The Columbia Falls football team should be right in the mix again as one of the top football teams in Class A. While the Wildcats lost 19 seniors to graduation, they still have a solid core of players with varsity experience from last year’s team, which fell just short in the state championship to Dillon.
“It’s the best defense since I’ve been here,” said sixth-year coach Jaxon Schweikert. The defense has a host of talent, from the defensive line to its safeties, he noted.
Defensive end Logan Kolodejchuk is one of the best players in the state. He’s joined by defensive linemen Kyler Koski, Gage Karlin, Jacob Hagen and Hayden Falkner. Austin Green and Ben Windauer are lights out at safety and the backfield linebacking corps includes Colten McPhee, Shane Gee and Parker Greene to name a few.
They’re big, too. Karlin weighs about 300 pounds, Koski is 270. They’ll also look for good things from Devron Harris, a cornerback transfer from Georgia.
Green, a senior with three years varsity experience as a receiver and safety, will be the squad’s quarterback this season. Kolodejchuk, McPhee and the speedy Seth Gossett are running backs. Look for sophomore Easton Sempf to get some playing time pounding the rock as well. Green is mobile and can also run the ball.
Schweikert said they have a solid offensive line with Karlin, Tanner Gove and Falkner anchoring the squad. Windauer and Drew Morgan are wide receivers. While the running game and short passing game are looking good, Schweikert said they still have work to do on their long passing game.
The Cats will get tested early this season. They face an always tough Hamilton team on the road to open the season Sept. 1 and then face rival Dillon on the road the next week. Dillon beat the Cats for last year’s state title 34-17 so the Cats will look to even the score.
The Northwest A conference also adds three teams this year with Browning shifting over from the Central conference and Libby and Ronan back in Class A.
Polson has a new coach this year and lost a lot of their top players form last year to graduation, but they still look to be the team to beat in conference play.