Heart Butte Warriors Coach Kellen Hall was named Montana 10-C Coach of the Year for the third time as he led his team to a fourth place finish in Northern C.

Riley Reevis and Joe Murray, as well as Thomas Young Running Crane were named to the 2021-22 10-C 1st All Conference team while Marcus Rutherford and Frankie Calf Boss Ribs made the 2nd Team. Heart Butte Coach Kellen Hall was named 10-C Coach of the Year.

Coach Hall said it’s the third time he’s been named 10-C Coach of the Year, but said, “My award says more about my players than it does about me. I point the way, but they carve the path.”

While being a coach occupies a lot of his time, Hall has also been a Montana high school sports referee for 17 years. While he isn’t the only coach with referee experience, he notes its importance in helping players understand the game better.

“Every coach should be studying the rules,” he said, “because we’re here to teach kids.”

Knowing the rules helps coaches teach their players how to avoid fouling, and being a referee enables a coach to advise his players how best to keep out of foul trouble.

“Tidbits like that go a long way,” he said. “Kids today want to know why, and I want to give them those answers.”

Besides earning All Conference and coaching honors, the Heart Butte Warriors are bidding farewell to three seniors, Frankie Calf Boss Ribs, Joe Murray and Marcus Rutherford.

“This was Frankie’s first full season in high school, first with Heart Butte anyway,” Coach Hall said. “He took the COVID-19 year off, and he was a little rusty, but when it comes to a work ethic and attitude, he set the example. He worked hard every day and had the best attitude of any player for as long as I’ve coached. He was a good leader all around, and I wish I could have coached him all four years instead of just one. It’s players like him that make you want to come back and coach another year.”

As for Joe Murray, Coach Hall had two years with this player who arrived in the midst of the pandemic. He notes having had only nine athletes in the program that year.

“Joe stepped up into leading the team that year,” Hall said. “He had to jump right into a leadership role, being the new guy. He did a lot of catching up with his skills, and with his off-season work he became one of the best shooters in the state. I could put him in any position, and I’m proud he made All-Conference.”

Finally, there’s Marcus Rutherford who Coach Hall said called the shots for the team.

“He’s the fourth player I’ve had for four years, and he knew the system inside and out,” the coach said. “He was a general on the floor. Even if he didn’t have the ball, he was telling the other players where to go. He was reading offense and defense. I like to give my players autonomy so they can grow by making their own decisions. He could have coached a day a week; that’s how good he was at learning it. It’s a shame when you lose a leader like that.”

With the 2021-22 season under their belts, Coach Hall and the rest of the Heart Butte are awaiting fall and winter sports to come again next season.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.