Bengals take two from Bulldog soccer teams

Butte High boys give boot to cancer

HELENA — Helena High swept a Western AA soccer doubleheader with the Butte High Bulldogs Saturday.

After the Helena girls knocked off the Bulldogs 10-0, the Bengals edged the shorthanded Bulldog boys in a 3-2 thriller.

“We came up here with only two JV subs, and we ended the game with no subs,” Butte High coach Cody Carpenter said.

Because of illness and injury, the Bulldogs were down four starters.

“Being down that many, they competed,” Carpenter said.

Grant Hursh scored his first varsity goal on an assist from Jack Luoma 5 minutes into the match. Shortly after that, Hursh, who has been playing on a bad hamstring, had to leave the game.

“He took one for the team,” Carpenter said.

Butte’s second goal came when Daniel Kondowe stole the ball and took it the distance.

Edward Kazmierczak, Zane Fredlund, Bridger Schutte, Joe Phillip, Joe Schrader, Cameron Tobiness, Riley Doyle, Reed Whitlock, Jesse Dean and Aiden Lester also competed for the Bulldogs, who are 3-8 on the season.

“They’re really playing as a team. It’s hard to single any one person out,” Carpenter said. “They’re clicking. They’re really playing well together as a unit. The referee after the game said that he felt this is the best team from Butte that he’s seen in 15 years. Their assistant coach said, ‘I hope we don’t play you guys in the playoffs.’”

The Bulldogs were also playing with some good will on their side. The day was dubbed “Give Caner the Boot Day” in Helena, and Butte High’s players raised $1,350 for the American Cancer Society.

The money, which was raised during homecoming weekend, was donated in honor of Abby Ricketts and Kyler Carpenter, a pair of young Butte residents battling cancer. Ricketts played soccer for Butte High before graduating in June. Kyler Carpenter is the eight-grade student of Cody Carpenter.

“All boys wore their ‘Kyler Strong’ shirts during warmups,” Coach Carpenter said.

Then the Bulldogs went out and put on a solid performance that fell just short of a win.

“They had more shots than we did, but we played well,” Carpenter said. “We were right there. I think if we had been full strength, we probably would have beaten them.”