By CHRIS WALTERSKIRCHEN
Twenty-five years ago this week the 1991 American Legion baseball season began, a season that would see the AA Mavericks claim a state title. But the long-term impact on the program would be the new coach in the A program, then known as the Reds. Brent Hathaway took over the A team and quickly established that he was feisty and demanding. While his first team struggled the following year, the remnants of that squad, along with some new blood brought the Reds to the Northwest Regional Championship.
In his 24 seasons as head coach of the AA Mavericks, Hathaway’s teams have won 6 state titles and have had 6 runner-up finishes. Ten of Hathaway’s players have gone on to play professionally. Hathaway, a highly thought-of math teacher in the area, credits much of his success and that of the program’s to the fact that the players are expected to be a class act on and off the field. Mike Maddux is the pitching coach of the Chicago Cubs but credits Hathaway for helping him develop a reporite with his palyers.
Former Mariner star Icharo Suzuki has moved into the 32nd spot on the MLB all-time hits list. He passed Barry Bonds and Frank Robinson earlier this season and now is 14 hits behind Sam Crawford and is 53 hits away from the magic 3,000-hit plateau.
The Northern Colorado Bears football schedule has a unique non-conference schedule in 2016. The UNC Bears open at home against the Bears of Rocky Mountain College. Don’t smerk, as in 1975 MSU-Billings went to Flagstaff and beat NAU. Then its off to Abilene Texas to face recent FCS addition Abilene Christian. To top-off the non-conference schedule the Bears venture down the road to take on the Colorado State Rams. The week before their annual “Brawl Of The Wild” the Griz will be in Greeley to take on UNC.
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.