Kienan Stief, Dave Thennis photo

Kienan Stief, left, poses with his Earl Tucker Trophy as Senators batting champ, with retiring coach Dave Thennis.

CYNTHIA MCCARVEL THORNQUIST For the Independent Record

HELENA -- Kienan Stief walked away with a triple crown at the recent Helena Senators American Legion baseball awards banquet, which was held in Carroll College's Lower Campus Center.

Stief garnered the Earl Tucker Trophy, the Dick Muffick Award and the Betty Cottingham MVP Award.

The shortstop hit .396 as the team batting champion this summer for the Tucker Trophy, and received the Muffick award as Most Competitive. The Cottingham award goes to the player for his combination of sportsmanship, citizenship, leadership and outstanding play.

Keaton Ralston was recognized twice, capturing the Ace Kindrick Pitching Award and the Stanley Foote Award for Most Improved Player/Rookie of the Year.

The Kindrick award goes to the team's top pitcher based on a points system. Ralston amassed 123 points, while posting a 6-1 record. He led the team with a 2.62 ERA and 67 strikeouts (in 72 innings).

Catcher Jackson Maynard received the Zach Murfitt Award for Most Inspirational.

Helena went 32-25 overall this past season. They entered the State Tournament as the No. 4 seed, which is where they finished, going 2-2 in the tourney to make the Final Four.

The banquet was also the Swan Song for longtime coach Dave Thennis, who retired after the season.

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Over the course of a history-making career that spanned three decades from 1998-2017, Thennis compiled a lifetime record of 656-522 for a .557 winning percentage.

During his 20 seasons, the Senators averaged 33 wins a year. His teams won three State AA championships (2001-03), qualified for the State tournament 16 times, and posted 17 .500-plus seasons. All of which are team records.

“I’ll miss the players, the coaches, the parents, the practices and the bus rides,” Thennis said in his farewell speech. “But most of all, I think I’m going to miss competing in tight ball games more than anything.”

Curt Synness is on Twitter @curtsynness_IR and can be reached at curt.synness@lee.net or curt52synness@gmail.com

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