ButteSports.com marks first anniversary

The timing couldn’t have been better for ButteSports.com.

Your new free sports page hit the internet just in time to capture the magical run of the Butte High football team, debuting on Aug. 17, 2012.

That first day just so happened to be the day the eventual state champs took the field for the Purple and White Game at Naranche Stadium. We were there for that.

We were also there when Dallas Cook and Zach Bunney had monster games — on different nights — in Billings. We were there when the Bulldogs overcame a 16-point fourth-quarter deficit to beat Great Falls Russell in the semifinal game.

We were there when Jake Dennehy booted the 46-yard field goal. “The Kick Heard ‘Round Montana,” by the way, was 46 and three quarters yards, if you ask Jake.

‘The Kick’ (Blake Hempstead photo)

When we unveiled our venture last August, the site included a feature story on Bunney’s journey back to the football field after conquering leukemia. Bunney went on to a 1,000-yard season for the Bulldogs. He is expected to contribute as a true freshmen at Montana Tech this season. We’ll be there for that, too.

The first day of ButteSports.com also included profile stories on Frank and Joe Joyce of Butte Central and Lacey Phelan and Joe Semansky at Montana Tech.

Today — more than 2,500 stories later — we celebrate our first birthday and look forward to even more fun in our second year as your first choice for Butte sports news.

ButteSports.com is “the only place I look for local sports coverage,” says reader Tom Bolton.

We also came online just in time to follow Montana Tech’s run to the Frontier Conference football title and the Orediggers first trip to the postseason since 2005.

We followed along as Butte Central made a return trip to the Class A football playoffs. We told the story as all four of Butte’s varsity basketball teams — Butte High and Butte Central’s boys’ and girls’ teams — advanced to the state tournament in the same season for the first time ever.

Kale Guldseth (Bill Foley photo)

When Hattie Thatcher broke the Butte High assists record, you read it here first.

Hattie Thatcher (Bill Foley photo)

We brought you up-to-the minute news and scores throughout the spring sports season, and we stayed busing throughout the summer, following the Butte Miners, Butte Muckers and the South West Montana Junior Golf Tour.

Butte’s Kody Chamberlain (blue shirt) and Helena’s Taggart Sullivan. (Bill Foley photo)

In the week plus that the West team was in town for the Montana East-West Shrine Game, we brought you 22 stories on the game, the players participating in it and the young patients benefitting from it.

Butte’s Joe Joyce, 5, and Northey Tretheway escort Sudah Davis as she leads the West team onto Naranche Stadium for the Shrine Game. (Bill Foley photo)

“If you like complete local sports coverage, then ButteSports.com is where to get it,” says reader Jim Salmonsen.

When local athletes signed with colleges or when Montana Tech inked players, we were the first to report it. When Montana Tech, Butte High and Butte Central changed coaches — and in Tech’s case athletic directors — ButteSports.com brought it to you first.

We also followed the careers of Butte natives Colt Anderson with the Philadelphia Eagles and Rob Johnson with the New York Mets, Buffalo Bison, Memphis Redbirds and now the St. Louis Cardinals.

(Associated Press photo)

We have also kept up on Butte athletes playing around the country in colleges, checked in with Butte brothers Bryan and Brad Wilson’s quest for gold in the 2014 Olympics and reintroduced you to Butte native Rob Spear, the athletic director at the University of Idaho.

Sportswriters Pat Ryan, Bruce Sayler and Bill Foley brought their more than 70 years experience to ButteSports.com. Pat Kearney contributes with a history column. The addition of contributors Ron Davis and Paul Panisko give the website more than a century experience in covering sports. in the Mining City.

“I can’t tell you how thankful I am you guys took this on,” says Luke Thatcher, who now lives in Wisconsin. “As a former coach at BHS, it is extremely important for me to continue following former players and teams, not to mention keep up with my own families’ careers. Your site has allowed me to do this, not only for free, but from the same local writers I have always enjoyed.”

We follow the Grizzlies and Bobcats, the Butte 100 and the many so-called “fun” runs around town.

(Bill Foley photo)

“Great coverage of Southwest Montana sports,” says reader Jay Reardon. “I’m in Helena and appreciate the coverage.”

“I thoroughly enjoy reading the articles on this site,” reader Kevin Noctor says. “It is the first website I read when I open up my computer in the morning.”

In its first year, ButteSports.com has seen nearly 260,000 visits by almost 72,000 readers. That includes 674,000 page views. We have more than 1,460 followers on Twitter and more than 1,100 “likes” on Facebook.

“I love it,” says reader Bill Hogart. “Keep up the good work.”

“It is the best place to find local sports news going,” adds reader Lance Oswald.

In a day when the price of newspapers continues to rise and online readers keep running into pay walls, ButteSports.com is 100 percent free thanks to our many advertisers, whose support is greatly appreciated. Supporting their business is supporting ButteSport.com.

Former Billings Central girls’ basketball coach Jeff Malby is now the sports editor of the Three Forks Herald. He says he reads ButteSports.com every day.

“The City of Butte,” he says, “is lucky to have ButteSports.com.” 4 comments

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  • Yo Chi Boy
    August 17, 2013, 7:28 am

    Congratulations and Happy Birthday!

  • Shoagie
    August 17, 2013, 11:48 am

    Great website! I enjoy all articles about all Butte athletes, near and far! Thanks for your hard work!

  • Vina
    August 17, 2013, 11:12 pm

    Thanks for your hard work, and good luck for many more years!

  • ol pahv
    August 19, 2013, 12:56 pm

    Awesome site! The effort you folks put forth is incredible! Really enjoy reading the profiles of local athletes and reader-submitted stories.


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