Somebody That We Used To Know

Transfers Lead to Struggles for Big Sky Sports


Maddie Crandall

Big Sky JV players pass the ball in a game against Sentinel

Ava McPhillips and Madelyn Morris

Big Sky students may have noticed a trend with our basketball programs. We’ve begun to lose many of our star players to the other Missoula schools.
This constant change causes problems with our teams’ structure, according to Athletic Director Cam Johnson. These ever-flowing changes can be “challenging” for both the athletics and school. He also said that it’s difficult to lose classmates and can negatively affect social dynamics.
While there can be a number of different reasons for transferring including moving, family reasons, and academics, this is not a small-scale problem. Three (almost a quarter) of the girls Varsity basketball team from last season chose to leave Big Sky for a variety of reasons.
According to the district Transfer Request Form “Students transferring from one high school to another in the same school system, but in a different attendance area are ineligible to participate in a varsity Association Contest for 90 school days after transferring.” This rule constricts high school athletes from transferring for sports and being able to play in the next seasons sports. But if you transfer at the end of the school this rule wouldn’t affect you.
Former Big Sky Eagle standout Camdyn LaRance, now a senior at Hellgate, transferred across town in order to advance his high school basketball career and increase his odds of being noticed by college scouts.
“All I really wanted was to be on a solid basketball team and get some numbers up on the scoreboard,” LaRance said. “I had a solid support system through this decision that made the decision a lot easier too.”
In the 2018-2019 season, LaRance led the Eagles in scoring, averaging 18.1 points per game, totaling 326 points on the season, making him the second highest scorer in the state of Montana. However, LaRance felt he was not getting the experience that he needed to pursue his dream of playing in college, so he made a big decision to transfer to Hellgate who placed second at the Montana State Basketball Championships that same season.
Even though students may be moving for personal reasons the effects can still be felt by classmates. As Johnson says, it’s difficult to bond as a team and create a good team atmosphere when your team keeps changing.