Winter is Coming!

A Preview of Big Sky’s Sports Prospects


Andrew Gardanier

Wrestlers Wyatt Shinn, Trevin Wizien, Dayton Evans, and Zane Holland.

With fall sports all wrapped up, it means winter sports are here and it is shaping up for a very exciting sports season for the Big Sky Eagles. The sports we’ll get to see all the action from will be boys and girls basketball, wrestling, swimming and also speech and debate. The Eagles are trying to improve in a lot of ways from last year and there has never been more to prove. Overall you can expect some strong individual performances as well as exhilarating games, matches and meets. Specifically, for Basketball things are looking promising for the boys and very much uncertain for the girls. Wrestling and Speech and Debate are looking to steamroll the competition this season. While Swimming is looking to fill the gap of several graduated swimmers. Here’s how Eagle sports are looking to shape up sport by sport in the 2017-2018 Winter season:


Boys Basketball

The boys basketball team last year was very disappointing to say the least, especially with such high hopes for where the team should have been at.

The Eagles ended up just winning two regular season games and that was with seven seniors last year!

This year the Eagles hope to rebound from their struggles of the past year.

The Eagles will have four returning seniors this year hoping to lead this team to a successful year. Among these seniors is Jordan Caselman. Casselman played varsity last year and was most lethal behind the 3-point line. With being the Western Conference leader through conference play in field goal percentage (47%)

Casselman says about this upcoming season he “expects [the team] to surprise some people who don’t think we’ll compete for the land.”

Casselman also say he’s “pumped” to be able to condition this season again as the team will need to be in top physical condition in order to compete in the AA ranks. Big Sky has always been in slight disadvantage in the AA for being the lowest populous school in that ranking. This was evident in the team’s dead last ranking in the regular season last year.

Although the team did suffer quite a few troubling injuries and sickness to the senior class they still couldn’t get it done. For the Eagles to make a splash in the conference this year they will have to compete at a higher level. Two new coaches have been brought into the mix for the Eagles and the standard for success has never been higher.

If the Eagles want to be good this year they need to have standout performances in all their conference games. You can expect the Eagles to go far this year if they can get some crucial wins from other teams in the Western Conference.


Girls Basketball

Sadly for Eagle basketball, the lack of success was transferable between the boys as well as the girls. The girls failed to win a game in the AA conference last year with their only wins coming from teams of the A conference.

The Eagles are looking to improve on a very rough year. Last year the Eagles had several seniors but for some reason couldn’t seem to buy a win.

The Eagles will have to rely on some younger talent this year with some strong leadership from the seniors.

One senior, Sydney Louvar, is really looking forward to her final year of Varsity basketball at Big Sky. “I’m excited to have one last time on the court this year with the girls I’ve played with since freshman year.”

With very few seniors and plenty of juniors it almost seems as if this season will be a “rebuilding year.”

However the girls don’t see it that way. Mia Sandau, a junior this year returning to the varsity stage this season, is among them. “We are ready to hand it to ‘em this year!”

It’ll be an interesting year this year with a lot of new talent coming to the forefront with a lot of the girls playing this year seeing increased amounts of minutes. The Eagles have a lot to prove especially with the odds against them with such a young class. However this doesn’t mean that the Eagles are throwing in towel. With the talent and team chemistry they have, you can expect some surprises from the Eagles this year. Even with the program looking like it will have a rebuilding season in the 2018 season.



Last year the Eagles wrestling team had a regular season worth plenty of praise. However injuries and athletes not being able to compete caused for a very short post-season.

The good news for the Eagles is that most athletes that didn’t compete last year or who did were mostly underclassman. So this year should be no different. The wrestlers should be excited in the fact that since most already have competed in state that the only way to go is up. The standard is set very high for the Eagles this year.

Last year they got a true sense of just how strong they are in the AA conference. Confidence is the most important things for the team this year. The talent is already there it’s just a matter of if they can surpass last year. The senior class looks good this year as well. With several of the athletes having experience in state. A few of these guys are Kyle Gordon, Stormee Kipp and Kadin Lahti. All three are returning this year as seniors. Kyle Gordon is “exceptionally” excited for the upcoming year of wrestling. “ I’m ready for my senior year and expect the team to come out and dominate.”

And with all the resources the Eagles have this year it appears they are fitting to “dominate” the AA this upcoming season.



Last year the Big Sky was centered for the most part around one person, Adam Zimmer. Zimmer was an All-American and broke countless records in the pool over the last few years. With Zimmer gone there is definitely a large gap in the program this year. It is unclear who will most likely take Zimmer’s front runner place on the team especially with the bar set so high.

However if the Eagles wish to be contenders in state they will need a strong, collective effort out of the team. The good news for the swim team is that they will have a lot of athletes returning with plenty of experience in the pool.

Gabe Jourdonnais is one senior athlete returning and is certainly excited to get back out in the pool and is very optimistic about both teams. “Both the girls and boys teams will have a strong showing this year, and both have a good shot to put at least one relay in the finals this year as well as several individual events.” There will be several seniors and juniors coming out this year.

Lots of the athletes last year were underclassman which is certainly good news for the team and plenty will be coming out this year again.

Especially with so many being very enthusiastic about racing this year. “I’m expected to have another great season of swimming and improve my times!”  

So although the season is uncertain for the most part, things are looking up for the Eagles if they can continue this enthusiasm and show signs of improvement from race to race.


Speech and Debate

The speech and debate season has just very recently kicked off and the Eagles are already off to an awesome start.

In the most recent event in Bozeman the Eagles broke the school record for most points scored in a meet. With several team members making the final.

When referring to the team Junior member of the team Bailey Carlson said “This is definitely the strongest our team has ever been and we have high hopes that we will place at state well this year.” The team does seem to look as if it is shaping up that way. With a strong leadership from the upperclassman that is really helping the lower classes succeed.

One of these underclassman is Freshman Brady McBride said “I think the team is doing really well this year and I’m really satisfied with how I’m doing personally as well as my teammates.”

With such a strong start it’s evident that the Eagles may and will have good placing in state at the in late January. Which gives them plenty of time to keep dominating. The Eagles Speech and Debate team will definitely be one to look out for this season.