Category: General News

Coach Jon Burnett

Senators name Burnett head coach

Helena American Legion Baseball is proud to announce the hiring of Jon Burnett as the head coach of the Helena Senators.

The former Senator player’s Reps teams have accumulated a 216-86-1 record over the last five years (a .715 winning percentage), and his ability to coach and train players is highly valued in the Helena program.

We are excited to see “Coach B” lead Helena into a new era and to carry on the legacy of sportsmanship and winning baseball passed down through Coach Thennis.

By Richie Melby, Sports director for KTVH in Helena

Helena Senators announce Jon Burnett as new manager

HELENA – The Helena American Legion Baseball program didn’t have to look far for its new manager.

General manager Greg Thornquist told MTN Sports Sunday evening that Jon Burnett has been hired to replace the retired Dave Thennis as head coach of the American Legion Class AA club. Thennis announced his retirement last week.

“The baseball board met on Saturday and unanimously agreed that Jon be the head coach,” said Thornquist. “Jon has been involved with the program for maybe 14 years, he is a wonderful coach, which is apparent by his record coupled with his baseball knowledge, love of the game and ability to work with the kids and fellow coaches.”

“I’m very excited to continue the tradition coach Thennis has established,” said Burnett. I’ve coached with him and been a player for him in the last 17 years. There will be a lot of similarities in the way we run the program, I’ll have my own twist but it will be a very similar style in the program.”

Burnett, a former Senator player, has guided the Class A Helena Reps and compiled a 216-86-1 record in the past seven seasons, good for a .715 winning percentage. The Reps posted a 43-14 record this past season, including a 21-7 mark in conference play. Helena went 1-2 at the district tournament, ending its season in a loss against Bozeman.

“I’ve been head coach of the Reps for seven years and assistant for seven years so I’m not new to the scene but pretty excited to get to coach against and be colleagues with some of those guys that are established at the AA level,” said Burnett.

Burnett takes over for Thennis, who led the Senators to three consecutive state titles beginning in 2001. Thennis amassed more than 650 wins during his 20-year run with the program.

“We have a pretty strong core of kids that will be moving up but we lose quite a few seniors this year so it will be interesting to see how younger kids work into the AA side,” Burnett said. “I’m excited to see them continually grow and we have some pretty solid kids coming back, especially our pitching staff. I’m excited for next year, see how kids grow and step into the role of AA players.”

Coach Thennis retires after 20 years

By Curt Synness,

Longtime Helena Senators Legion baseball coach Dave Thennis is hanging up his spikes.

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.

When the Senators captured the State title in 2001, it was only the second American Legion baseball crown in local history, and the first in 33 years, since 1968.

But despite all the numbers, records and championships, what Thennis — who started out as a pitcher for the Reps and Senators in the late 1980s — will remember the most are the thousands of people he was associated with in the Helena Legion baseball program.

“Coach ‘T’ always put doing the right thing ahead of all else, including winning,” related Helena pitching coach Seth O’Connell, who was a player on two of the Senators’ State championship teams. “His passion and respect for the game is unmatched, and he approaches everything he does with great pride and preparation.”

O’Connell noted that Thennis “always put the kids first,” and he insisted things were done the right way, with class.

“Wow. Where do I start? I have a million thoughts,” said Thennis, when asked to sum up his career after announcing his retirement on Wednesday. “I really just keep thinking of the players I have coached. The coaches I’ve worked with, and the opponents we played. What a collection of memories, I have learned so much from them.”

Thennis, who retires as the second-longest tenured AA coach, after Brent Hathaway (Missoula Mavs), was known for his high baseball IQ, and his intense, fiercely competitive nature. But he could also be good-natured and fun loving, and had a reputation as a classy sportsman — win, lose or draw.

“Dave had no tolerance for poor sportsmanship … his teams wouldn’t win every game, but they carried themselves as good citizens,” O’Connell stated. “He always knew what to say, and what the kids needed to hear, in any situation. He gave me goose bumps hundreds of times.”

O’Connell, who was named the MVP of the 2002 State Tournament, recounted how “Coach T taught me how to play the game the right way,” to always approach it one pitch at a time.

“He is, and always will be, my role model,” O’Connell said.

Thennis said that he’s “proud of our accomplishments,” and thankful to have been a part of such a great program.

“Hopefully my players found value in their experience,” Thennis said. “I will miss practice, bus rides and tight ball games. But mostly I’ll miss the players and coaches.”

Gun Raffle

10 Guns in 10 Days Raffle

We have our winners!

Congratulations to the winners of our 10 Guns in 10 Days Raffle. We decided to release all the winners on September 1, 2017, so check the image below to see if you are a grand prize winner. Thank you to everyone for supporting Helena American Legion Baseball!

Before going to Capital Sports, have them call ahead at (406) 443-2978 to make sure Dave Iken is available, as he will be the only one distributing the prizes. Each winner will need to have a valid ID and will need to fill out the appropriate paperwork.

