Bulldog soccer teams looking for players, singers

Bulldog soccer teams looking for players, singers
At left, Butte High's Riley Doyle controls the ball in front of Missoula Hellgate's Chris Ledyard. At right Butte High's Madyson LaPier and Missoula Hellgate's Chloe Anderson battle for the ball Tuesday at the Jeremy Bullock Complex. (Butte Sports file photos from Sept. 15, 2020)

By Bill Foley

If you are willing to run around a little bit, have some fun and maybe even do a little singing, then Cody Carpenter is looking for you.

About two months before the start of the 2021 season, the third-year Butte High boys’ soccer coach is in serious need of some players to compete for the Bulldogs.

“It’s looking like we have 20,” Carpenter said of the number of boys on his team. “We would like to get to 30.”

With 11 players playing at a time, 20 players will mean Butte High can field a varsity team. The Bulldogs, though, would like more than that.

“It’s more than enough for one team, but not enough for two,” Carpenter said. “We really want to have JV and varsity. It really helps build for the future to have two teams.”

Virtually every Class AA has a varsity and a junior varsity squad. Some teams even have enough players for a freshman team, and that only goes to help produce better varsity teams.

Carpenter stressed that players do not have to have played club soccer. They do not have to have any soccer experience at all. All the players need to be is ready to learn, play hard and have some fun.

“We definitely like to have to have fun,” Carpenter said. “We want to have a good time, but we want to compete too. That’s how you compete is to have numbers.”

New Butte High girls’ coach Steve Shahan said his program could use some more players, too.

“I think we’re close to or just above last year’s numbers, but we can always use more,” Shahan said.

Win or lose, Butte High’s boys are known to have a blast on road trips. Their bus ride homes have become giant sing alongs.

“We have a great time,” Carpenter said. “We have a lot of fun. Win or lose, we just want to enjoy ourselves.”

At home, the Bulldogs will move to Bulldog Memorial Stadium for home games, meaning the Bulldogs will play in probably the nicest — and biggest — high school soccer stadium in the state.

Another reason to play soccer, Carpenter said, is education. Students who participate in extracurricular activities do better in school, he said.

Carpenter and Shahan both emphasize the importance of education.

“We both think it’s super important,” Carpenter said. “Shahan and I are having a competition to see who can get the most players who are Academic All-State.”

Shahan is promising a fun first season, too. He is a popular teacher (at East Middle School) and assistant track and basketball coach at Butte High. During the summer, Shahan is an assistant manager at Ridge Waters Water Park.

That will help play into some preseason fun for the Bulldog programs.

“We are doing a family social with the girls’ team the Saturday before our first game,” Carpenter said. “We’ll play kickball with the girls, and we’ll have Ridge Waters to ourselves. Shahan knows a person or two.”

Carpenter encouraged any boy or girl considering playing for the Bulldogs to attend the Mile High Soccer Camp July 26-29 at the Jeremy Bullock Complex. Click here for information on the camp and a registration form.

Players will not have to audition their singing ability to play.

“Singing is not a requirement,” Carpenter said, “but it’s a benefit.”

Boys interested in playing should contact Carpenter at (406) 560-7802. Girls who want to join the Bulldog program should call Shahan at (406) 740-0772.

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