Chargers name new head coach:
Tony Forster has been named the new skipper of the Great Falls Chargers AA Legion baseball program.
The 31-year-old Great Falls native and 2004 graduate of C.M. Russell High will take over for Levi Johnson, whose contract was not renewed this offseason.
“It is exciting,” Forster said. “It’s just something that I think it’s time for me to try to give a shot. It’s something that I’ve been thinking about this past year. I’m just excited to get started.”
Johnson was 58-94 in his three seasons as manager. This past season he led the Chargers to an appearance in the state tournament for the first time since 2013.
“Coach Johnson did a great job with the program,” Forster said. “When he first took over the program we had pretty much nothing but 16-year-olds on the team, so trying to compete against 18- and 19-year-old kids was a struggle. But I think he did a good job of progressing those kids for the past three years and making the state tournament last year. The program that he built was a great one. It’s not going to really change very much.”
Forster, still making headway on additions to his staff, has prior coaching experience with the Great Falls Stallions – the team he played for when he was younger – and the AA ballclub.
“Being on staff and being a part of it for the past eight, nine years, it’s just exciting to have my opportunity to try to build this program and try to win some ballgames,” he said.
Forster was a standout shortstop growing up in the Electric City and played college baseball at Arizona Western Community College for two years, then finished at Valley City State in North Dakota his final two seasons.
Forster is excited about the potential of next year’s roster.
“We lost Wyatt Bleskin, who is going to be tough to replace,” he said. “But there’s some good younger kids that were on the A team that I think are going to step in and help us out right away. And we have a pretty good core of kids coming back that played some key spots for us on the AA that I expect a lot of this year.”