The Columbia Falls golf team will feature something that hasn't been done in years - an athlete playing two sports in the same season.
Parker Johnson will play both golf and football this year, juggling his schedule so he can play both.
Johnson is the first athlete to fully play two sports in the same season since Tait Rocksund, golf coach Gene Marcille said. Rocksund played golf and soccer and also kicked field goals and extra points for the football team.
There have been soccer players in recent memory who have also kicked for the football team, but none played a tackle position. Johnson, a senior, plans on also playing defensive back and wide receiver for the football team.
He said he'll miss just one non-conference football game and otherwise can work a schedule where he can practice and play both sports. Johnson is also a standout basketball and tennis player for the Wildcats.
Johnson is joined on the golf team by senior Brian Marcille, who played solid golf for the Wildcats last year. Coach Marcille expects good things from Johnson on the links this season.
"I see him being competitive in all our tournaments," Marcille said.
The boys have a host of freshmen and new faces on the team - all told, 14 attended the first practice last week.
This year's girls squad includes returning varsity players Morgan Love, Maggie Panasuk, McKenna Emmerich and Brittany Cotton. Marcille said he expects 10 girls on the squad.
Marcille has been the head coach of the golf program for 23 years. His assistant, Dan Frankino, has been coaching about 18 years. The team starts their season Aug. 29-30 with the Flatfish Tournament in Whitefish.
Marcille said the Whitefish boys will be tough to beat. The Bulldogs have Reed Platke - one of the top golfers in the state. Platke lives in Columbia Falls, but he golfs for Whitefish.
"We'll hear his name in golf a lot longer than in high school," Marcille said.
On the girls side, Polson looks to have a solid team, the coach said.