Gun Raffle Winners

Support Helena American Legion Baseball through our 10 Guns in 10 Days raffle fundraiser!

  • Tickets are $40 per ticket or 3 tickets for $100
  • Maximum of 500 tickets sold
  • Must be 18 years to purchase. All laws and regulations apply.
  • One ticket will drawn per day for 10 days beginning September 1, 2017
  • If winner does not want a gun, they will be given Capital Sports and Western store credit equal to the cost of that particular gun.

You can purchase tickets from:

  1. Any Helena American Legion Baseball player
  2. The concession stand during any Helena American Legion Baseball at Kindrick Legion Field
  3. Contacting General Manager Greg Thornquist at (406) 439-6598 or

Gun Drawings:

  1. Ruger LC9s 9mm compact pistol blk/ poly frame
  2. Ruger 10/22 MIC  22LR 15rd wood stock copy WWII era M carbine
  3. Ruger 10/22 Take Down  22LR Synthetic stock
  4. Savage trophy hunter package 308 Win blk/ synthetic stock w/ 3-9X40 bushnell trophy scope
  5. Colt Expanse AR-15 5.56mm m-4 flat top rifle
  6. Ruger America 300 win mag rifle stainless/ synthetic stock
  7. Ruger America 30-06 Rifle blk synthetic stock
  8. Ruger American std 17hmr 22″ bbl blk/synthetic stock
  9. Ruger American stnd 22LR 22″ bbl blk/ synthetic stock w/iron sights
  10. Hoyt Powermax bow package 5 pin fuse site, Qad hunter fall away rest, fuse stablizer 60-70# adjustable length

All proceeds will go to benefit Helena American Legion Baseball!

Broadcast schedule for Senators

Note: State AA Baseball games will be broadcast on ESPN Montana 94.9 FM on July 26–30, 2017.

Hear Jay Scott call Helena Senators games through KHGC Helena’s online stream! Below is KHGC’s broadcast schedule.

Listen Online06/04/17 Butte Butte, MT (Copper Mountain Recreation Complex) 5PM (2×7)

06/08/17 Bozeman Bozeman, MT (Heroes Park) 7PM (1×9)

06/09/17 Bozeman Bozeman, MT (Heroes Park) 7PM (1×9)

06/12/17 Missoula Helena, MT (Kindrick Legion Field) 7PM (1×9)

06/13/17 Missoula Helena, MT (Kindrick Legion Field) 7PM (1×9)

06/14/17 Helena Brewers Helena, MT (Kindrick Legion Field) TBD Exhibition

06/16/17 Billings Helena, MT (Kindrick Legion Field) 7PM (1×9)

06/17/17 Billings Helena, MT (Kindrick Legion Field) 1PM (1×9)

06/20/17 Lethbridge Lethbridge, AL (Spitz Stadium) 5PM (2×7)

06/27/17 Kalispell Kalispell, MT (Griffin Field) 5PM (2×7)

06/29/17 Keith Sell Tournament Helena, MT (Kindrick Legion Field) TBD (1×7)

06/30/17 Keith Sell Tournament Helena, MT (Kindrick Legion Field) TBD (1×7)

07/01/17 Keith Sell Tournament Helena, MT (Kindrick Legion Field) TBD (1×7)

07/02/17 Keith Sell Tournament Helena, MT (Kindrick Legion Field) TBD (1×7)

07/12/17 Medicine Hat Helena, MT (Kindrick Legion Field) 5PM (2×7)

07/14/16 Great Falls Helena, MT (Kindrick Legion Field) 7PM (1×9)

07/15/17 Great Falls Helena, MT (Kindrick Legion Field) 7PM (1×9)

07/18/17 Butte Helena, MT (Kindrick Legion Field) 7PM (1×9)

07/19/17 Butte Helena, MT (Kindrick Legion Field) 7PM (1×9)

07/20/17 Billings Billings, MT (Dehler Park) 7PM (1×9)

07/21/17 Billings Billings, MT (Dehler Park) 1PM (1×9)

07/23/17 Bozeman Bozeman, MT (Heroes Park) 1PM (1×9)

07/26/17 – 07/30/17 AA State Tournament Bozeman, MT (Heroes Park)

08/02/17 – 08/06/17 Regional Tournament Missoula, MT (Lindborg-Cregg Field)

Conor McCarvel and Seth Barrett

McCarvel, Barrett promoted

Conor McCarvel has been promoted to the Helena Senators and Seth Barrett to the Helena Reps. Both promotions are permanent.

McCarvel, a junior from Capital High School, played with the Senators over the Memorial Day weekend and hit a scorching .533 (8-15) from the two-hole during the Mavs tournament. He is hitting .370 in eight games for the Senators after hitting .364 in 13 games for the Reps.

The versatile right-handed utility player was also 1-0 with a 3.50 ERA in three games pitched for the Reps.

McCarvel is the second in his family to play for the Senators, joining his older brother Rob McCarvel, who played for the team in 2016. Rob is now cadet at the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York.

