LOCAL BRIEFS: Whitefish grad Ross to play volleyball at Kean University

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Whitefish’s Ross attending Kean on academic scholarship, will play volleyball

The Daily Inter Lake

Cailyn Ross, a two-time all-state middle hitter from Whitefish, is attending Kean University, in Union, New Jersey, on an academic scholarship.

Ross committed to Kean last October.

The 6-foot-1 standout also earned all-conference honors her junior season, which was shortened by injury.

Kean, a Division III school, does not offer athletic scholarships.

Kean last year won the New Jersey Athletic Conference title for the first time since 2001 and advanced to the NCAA Division III tournament, losing to Johns Hopkins University in the first round.

Kean finished the season 28-11.

Ross visited Kean last spring. She also looked at Queens College in New York and the New York Institute of Technology on Long Island. Both schools have volleyball programs.

“I love the campus here,” Ross said. “The coach was very welcoming. He really made it feel like he wanted me.”

Ross, a 4.0 student, graduated from WHS on Jan. 8, arrived at Kean on Jan. 11 and started classes on Jan. 16.

Ross said volleyball workouts begin next week at Kean. The spring season, players practice three days a week and compete in two tournaments, starts in March.

Ross said she is one of three new recruits.

“A middle (hitter), a senior, was their best player (and she graduates),” Ross said. “That is the biggest hole they have to fill. Other than that, I think we will be really good next year.”

Ross will major in graphic design/media arts.

“Another reason I came out here was to be close to New York City,” she said.

Flathead’s Boles to play volleyball, run track at Carroll College

Flathead High School junior Madde Boles signed a national letter of intent to compete in volleyball and track at Carroll College earlier this month.

Boles, who has a 3.6 grade point average, will receive academic and athletic scholarships.

“I really liked Carroll,” Boles said.

“The coaches are awesome. I like the community, it was in-state and not too far away from home. I can do volleyball and track there.”

Being able to compete in two sports was critical.

“I really couldn’t,” Boles said of picking volleyball over track.

“I can’t choose.”

She won’t have to at Carroll.

Boles also looked at Montana and Montana State for track and Montana Tech and Western Montana for volleyball.

She is undecided regarding a major in college.

Boles is a three-year letter winner in volleyball. The 6-foot-0 outside hitter earned all-conference honors this past season. She was the Bravettes MVP and varsity captain.

Boles has been named academic all-state her freshman and sophomore seasons.

In track, she competed at state as a freshman and sophomore. She finished fourth in the high jump last spring at state by clearing 5-3.

Her personal best in the event is 5-5.

Boles was all-conference and the Bravettes high-point and newcomer award winner as a freshman.

Her sophomore season, she was all-conference, all-state, the Western AA divisional champion and the Bravettes high-point award winner and field athlete of the year winner.

McNeely hopes to represent Montana on Down Under Sports Track and Field Team

Mya McNeely, a 16-year-old sophomore at Glacier High School, has been invited to represent Montana on the 2018 Down Under Sports Track and Field Team.

McNeely will compete this summer in Australia. The team will depart for Queensland on July 7.

The 10-day trip will feature three days of track and field competition.

“I want to see where I stand with other athletes from around the world,” McNeely said of her attraction to this event and trip.

All participants must raise $5,000, which covers the cost from California to Australia and all expenses by early May.

McNeely will be selling T-shirts ($25 each) and has a Gofundme.com account at Mya’s Track/Field Australia Trip.

Those wishing to help can donate by paying online at DownUnderSports.com/payment/AD4D-8ACB-7E7A, by phone at (435) 753-4732 or by check along with a form that may be secured by contacting McNeely at 261-9300 or mtcaudill@bresnan.net.

Last year McNeely finished fourth at the Western AA divisional in shot put and placed fifth at state with a Glacier High School freshman record toss of 37 feet, 4 inches.

She finished ninth at divisionals in the discus. Her best distance in that event was 101 feet.

Whitefish’s Kobelt

to play baseball

for St. Olaf College

Forrest Kobelt, a senior at Whitefish High School, has committed to St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, for baseball.

Kobelt, a left-handed pitcher/first baseman, had a 5-0 won-lost record last year for the Glacier Twins A American Legion baseball team. In 32 innings, mostly relief duty, he struck out 30 batters.

Kobelt was 9 of 18 hitting with seven RBIs.

Kobelt will be on an academic scholarship. NCAA Division III schools do not offer athletic scholarships.

Kobelt will be a starting pitcher for Glacier this season.

“I love the academics (at St. Olaf), the campus has a lot of gorgeous older buildings that have been refurbished and those were deciding factors,” he said. “I saw how the team worked (during a September visit), the way practice ran. I could see myself then on the team. That was huge for me.”

Kobelt said St. Olaf is rebuilding under a veteran coach.

Kobelt attended the Head First Honor Roll Baseball Camp in Long Island, New York, last August. The two-day event showcases athletes and academics for 100-plus coaches.

He met a St. Olaf assistant coach at that event.

Kobelt lettered in football at Whitefish for three years. He was a two-year starter as a quarterback/running back/linebacker. He earned honorable mention all-conference honors his senior year as a fullback.

Kobelt also plays doubles tennis for the Bulldogs.

Plakorus resigns as UM soccer coach

MISSOULA (UM Sports Information) — The University of Montana announced on Tuesday that Mark Plakorus has resigned from his position as head soccer coach. Plakorus led the Grizzlies from 2011-17.

“Ever since I was stationed in the Air Force, I knew that I wanted to become the head soccer coach at the University of Montana,” Plakorus said.

“Being a Grizzly is a unique privilege, and it has been an honor to lead the soccer program over the past seven years.

“I love this place, which makes this incredibly hard, but sometimes you have to sacrifice what you love in order to do what you’re destined to be. It’s time to step down to open up new opportunities that will allow me to grow as both a coach and person.”

Plakorus’ teams went 65-56-24 during his seven seasons, advancing to the Big Sky Championship on six occasions. The Grizzlies won three Big Sky titles under Plakorus’ leadership. In both 2016 and 2017, Montana earned regional rankings by the United Soccer Coaches.

During his first season, he secured Montana’s first NCAA tournament berth in 11 seasons after turning around a program that went just 3-12-3 the previous season.

“We definitely appreciate Mark and his contributions to our soccer program, and the success they’ve enjoyed both on and off the field,” director of athletics Kent Haslam said. “We wish Mark well in his future endeavors.”

Since 2011, Montana has garnered 26 first- or second-team All-Big Sky Conference accolades, in addition to six MVP awards. Plakorus was named the league’s coach of the year in 2014.

Off the field, Montana has been one of the best in the country, qualifying for the United Soccer Coaches Team Academic Award every year under Plakorus, in addition to 121 Academic All-Big Sky Conference selections – the most in the league during that span. The team’s GPA rose from 3.23 during his first season to 3.53 in 2016-17.

“These young ladies have excelled in everything they do, and that’s a credit to the people they are. I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished and what they’ll continue to do at the University of Montana and in all aspects of life.”

Assistant coach Katie Benz will oversee the soccer program during the spring. A national search for a new head coach will begin as soon as possible.

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