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Spartan Scoop

Spartan Scoop

Inform · Connect · Entertain

Spartan Scoop

Retrain, Reeducate, and Reevaluate


The Sentinel Spartan sports program has been the buzz around Missoula recently, but not for the usual reason fans may be thinking.  Usually the school, vastly known for its sports program, is in the headlines for winning games, matches, everything in between. But throughout the 2021-2022 season all Sentinel High School teams are on probation according to Montana Sports.  The reason behind this is that Sentinel was found guilty in two major events beginning in 2019.  After various meetings, the sports program was put on probation on Monday, September 13th 2021.

What does this mean for the athletes, coaches, sporting staff, and other activities?  I sat down with the Athletic Director, Brian Fortmann, and asked him what the probation entailed for the students and staff, as well as what Sentinel is doing to prevent these problems in the future.

  Speaking to Fortmann, raised the biggest question, “why are we on probation?”  The Sentinel Sports Program isn’t on probation for just one thing in particular.  Sentinel is on probation for a lot of different reasons that accumulated into probation. Many rumors around Sentinel is that one sport is at fault, but no one sport can take full responsibility for Sentinel athletics being on probation. The regulations and potential punishments could and will apply to all sports at Sentinel regardless of season, status, and players. 

According to Fortmann, this year’s athletes should not see any change to their advantages or disadvantages playing sports.  As long as students comply with the MHSA (Montana High School Association) guidlines, everyone will still be eligible to compete the entire season. From a student standpoint, following the MHSA guidelines will ensure every athlete, fall through spring, gets to compete for the whole season.

As for the coaching staff and what they are also required to follow the MHSA guidelines.  Even though violations are made every day, knowingly or not, coaches should double-check and then triple-check that they’re following the guidelines to a T.  As stated in the interview with Fortmann, Sentinel is winning a lot and because of that, we’re going to be consistently under a microscope to explain the reasons behind our success.  On September 13th, 2021 there was a sports meeting for all of the head coaches of fall sports to discuss and watch a video presented by MHSA regarding rules and regulations. Even guest coaches and assistant coaches are required to watch the video to make sure everyone is on the same page.  In addition to the video,  there is also an extensive amount of rules and regulations that they must abide by for the safety of the athletes.  If the coaching staff follows the guidelines connected to each sport, there will be no explanation for Sentinel winning in sporting events, other than having talented athletes. 

I asked the final question of “what is your plan to make sure nothing like this will occur again?”  He stated the following plan that is already being implemented for the future,

“We are reeducating the coaches that have made or are making rule infractions and reminding them of the rules. Basically, retrain, reeducate, and reevaluate.”

  Fortmann also went into depth about the transfer policies in this interview due to rumors of Sentinel having students transfer to benefit the sports team.  He then went on and stated that you can’t just decide you want to transfer to another high school unless you have a reasonable clause, for that just means if you move into the Sentinel district. Each school also does not get the option of deciding who goes into a new district because of moving, for that is up to the MHSA to allow the transferring student into a different high school.  There was also a solid point raised that Montana, in the fall of 2020, was one of the few states that had sports due to the pandemic, so some people were moving here to get their children involved in sports.  During that time, a lot of serious talent transferred to Sentinel, and when Spartan sporting programs started winning, other teams started picking through our material with a fine-tooth comb.  Sentinel is the team to beat, so the heat is consistently on us because of the strong program.

The Sentinel Sports Program is still under fire for landing probation for the remainder of the school year, for even this reporter was confused on the reasoning.  After educating and getting the scoop on the probation, fans can now rest assured that staff and athletes are taking every precaution to avoid another probation in the following years to come.  All Spartan Athletes need to do this year is focus on their up-and-coming season, while following the MHSA guidelines, and uphold the reason why schools want to see Sentinel lose, cuz we can’t be beat.

About the Contributor
Delaney Crum
Delaney Crum, Reporter
My name is Delaney Crum, and this is my first year being a staff member of the Spartan Scoop.  When I asked my mom about how I should introduce myself in this bio, she said “you have a violently dry sense of humor”. As of now, I am going to take her words as a compliment and an attempt to help...but who knows what her actual motive was saying that.  In regards to school, I am a captain of the Sentinel Cheer Team and a member of the Sentinel Wind Ensemble, for I love having the opportunity to be a part of both groups.  In regards to the Spartan Scoop, on the other hand, I will mainly be tackling the sports and activities at Sentinel High School.  My goal for my writing this year is to write about sports and activities that don’t get the recognition that they deserve, thus shining a light on pupils and their abilities.  To finish on a more final and personal note about me, I love my cat, hanging plants, spending money, and driving without music.