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Missoula Big Sky celebrates 8 student-athletes with signing day

Big Sky signing day.jpg
Posted at 9:29 PM, Apr 28, 2022

MISSOULA — Missoula Big Sky High School celebrated eight student-athletes who made their college commitments official earlier Thursday.

The Eagles held a signing ceremony in their gym where they highlighted the students who will be taking their college athletic talents to the next level.

Men's basketball, football, track and field, golf, cross country and wrestling were all sports that students signed to compete in, with some staying in-state and others heading to places like Seattle, Arizona and Iowa.

Four of the eight signed to head to Butte to compete for Montana Tech. Chaise Meyer signed to play football, while Hadlea Fred and Cole Sandberg both signed with the track and field team. Hayden Ellis signed with Tech's golf program.

"I'm really excited I already have friends on the team so it's going to be fun to be able to run with them and they're doing really well so far so I'm excited to run with the good athletes that they have," Fred said.

"I kind of chose Montana Tech because my mom played basketball there in the 80s and then my brother played football for Tech from 2012-16 so it's kind of a little family tradition to go to Butte," Meyer added. "Obviously whenever you're anywhere and there's Butte athletics everybody is out for it it's something big."

Gabbie Hasskamp signed with Northern Arizona's track and field team, Nathaniel Gale signed to run cross country and track and field with Seattle Pacific, and Isaac Ayers signed with Luther College in Iowa to wrestle.

Caden Bateman was the lone athlete staying home to play for the Montana Grizzlies men's basketball team.

"The Griz was a pretty easy choice for myself because getting to stay here in Missoula was pretty nice to know that I'd be able to have the hometown behind me," Bateman said. "Everywhere I go people are congratulating me and excited to see what I can do at that level."

The school season has almost wound to a close, and students were excited to celebrate their accomplishments by making it to the next level with friends and family in attendance.

They even included one unique case with Gale, who attends Florence-Carlton High School, but competes in a co-op with Big Sky during cross country season.

"It's been a long process coming from a school that has a dirt track, it definitely makes things harder for getting a track scholarship," Gale said. "I'm cycling through 8 coaches per year and carpooling all over the place but it's really worth it to be able to have this experience and meet all the people that I do."