulldog football family. Pierson has signed his NAIA/Frontier Conference letter of intent to attend class and play football at UMW starting in the fall of 2015.
Pierson is a 6-foot-1 175 pound standout. He has been selected to the football all-state team following his junior and senior seasons. In addition to his all-state selections he was named to the all-conference team three consecutive seasons following his sophomore, junior, and senior years.
Cody has been a standout on the court and track for the Falcons as well as on the football field throughout his prep-career. He has exhibited his athletic ability excelling in basketball and track. Pierson has been a three time all-state performer on the court and on the track.
In the classroom Cody has continued his excellence. He has been named to the Twin Bridges High School honor roll as well as a member of the National Honors Society. He plans to study biology while attending Montana Western. He is the son of David and Tamara Pierson.
UMW volleyball has three all-conference selections
The Frontier Conference named their all-conference teams and three Bulldogs received honors. Breanne Kelley was named to the NAIA Champions of Character team, Kendra Mendicino was named to the second team, and Joanna Avery was named to the all-freshman team.
The NAIA Champions of Character honor for UMW was awarded to Breanne Kelley. She is a senior outside hitter from Polson, Mont. The NAIA utilizes a Live 5 campaign to promote their five core values. Each year they select team members who have exhibited these five values to the fullest extent. The values that are considered are integrity, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship, and servant leadership.
Montana Western’s Kendra Mendicino was named to the Frontier Conference second team. She is a senior libero from San Diego, Calif. Mendicino had 557 digs this season for an average of 5.68 per game. She started all 98 games for UMW this season. During her career at UMW she had 1103 digs and played in 213 games for the Bulldogs.
UMW had a unique mix of veteran and young talent. One of the newcomers to the Bulldogs was Joanna Avery. She is a 6-foot middle blocker from Victor, Mont. Avery was named to the Frontier Conference all-freshman team. She settled in midway through the season and madeher impression on the conference. Avery had 103 kills during her first season and made a statement throughout the conference that she will be someone to contend with at the net for the next three years for the Bulldogs.
Montana Western closed their season versus No. 1 ranked Rocky Mountain last Friday during the Frontier Conference tournament.
Bulldog football signs first two recruits for 2015
Montana Western’s head football coach B.J. Robertson has announced the signing of two recruits to NAIA/Frontier Conference letters of intent to attend class at UMW and play football for the Bulldogs. The newest additions are Missoula native Bo Hughes and Fairview’s Cody Vitt.
Hughes is a 6-foot 200 pound quarterback/defensive back that excelled at Loyola High School. He spent the past fall in Bozeman at Montana State. During his senior year he threw for 1948 yards and rushed for 1226 yards. He accounted for 24 touchdowns on the year. He was a three time all-state quarterback and a two time all-state defensive back. Following his senior season he was selected to participate in the Shrine game and the Badlands Bowl.
He was an honor roll student at Loyola High School and earned academic all-state honors. He intends to major in education while attending classes at UMW. He is the son of Todd and Anne Hughes.
Vitt is a 6-foot 210 pound running back from Fairview High School. He spent the past fall at Montana State. During his senior year in high school he helped lead Fairview to an 11-1 record and Class C state runner up. He rushed for over 1600 yards averaging 12 yards an attempt. He averaged 133 yards rushing a game and had 21 receptions for 346 yards on the season. He averaged 3.5 touchdowns a game his senior season scoring 42 touchdowns in 12 games. He was selected as the team MVP following the 2012 season and received invitations to play in the Badlands Bowl and the Montana Shrine Game. During his prep career he was a three time all-state and all-conference selection.
He plans to study natural horsemanship while attending classes at UMW. He is the son of Dale and Jill Vitt.
UMW selected as an NAIA Champions of Character institution
Montana Western received the Champions of Character award based on their scorecard throughout the academic year. The Bulldogs were one of 168 schools that were five star award winners.
