ROYAL COURT — The Royal Court from the high school prom on Saturday were, from the left in front are Amber Stenson, Queen Kara Bandow, Taylor Johnson and Olivia Campbell. In back are Kyle Ellis, King Grant Grubb, Johnny Schlosser and Sam Knobel. Photo courtesy of Timeless Photography
By Buck Traxler, I-O Editor
The District 10 administration listened when Conrad spoke out and asked them to go after tournaments when the new gym was complete.
Not only did they listen, they have successfully snagged three tournaments. Every year as the weather begins to turn, a curious ailment spreads across northcentral Montana.
The thump of basketballs and volleyballs on the hardwood, the unmistakable squeak of sneakers on the floor and the roar of home crowds in gyms are signs that post-season round ball fever is with us.
The thud of the ball on the floor, the swish of the net, or the squeal of teammates from a good spike is music to our ears.
We as fans speak the language; spot pass, shifting zones, man-to-man defense, 3-2 zones, match up well, hot post players, shoot from the wing, go down the lane, aced that one, dig it up, big spike, yeah, we all know the lingo.
“This is great news for Conrad and one of the things the community wanted from us,” said CHS Principal Ken Larson. “We kind of filled the plate for next year.”
Coming to town will be the 6C West District volleyball teams from Dutton/Brady, Valier, Heart Butte, Power, Simms and Sunburst on Oct. 28 – 30.
Right on the heels of that, the Northern B Divisional volleyball tournament will be coming to Conrad on Nov. 4 – 6. This tourney has long been a mainstay in Choteau.
Now, the ace serves, the back court digs and spikes at the net will be in the Cowgirl Corral.
The tournament features teams from Glasgow, Harlem, Malta/Whitewater, Plentywood, Poplar and Wolf Point from the 2B and from the 1B, Choteau, Conrad, Cascade, Cut Bank, Fairfield, Shelby and Rocky Boy.
The top four teams from the respective conferences will play in the divisional meet.
Then on Feb. 16, 17, 18 and 19 Conrad will host the combination district tourney from the 10C boys’ and girls’ basketball.
Those will be the boys’ and girls’ squads from CJ-I, Dutton/Brady, Valier, Heart Butte, Power, Simms and Sunburst.
“We can handle this,” adds Larson. “With some help from the community the tournaments can run smoothly without any hassles.”
He noted that the gym has four locker rooms and a training room and easily handicap accessible restrooms on two levels, good parking for team buses on the east side on Michigan
In addition the remodeled concessions at the common can now put out a bigger variety of fan-food.
This is a big deal for Conrad and local businesses. The Cut Bank Chamber of Commerce ponied up $5,000 to try and keep the basketball tournament there.
Two tournaments right before Christmas and another in a traditional slow time after the New Year; Conrad merchants ought to have happy faces.
There will be much more on the tournaments down the road, this is just to alert businesses of what is coming so they can mark calendars.