UM Sports Trivia

By CHRIS WALTERSKIRCHEN

Sunday’s sweep by in visiting teams marked only the fourth time in NFL history that the two visiting teams won the Conference title games, Green Bay and Kansas City in 1967, Dallas and Buffalo in 1993 and Denver and Green Bay in 1998.

What a birthday celebration it could be for Griz head coach Wayne Tinkle. Saturday is the coach’s 47th birthday and the Weber State wildcats will be in Dahlberg Arena for the occasion, both teams enter the weekend 8-0 in League play.

Weber State handed the Grizzlies’ their only league loss over the past two conference seasons on January 14, 2012.

Weber State has seen their Big Sky tournament title hopes go by the wayside the past 3 seasons at the hands of UM, in the title game in 2010 and 2012 and in the semi-finals in 2011.

Weber’s Joel Bolomboy is among the league leaders in rebounding and shot blocking. Bolomboy was born in Russia where his mother is a native of, while his father grew up in the Congo.

Weber state has 8 different players in the top 10 in the Big Sky in at least one category while the Grizzlies have 7 players among the stats leaders.

Grizzly basketball coach, Wayne Tinkle turns 47 thisweek!

Before the Griz can get too focused on the showdown with Weber they have to deal with Idaho State whose coach knows the Griz well. Bill Evans spent the past 3 seasons orchestrating Montana suffocating defense as an assistant to Wayne Tinkle. Before Evans came to Montana he spent 15 seasons as head coach at southern Utah where his T-Birds won 3 of 4 visits to Dahlberg Arena. In December of 1992 Evans’ Southern Utah team downed the Griz 71-55 to end the Griz 31 game home court winning streak.

While Idaho State is in the middle of the pack in the Big Sky one thing they do well is play defense, the Bengalis lead in scoring defense and steals. The Bengals are heavy on the Junior College transfers, including a player who spent a season at Miles Community College in Miles City.

The Idaho State women are slowly righting the ship and getting back in the Conference race. The Bengals have 4 players from Utah, 3 each from Washington and Arizona, but just one from Idaho.

Idaho State is trying to become only the second school other then Montana to win back to back Big Sky regular season titles (Weber State won the regular season and tournament title in 2002 and 2003.)

The last time the Weber State women won a game was December 10 2011. Since that last Weber win the Montana Lady Griz have claimed 23 wins. Weber’s current roster includes 9 freshmen.

Forty years ago this week the first MHSA sanctioned state girls basketball tournament was held. Seeley-Swan and Deer Lodge represented the West. Glendive downed deer Lodge for the state title. That first season the only Missoula High school to field a team was Sacred Heart Academy (the all female companion High School to Loyola which was all male at that time).

********************

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 costumedmascot.

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.