The member institutions earn points throughout the academic year by showing a commitment to teaching and training student-athletes in character development, conduct in competition, academic focus, character recognition and character promotion. Member institutions earn points for their student-athlete grade point averages and participation in competitions exhibiting sportsmanship and high character throughout the academic year with minimal to no ejections.
Montana Western earned a Five Star Bronze award.
Bulldogs travel to Havre in search of winning seasonThe Bulldogs are riding a three game winning streak and are coming off an emotional win versus College of Idaho in which they honored the seniors prior to the game. The wins have come against two then-top 25 teams and College of Idaho who narrowly beat the Bulldogs in the first matchup.
“Excited to get a win for our seniors. I'm so proud of how this team battles for four quarters,” said Bulldog head coach B.J. Robertson on the win over College of Idaho. “We ask our players for two things....great effort and great attitudes and I believe these guys are bringing that each week.”
Montana Western will face MSUN in Havre on Saturday at 12 pm. The Bulldogs are currently 5-5 overall and 5-4 in the Frontier Conference. The Northern Lights are 1-7 in conference play and 2-7 overall. In the first matchup UMW rolled to a 50-30 win on Sept. 20.
“Northern has a high powered offense with a strong running game and play making receivers,” said coach Robertson. “We will need to put points on the board because they will find a way to get theirs. Add in that it will be senior day and we better be prepared for a battle.”
The teams combined for over 1,000 yards of total offense in the first meeting. The Bulldogs rushed for 249 yards and threw for 255 for a total of 504 yards. UMW was efficient on offense and converted on 10-of-14 third downs. Sam Rutherford led the Bulldog ground attack rushing for 99 yards on 15 carries with one touchdown. Quarterback Tyler Hulse accounted for five total touchdowns running for three and connecting with Matt Lickfold through the air for two. On the day Lickfold had six receptions for 141 yards and two touchdowns. Freshman receiver Matt Furhman had four receptions for 67 yards in the win.
The Bulldog defense was able to get in on the scoring fun as linebacker T.J. Benson returned an interception 25 yards for a touchdown. His interception was one of three turnovers forced by UMW. Benson also returned a fumble recovery and senior linebacker Ryan Otto had an interception. Defensive back Ben Sulser led the team in tackles with 10 total stops and fellow secondary mate Dakota Pineda had nine total tackles including 8 solo stops. Defensive lineman Reno Ward had 8 total tackles and a tackle for loss.
UMW has quietly made some ripples in the conference standings. Although the teams they have beaten have heard the Bulldogs loud and clear. The wins over the ranked opponents in the past three weeks have either knocked those teams out of the playoff chase or made it very difficult for them to get in. UMW has been on the verge of breaking into the rankings and with a win this weekend should garner more attention.
They are currently a half game behind EOU for third place in the Frontier. A win this weekend would give the Bulldogs a 6-4 conference record and at least a share for third place in the conference. Kickoff for Saturday’s game is scheduled for 12 pm.
UMW Volleyball to wrap regular season
The Bulldog women enter an important week where they are hosting two conference matches that will have a direct impact on seeding for the Frontier Conference tournament and they will be honoring their seniors on Saturday. Saturday’s match versus Lewis-Clark will be the final home match for six seniors.
On Thursday UMW welcomes Montana Tech to Straugh Gymnasium. It will be the second time the two teams have met this season with the Ore Diggers winning the first meeting in straight games on Oct. 2. Tech will be facing a different team than the one they faced a month ago. The Bulldogs have won six of their last eight matches and have found a cohesiveness mixing veterans with first year players.
“This will be a big weekend for us because it will determine seeding for the conference tournament,” said head coach Lisa Griffiths. “We have been playing well and are peaking at a good time but everybody is tough and it seems like everyone in conference is playing their best volleyball right now.”
Montana Tech is currently 4-8 in conference play and positioned one spot ahead of the Bulldogs. The match will have a direct impact on where each team will be seeded for the tournament. The Bulldogs have put themselves in a position to overtake the Diggers with a win.
