UM Sports Trivia | Week of May 16

By CHRIS WALTERSKIRCHEN

It’s hard to put in perspective the accomplishment of the University of Montana Softball team in reaching the Big Sky Tournament–and even better–making it beyond the first round. It is unfair of UM Athletics to compare the early conference success of sports like soccer, basketball and volleyball. In each of the other cases UM was one of the first Big Sky schools to field teams in those sports or have full membership in the athletic department. Of those four sports I mentioned above, three of the first full-time head coaches had previous college head coaching experience, the experiment with a high school worked out but Robin Selvig had spent several season in the Northeast B division, which is comparable to the Southeast Conference in atmosphere and intensity.

Most Grizzly football fans know just off the top of their heads that it has been a long time since anyone has shut Montana out. Officially it has been 355 games. On November 12, 1988 The  Griz were blanked 21-0 by Pokey Allen’s Portland State Vikings. Also that day Big Sky Eagle star Kelly Pilcher hit a mid-court shot to give the Eagles their second straight AA title.
This summer when players from the Missoula Osprey are promoted to a higher league many will go to Visalia Calfornia and become Members of the Visalia Rawhide. Then there is the route that Colorado rookies prospects might experience after beginning as Grand Junction Rookies. They then could go on to be Modesto Nuts and the next step is the Hartford  Yard Goats.  By the way, the Yard Goats have a home-and-home series with the Richmond Flying Squirrels. Really now shouldn’t the Flying Squirrels be a Rocky’s affiliate?
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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.