Valley Coaches Receive Recognition

Kelliann Blackburn, Arron Deck and Chris Schwaderer named Coach of the Year in their respective sports

By Micah Drew
Arron Deck, head boys track coach at Glacier High School directs a relay race at a practice in Kalispell on April 14, 2022. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon

Three Flathead Valley spring sport coaches earned “Coach of the Year” awards from the Montana Coaches Association this week.

Whitefish track and field coach Kelliann Blackburn has been named the 2022 Class A Girls Track and Field Coach of the Year, Glacier coach Arron Deck earned the same award for Class AA Boys Track and Field, and Whitefish tennis coach Chris Schwaderer earned the Class A Boys Tennis honor.

Blackburn’s track team earned 103 points over the two-day state championship meet in Butte last month to reclaim the state title after coming up short in 2021. The Bulldogs had wins in the 100m, 200m, High Jump, 4x100m relay and 4x400m relay as well as nine additional top-four marks. This was the team’s fifth state title in program history.

Under the watchful eye of Arron Deck, the Glacier Wolfpack finished second at the Class AA state meet to cap off Deck’s tenure as a coach. The Wolfpack finished with 80 points, just nine behind champion Sentinel in a close team battle that came down to the final event. Glacier won titles in the 1600m and the triple jump.

The Bulldogs men’s tennis team was named co-champions with Billings Central, each scoring 18 points. The Bulldogs didn’t have any individual champions but saw a boys single finish fourth and a doubles team finish third.

The Montana Coaches Association names its coaches of the year across all sports and classifications at the end of each high school sports season following a vote by member coaches. This school year’s winners will be honored at the 2022 MCA Awards, July 28 at C.M. Russell High School in Great Falls.

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