Tech is led by Bailie Cortner and Makenzie Bauck. Cortner has over 200 kills on the season and is averaging 2.3 kills per game. She has been assisted by Bauck who has 580 assists on the year and averages 6.6 per game. Kimmy Kavran leads the team in digs averaging 4.4 per game and has 440 on the season.
“It's been fun to see all of the hard work coming together for the girls and have the team peaking at the right time,” said Coach Griffiths. “The girls are playing hard and are focused on finishing the conference season strong and then extending their season as long as possible.”
On Saturday UMW hosts Lewis-Clark State College in the 2014 regular season finale. The Warriors are currently 9-3 in conference play and sit in second position in the standings. They are led by Treneisha Doyle who is averaging less than three kills per game and Robyn Schirmer is averaging 7.4 assists per game. Defensively Russia Robinson is averaging 4.9 digs per game.
Montana Western will honor six seniors on Saturday prior to the match. The seniors are Emily Erickson, Breanne Kelley, Paige Latimer, Madison Mansch, Kendra Mendicino, and Brea Mitchell. The current group of seniors has led the Bulldogs all season. Two of the ladies lead the conference in two statistical categories. Paige Latimer leads the Frontier Conference in assists per game averaging nearly 10 a game and has 753 on the season. Senior libero Kendra Mendicino leads the conference with 485 digs and 5.5 a game. On the offensive attack seniors Emily Erickson and Breanne Kelley lead the team in kills. Erickson has 267 on the season and is averaging over three a game while Kelley has 221 and averaging better than 2.5 a game.
“I can't believe it is already time for this group to graduate but I am so happy for them. They have been such an integral part of growing the program and getting us to where we are now,” said Coach Griffiths. “They have been committed from the beginning and dedicated to do their absolute best every day. They are a pleasure to work with and I am really going to miss them when they're done. Right now, we are all focused on sending them out with the season they deserve.”
Thursday night’s match versus Montana Tech will begin at 7 pm in the Straugh Gymnasium. On Saturday afternoon Lewis-Clark will visit with game time set for 2 pm. The senior presentation will occur prior to the match.
UMW’s McCloud named Frontier Conference player of week
The University of Montana Western faced College of Idaho on Saturday afternoon at Vigilante Field and won in a close game 30-27. Senior Jesse McCloud a Churchill, Mont., native was selected the defensive player of the week for the Frontier Conference for his role in UMW’s win.
Senior Jesse McCloud was honored prior to the game along with nine other seniors in the Bulldog football family. He came through in the clutch and put the finishing touches on the victory by intercepting an errant Yotes’ pass to help secure the victory.
McCloud had seven solo tackles and six assisted tackles during the win. In addition to his 13 total stops he had two pass break ups and sealed the Yotes’ fate with his interception late in the game.
The award is the second time during the 2014 season that McCloud has earned this honor. In the week one victory over Montana Tech he also received the honor.
UMW volleyball splits on final regular season road trip
The Bulldogs went to Great Falls on Friday night and continued their hot streak sweeping the Argos 3-0. They won by scores of 25-21, 25-16, and 25-23. The win was the sixth win for the Bulldogs in their last seven matches. The conference victory was their third win in their last four Frontier matches.
Emily Erickson led the Bulldogs with 14 kills and contributed 13 digs. Kendra Mendicino led the team in digs with 23 and Breanne Kelley had 16. Paige Latimer led the offensive attack with 34 assists.
Saturday evening Montana Western visited Havre to take on the Skylights of Montana State-Northern. The Bulldogs' winning ways came to an end on this night as they dropped the match 0-3.
The Bulldog offensive attack was led by Erickson who had 12 kills on the evening. A combination of young and old led the team defensively with freshman Brianna DeCock credited with 17 digs and senior Kendra Mendicino led the team with 24 digs of her own.
Montana Western comes home for their final two matches of the regular season next week. They will take on Montana Tech on Thursday at 7 pm and Lewis-Clark on Saturday at 2 pm. Saturday's match will be the final home match for the Bulldogs and will honor the seniors with a pre-game presentation.