In the first Kiwanis meeting of the year, there was no program set due to the lack of attendance expected. However, Thursday’s, Jan. 9, Kiwanis meeting was back to capacity, all of whom were there to listen to the annual winter’s coaches reports from local Sidney coaches.
First up to speak was Girls 19U Hockey coach Kelly Berndt.
“This is my fourth year with the program,” he said. “We’re about at the halfway point of our season now. We have played 15 games so far and we’re sitting at 10-5 as our record; 2-1 is our record in the league. We have been in the thick of things in our league the last four years, we got one state championship the last four years and finished third last year. We play two big-league games this weekend with Crosby on Saturday and then on Sunday we play Wahpeton. Those should be real competitive games.”
Despite admitting some good, some bad so far on the year, Berndt is pleased with where the team is at.
“So far, the season is going well for us, the girls have put in a lot of hard work,” he said. “They’re on the ice three nights a week, we usually play Friday, Saturday and Sunday and then I have them lifting in the weight room at 6 a.m. twice a week as well. What we’re trying to get them to focus on this year is working the right way, having a purposeful approach in everything that you do whether it’s practice, games, the weight room and focus on bringing them together as a family. They’re a real fun group.”
Next up to speak and the first of the Sidney High School coaches was the Sidney Eagles basketball C-Squad freshmen girls coach Zach Leader.
“The girls have been working really hard this year. It’s been fun and they’re starting to buy into what we’re saying,” he said. “I think we got it moving in the right direction. Our conference record so far this year is 2-0. Season is going well so far; the girls are competing really well in our own division. We have taken a few tough bumps out of the conference, but their play has been encouraging. As far as competing at the varsity level, it’s been good this year and hopefully, we can continue to build on that into March.”
Sidney Activities Director Chris Lee also has been very impressed with the girls basketball teams.
“It’s been awesome watching those girls improve. They went through a really tough time with a lot of coaching turnover, they’ve had the same three coaches the last two seasons, so it’s been really good to see them buy into the program.”
Continuing the basketball theme, next up to speak was Sidney Eagles boys varsity basketball coach Chad Quilling.
“It was a rough start to the season. This year, I have four seniors, seven juniors, 10 sophomores and five freshmen,” he said. “We’re currently 0-2 in conference. We went down to BC and Hardin, we took our lumps. We went up to Lewistown last weekend, played good for about three and a half quarters and the bad part is, the game has four quarters and it got away from us 12-14 points.”
There’s a lot of season still left and Quilling is anxious for next week.
“Next Thursday, we have Glendive here. Come out, you can watch girls basketball, watch our wrestlers and then boys basketball that same evening.”
Next up to speak with the Sidney Cheerleading head coach Katie Dasinger.
“We received a bid to the Universal Cheerleading Association National Championships in Orlando, Florida for the first week of February, so we’re planning on attending. We’re really excited,” she said. “We have 10 girls who are attending in between cleaning up their routines and getting ready for nationals and we’re also working on routines for nationals and our gameday things, so that we are able be at every home sporting event.”
Last but not least to speak was Sidney Eagles wrestling coach Guy Melby.
“First of all, I’d just like to thank Sidney, I don’t think people realize how generous this community is as far as helping our athletes,” he said. “When I go someplace to speak or go to another tournament, other people are just dumbfounded by the support that we get from our community and I think that’s just awesome. Our kids couldn’t do a lot of the things they do if we didn’t live in this place.”
As far as the season is going, it’s business as usual for Melby and his wrestlers, dominating in the season so far, currently holding an undefeated record.
“We have had a great first part of the year; this has been our same team now for about three years, we have three seniors in Jett Jones, Everett Jensen and Kaiden Cline, but we’re still very young, but we don’t look like it,” he said. “The only team that has beat us that last three years was Post Falls, Idaho and we beat them twice, once in the dual and once in the tournament at the Eagle Invite. We do go down to the Gillette Duals and our closest match down there 58-15. We had eight our 13 guys go undefeated in that tournament.”
In the most recent matches, the scoring continued to be one-sided in favor of the Eagles.
“We did have a home meet this past weekend, we had Havre and Lewistown here and it was kind of fun to tattoo Havre because they have been a thorn in our side a few years ago,” Melby said. “We did have a guy sick at 170 pounds, so we had to give up six points and that hurt. We wanted to goose, but couldn’t quite get it.
With the continued dominance by the Sidney Eagles, Melby is always looking to challenge his wrestlers as much as he can.
“We’re trying to challenge our guys on a daily and weekly basis, so we did pick up a really tough tournament next weekend in the Casper Duals,” he said. “We’re pushing the envelope and trying to push our guys as hard as we can push them.”
The next Kiwanis meeting will be held Thursday, Jan. 16, at noon at Elks Lodge.