Event organizers thank Advantage Butte

Accolades were spread around Tuesday at the June meeting of Advantage Butte as the successes of a number of spring sports events the group was behind were recognized.
The meeting was held at the Butte Plaza Inn.
State high school golf and track competitions and club wrestling events were among the mentioned. Chad Perersen, Butte Central activities director, managed both the state Class B golf tournament at the Fairmont Hot Springs resort, and the state Class A-B track meet held on the Charlie Merrifield Track at Bulldog Memorial Stadium in the Gene Fogarty Complex of the East Middle School grounds.
“Track and golf went very well,” Petersen reported to the Advantage Butte gathering, adding that special efforts by community members like Liza Dennehy and Mike Thatcher were instrumental in Butte being able to play host to the championship meets successfully.
Petersen said Thatcher, of Community Counseling and Corrections Services, sent 15 CCCS staff members to the golf tournament to serve as officials and workers on the course. Dennehy loaned the track meet a digital timing system and its operators. The system electroncially displays athletes’ race times on the scoreboard during the event as it is held, providing spectators an immediate report.
“Class A has never had this before,” Petersen noted. “Class B has because it has been in state meets (partnered with Class AA) in which Butte HIgh has been involved. The scoreboard exhibit added the extra element to that meet.”
Dennehy is a teacher and head girls’ basketball coach at Butte High. She is the daughter of legendary track coach Charlie Merrifield, whose name is on the state-of-the-art track. Merrifield retired as Butte High head boys’ track coach after the 2013 season.
Ron Davis of Butte Broadcasting said Townsend golf coach Pete Robischon, a Butte native, communicated with him that the tourney held at Fairmont Hot Springs “was the best-run tournament ever” in his experiences with state meets. Townwend won the state Class B girls’ title and Robischon was recently named Montana Girls’ Golf Coach of the Year by the Montana Coaches Association.
Perersen said Advantage Butte money appropriated to the tournament helped with the hosting of a dinner for the golf teams and their coaches.
“That just doesn’t happed elsewhere,” Petersen said.
Rody Holman of the Butte Wrestling Club said he attended the meeting simply to express gratitude to Advantage Butte as it helped the club play host to a state frestyle tournament and a state convention.
“Thanks for helping with the State AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) and Wrestling Convention hospitality,” Holman said, noring the convention was scheduled for another venue, but when it became apparent it could not be put on there, Butte factions, including Advantage Butte, stepped forward to give it a place.
“Also, thanks for the help witht he state wrestling that we put on (at the Butte Civic Center) in April,” he continued. “We had nearly 1,000 wrestlers here and I think about 600 motel rooms were sold for that weekend.”
Holman said that because of some season changes made by governing organizations, the Butte club opted not to offer a bid on the state meets for next year. He did remind that the club will still play host to its two invitational meets, the Cyclops Tournament set for Feb. 21-22, and the Smith/McCarthy Invitational, scheduled for April 11-12 of 2015.
Holman said youth wrestling in Bute has recently seen a welcome surge. He said 30 members are competing this week at the USAW (United States Amateur Wrestling) Western Zone Regional in Pocatello, Idaho, this week after fewer than 10 were entered in the regional abour five years ago.

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