By CHRIS WALTERSKIRCHEN
The Montana Grizzlies have an unusual kick-off time for their November 5th home game with Idaho State. As Mike Kramer makes his first apprentice at Washington Grizzly Stadium his Idaho State face Montana in a 5:00 p.m. start time. Kramer brought his 2006 MSU Bobcats to Missoula and despite a 13-6 lost to the Grizzlies the Cats went on to win a first round in the FCS Championship before being put away by eventual National Champion, Appalachian State. The ISU Bengals came to Missoula in 2012 and lost 70-24, but Kramer had been suspended for one week for a fight with one of his players.
St. Francis, the Griz opening week opponent, is from Pennsylvania and will be the first team from the Keystone State the Griz have faced since 2009. In 2009 Montana faced Villanova in the FCS title game falling to the Cats 23-21.
One of the incoming freshman for the Griz is Gresch Jensen from Auburn Washington. One would think that a name like Gresch he was an aspiring defensive end, but Gresch Jensen is a candidate for a back-up role at quarterback. Gresch has Grizzly athletics in his heritage as both his parents are UM grads and his mom was part of Montana’s conference-winning track team in 1987.
While Oregon State doesn’t have games against a Big Sky team this basketball season, both former Griz coaches Blaine Taylor and Jono Metsger-Jones will face teams from the Big Sky in their new gigs as Big West assistants. Taylor’s UC-Irvine Anteaters start their regular season in a somewhat ironic twist facing Utah State where several members of the coaching staff are former Stu Morrill assistants as was Taylor at Montana when Morrill was the Griz head coach. Metzger-Jones and the UC-Davis Aggies will face four Big Sky teams in the non-Conference, Sacramento State, Weber State, Northern Arizona and Idaho. One exciting thing at UC-Davis this season is opening a new state of art Arena after having played in an aging facility for many years.
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.