UM Sports Trivia | Week of August 4

By CHRIS WALTERSKIRCHEN

Saturday’s dramatic state title win for the Missoula Mavericks gave the program its 8th title since 1984. This season’s sweep in the title games marked the first time since 1984 that the Mavs have done the near impossible and enter the title games needing to beat the other finalist twice to win the title (that 84 title was Missoula’s first since 1942).

In his 22 seasons as Maverick’s head coach, Brent Hathway the team has reached the state title game 12 times.  A very good sign for the Mavericks is that the regional tournament will be held in Oregon–a state that has been the site of many great Maverick moments. In 1984 with no previous regional experience the Mavs finished fourth claiming a pair of wins. In 1992 the A Mavs under Hathaway played for the Class A regional title. In 1994 Hathaway now the AA coach guided much the same cast as his ’92 team to within 1 game of the Legion World Series.

Griz FlagAfter staging close to 20 little regional tournaments over the past 30 years and watching people from far-away places celebrate regional titles, finally it was Missoula chance. The Zootown senior softball team became the first Missoula little league all-star team to reach the sport’s ultimate tournament. In 1991 both the major and senior softball teams from Missoula reached their respective regional finals.
The success of the Mavericks and Zootown All-stars poses a special travel challenge for parents Melanie and Jeremy Preston as their daughter Quincy heads to Delaware with the Zootown stars and son Jesson heads to Oregon as an important cog in the Maverick’s machinery.

A personal note: While I did not teach any of the players how to pitch or hit or throw I did work with 6 of these players in school or pre-school (I take a small bit of credit for helping they improve their skills in tea party etiquette Lego construction and for introducing them to stress-reducing exercises.)

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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.