Seth Barrett is reunited with his twin brother Ryan on the Reps. The sophomore hit .409 for the Independents and was 1-1 with a 2.47 ERA over three games on the mound.

Helena American Legion Baseball would like to congratulate McCarvel and Barrett on their well-deserved promotions.

Community Appreciation Days

2017 Community Appreciation Days

Helena American Legion Baseball will be hosting several Community Appreciate Days throughout the baseball season.

Show an ID and receive free admittance to the game – your family is included!

Special Dates

April 30: Carroll College Day

May 14: Mother & Grandmother Appreciation Day (Reps & Senators). No ID necessary.

May 21: Helena and Capital High (Reps)

June 2: Helena College (Reps)

June 12: Food Share Fundraiser (Senators). Bring two canned or dry goods items (2 per person) for Helena Food Share and get in free.

June 13: Military Appreciation day (Senators)

June 16: State of Montana Employees (Senators)

June 17: St. Peter’s Hospital Employees (Senators)

July 12: Food Share Fundraiser (Senators)

July 14: City of Helena Employees (Senators)

July 15: Blue Cross/Blue Shield Employees (Senators)

Spring Cleanup

Parent Meeting & Spring Cleanup

On April 15th at 9:00 a.m., there will be a mandatory parents-only meeting at the CR Anderson Gym.

After the meeting (around 10 a.m.), we will head over to Kendrick Legion Field for a spring cleaning of the grounds to get ready for opening day. This cleanup is also mandatory for all players and parents.

Bring cleaning supplies including rakes, shovels, rags, broom, leaf blowers, etc. Cleaning includes stands, concessions, bathrooms and interior and exterior of ballpark. We will need a couple of power washers to spray down the stands. We will need all to participate so we can get it done quickly! Spread the word – this cleaning is essential as we head into spring and summer.

We’ll also get to enjoy a scrimmage between the Senators and the Reps beginning at 10:30 a.m.

See you out there, and go Helena American Legion Baseball!

Informational Meeting 2017

2017 Registration Meeting

Players interested in playing for the Senators, Reps, or Independents should attend a short informational meeting on January 28th at 9AM in the CRA library.

Topics will include financial obligations, tryout info, and general information about the baseball program. See you there!

Can’t make it? Download the 2017 American Legion Baseball Registration Form.


  1. Player Eligibility – Current Enrollment in grades 8-13
  2. Structure of the baseball program
    • Senators – Varsity
    • Reps – Junior Varsity
    • Independents – Freshman/Sophomore
  3. General Manager – Greg Thornquist – Oversees the program for finances etc.
  4. Coaching Staff
    • Dave Thennis – Head Coach
    • Seth O’Connell – Senator Asst.
    • Anthony Hogan – Senator Asst.
    • John Anderson – Senator Asst.
    • Jon Burnett – Reps Head Coach
    • Brendon McGuire – Reps Asst.
  5. Winter Workouts – See schedule
  6. Player Time Commitments
    • Primary commitment to baseball during baseball season
    • Camp Absences – Players are allowed up to 5 excused absences (must be communicated and approved by head coach) for athletic camps or other academic/athletic opportunities. During an excused 2 conference games can be missed. Coaches should be notified at least 30 days prior to the absence.
  7. Financial Commitment
    • $250 Uniform Fee
    • $400 Ticket / Fundraising
  8. Returning Senators/Reps Tryouts
    • March 18 – 11AM-1PM
    • March 19 – 11AM-1PM
    • March 20 – 5PM-7PM
  9. Reps/Independent Tryouts
    • April 4 – 5-7PM
    • April 5 – 5-7PM
    • April 6 – 5-7PM
Baseball on the field

Winter Pitching & Catching Prospect Camp

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Who: Grades 9-12

Location: Montana State University Billings- Lower Gym

Starts: 10:00am / Ends: 1:00pm

Camp Cost: $85.00

Camp Description

Don’t miss this fantastic opportunity to learn what it takes to become a pitcher or at the college level, as well as showcase your skills to the entire MSUB staff. This camp will offer tips on pitching and catching mechanics, and arm care programs, game-like repetitions and a filmed bullpen session. Below is the itinerary for the day.

  • 9:30am: Player check-in
  • 10:00am: Dynamic Warm-up
  • 10:15am: Arm-care Programs/Catcher BP
  • 10:45am: Attack the Running Game/Catcher BP
  • 11:15am: Bullpens & P/C Skill Rotations, Post Bullpen Arm Care & Evaluation
  • 12:45pm: Q&A/Camp Close


Each camper must bring his own baseball equipment. Players should bring a glove, running shoes or turf shoes, hat, and any other equipment they feel necessary. Catchers are recommended to wear baseball pants, but it is not required. Catchers must bring their own gear. The camp is not responsible for lost belongings.


The Lower gym is located in the bottom floor of the Physical Education building next to the softball field. Guest parking passes will be available for the tennis court lot across the road.


To register, visit and click on the baseball tab.

For any questions or concerns, please contact Ryan Wright at (208) 739-6525.