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Several former high school standouts from western Montana are in Australia this week as part of a Montana all-star football team.

The Montana squad, guided by Helena coach Tony Arntson, has won six straight Down Under Bowl football games since the 1996 competition. And Arntson rates this team as the best all-around squad of the five he's taken to Australia.

The Montana team includes three Frenchtown Broncs: tight end Doug Lefler, tackle Rainier Batt and defensive end Tanner Woodward. Other players from the region include running back Luke Lagomasino and receiver Ryan Hoon of Lincoln, and fullback Jeff Block of Florence.

The team left Missoula last weekend. It will spend nine days in Australia, playing two games, and visit Hawaii on the return trip home. Montana is scheduled to play a team from Massachusetts, and another from either Nevada or northern Colorado.

Among the Montana defensive players are 10 of the 11 starters from Helena High's state Class AA runner-up team. The Montana roster includes 41 players, representing 18 schools and all four enrollment classifications.

n The Bozeman Hawks and Havre Blue Ponies are repeat champions in the Universal Athletics All-Sports Awards for the 1998-99 school year.

Bozeman was the top Class AA school for the fourth straight year. Havre repeated in Class A, while Huntley Project edged Frenchtown for the Class B title and Kremlin-Gildford took the Class C crown.

The award is presented to the Montana school in each enrollment classification which accumulates the most points by placing in the top four in the 18 boys' and girls' sports sanctioned by the Montana High School Association. Points were awarded on a 25-15-10-5 basis for football, boys' and girls' basketball, wrestling, volleyball, and boys' and girls' track. The point system was 12-9-6-3 for golf, tennis, swimming, cross country, soccer and softball.

Bozeman, which won five state championships and was the runner-up in two others, collected 139Þ points, followed by Great Falls Russell (104) and Kalispell (87Þ). Hellgate was the top Missoula school, placing ninth, while Sentinel was 11th. Big Sky was last among the 13 Class AA schools.

Havre, which won state titles in wrestling and volleyball, was a runaway victor in Class A with 90Þ points, followed by Billings Central (51) and Colstrip (48). The top Western A school was Polson, sixth with 42.

Huntley Project edged Frenchtown 60-59 in Class B. Huntley had a rare boys' double, winning the state football and boys' basketball titles, while the Frenchtown girls had a superb year with state championships in cross country and softball, and runner-up trophies in basketball and track. Malta was third with 50 points.

Kremlin-Gildford ruled Class C with 74Þ points, two ahead of Chester. The K-G boys won state crowns in basketball, track and cross country, and won the six-man football title as a co-op team with Blue Sky. Harlowton, Box Elder and Bridger tied for third.

Here are the final leaders, along with western Montana placers:

Class AA - 1, Bozeman 139Þ; 2, Great Falls Russell 104; 3, Kalispell 87Þ; 4, Billings West 87; 5, (tie) Great Falls and Helena 59. Also: 9, Hellgate 27; 11, Sentinel 18; 13, Big Sky 0.

Class A - 1, Havre 90Þ; 2, Billings Central 51; 3, Colstrip 48; 4, Sidney 45; 5, Miles City 44. Also: 6, Polson 42; 10, Hamilton 31; 11, Whitefish 28; 13, Stevensville 24; 17, Columbia Falls 11; 18, Ronan 10; 21, Libby 8; 22, Corvallis 6.

Class B - 1, Huntley Project 60; 2, Frenchtown 59; 3, Malta 50; 4, Conrad 42; 5, Manhattan 41. Also: 8, Florence 34; 11, Missoula Loyola 23; 16, Valley Christian 12; 19, Plains 9.

Class C - 1, Kremlin-Gildford 74Þ; 2, Chester 72Þ; 3, (tie) Box Elder, Harlowton, Bridger 25. Also: 13, Superior 12; 16, Charlo 10; 23, Drummond 5.

Ejections from sports contests are on the increase, according to figures released by the Montana High School Association.

There was a 20 percent increase during the 1998-99 school year, with football, boys' soccer and boys' bas

ketball leading the way.

Out of 182 schools, 116 had no ejections. The majority of Class A, B and C schools had only one ejection for all sports. Three schools had more than five: Billings Senior with 12, Two Eagle River with seven and Columbia Falls with six.

A total of 23 coaches were ejected from contests, an all-time high.

Tuesday - 6/29/99

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