By CHRIS WALTERSKIRCHEN
When Rob Ash took over the MSU Bobcat football program in June of 2007 he inherited a program that while successful on the field was troubled off the field. The former Drake coach was hired as much for his football knowledge as for his skills as a disciplinarian. Now the Bobcat mentor has a chance in his sixth season in Bozeman to become MSU’s winningest football coach ever. Ash currently stands in fourth place on the career wins list but needs just 3 wins to reach number two in Cat coaching wins and 9 wins would put Ash past legendary Bobcat Sonny Holland as the winningest coach in school history.
In 2004, when Montana basketball coach Pat Kennedy left Missoula to take over as head coach at Maryland’s Towson University most Griz fans had never heard of the Colonial Athletic Association school. Now Montana fans will get to see a team from Towson play in Missoula. As part of the Montana Volleyball Invitational (September 7th and 8th) the Tigers will join the Furman Paladins and Texas Tech Red Raiders in the tournament.
The Towson volleyball team put on a great run at the end of last season winning 8 of their last 9 regular season matches before being upset in the opening Round of the NCAA Conference tournament.
Martell is said to have the arm strength and accuracy of most high school seniors. The young Prodigy has however drawn comparisons with another Phenom from Southern California–Todd Marinovich. Martell will be home-schooled this year to in part allow him more time to hone his skills before entering high school next fall.
The University of Washington football program got a very early verbal commitment recently for their 2017 recruiting class. Fourteen year old Tate Martell of San Diego announced, in July, that he will attend Washington and play football for the Washington Huskies. Martell has attended numerous quarterbacking camps in recent years and is well known among college coaches and scouting services.
A cautionary note for UW fans, verbal commitments from young teens don’t always work out. In the summer of 2005 Kalispell basketball prodigy Brock Ostweiler announced that his college future was set as he was committing to play basketball for Gonzaga. Instead, Ostweiler opted for football at Arizona State and is now the heir apparent in Denver behind Peyton Manning.
Chris Walterskirchen has been an observer of Montana sports for nearly half a century. A Kalispell native, Chris has worked in various capacities for professional and college sports organization of at various times: ranging from announcing and statistical work to the concessions and even a stint as a costumed mascot.
Chris has academic degrees in communications and elementary education. His style of sports trivia involves more than just who won and who lost, but also focuses on the obscure or human side of sports. In this blog you will learn things like the Grizzly football team has won 210 games over the 19 seasons since they have had Monte as their mascot or that UNLV is the only school that both the Griz and Lady Griz have both faced in the NCAA basketball tournament
When not following sports Chris enjoys taking care of animals of all kinds (a peacock rescue?) and reading to pre-schoolers.