It can be difficult to capture a state championship, let alone two or three in a row.
But that certainly wasn’t the case for the Sidney High football program during the late 1980s and early 1990s.
The Eagles established a state record that may never be broken, winning seven consecutive state Class A championships. The remarkable run started with a 22-12 title game victory over Whitefish in 1987 and ended with a 28-15 triumph over Custer County High of Miles City in the 1993 finale. Sidney also beat Glendive, Ronan, Colstrip, Stevensville and Butte Central to win state crowns.
The streak included undefeated seasons in 1991, 1992 and 1993.
The national record for consecutive state football championships, according to the National High School Sports Record Book, is 14, shared by St. Louis High of Honolulu (1986-99) and Washington High of Sioux Falls, SD (1951-64).
Sidney owns the second-longest winning streak in Montana prep football history, with 42 in a row between 1990-94. Charlo High won 53 straight games between 1967-73.
Next on the list of consecutive state football title winners is Highwood.
The Mountaineers earned five straight state Class C Six-Man crowns between 1992 and 1996, with title game wins over Winifred, Blue Sky, Brady and Geraldine (twice). The championships were part of a run that saw Highwood advance to the state title game 12 times between 1988 and 2008, with 11 victories. After winning titles in 2000 and 2002, the school won three straight between 2004-06.
Highwood enjoyed a 38-game victory streak, fourth on the state’s all-time list, between 1992-96.
In the 12-year span of 1975-86, C.M. Russell High advanced to the state Class AA championship game 11 times, the only miss coming in ’77. The Rustlers won the title in 1975, ’76, ’80, ’82, ’84, ’85 and ’86.
Russell also captured state titles in 1989, 1990 and 1992, giving the west-side Great Falls school 10 crowns between 1975-92. The Rustlers’ dominance during those years included undefeated seasons in 1976, ’84, ’86, ’89 and ’90. A 24-game winning streak ended with a season-opening loss in 1991.
Helena Capital High has played in 10 Class AA title games since 1996, emerging victorious eight times (’96, ’99, 2000, ’02, ’06, ’07, ’08, ’11).
Capital is the last school to win three consecutive Class AA crowns. Those came between 2006-08.
The Bruins put together a 26-game winning streak between 1999 and 2001.
Dillon’s Beaverhead High has been the king of Class A football in recent years. The Beavers have played in each of the last five state championship tilts, winning titles in 2011, 2013 and 2014. Billings Central was their opponent in both the ’11 and ’13 games.
Since 2000, the Beavers have made 10 title game appearances, capturing seven championships.
Dillon is the last school to win back-to-back state football crowns. It defeated Billings Central in the 2013 Class A championship game and topped Butte Central in the 2014 finale. The Beavers fell to Whitefish in last year’s title game.
The last school to win three straight state grid titles? That honor belongs to Drummond High.
During an impressive seven-year run, the Trojans earned Class C Eight-Man championships in 2003, 2004 and 2005. The school also emerged as state champion in 2007 and 2009.
There hasn’t been a back-to-back Class AA titlist since 2008, when Helena Capital earned a repeat championship.
Missoula Loyola-Sacred Heart was the last school to win two straight Class B titles, taking home championships in 2012 and 2013.
Drummond was the last Class C Eight-Man school to accomplish that feat, while Denton was the last Six-Man program to turn the trick. The Trojans won state championships in 2010 and 2011.
Class C Eight-Man Wibaux has enjoyed plenty of success over the past 25 seasons, marching to 11 state championship games. The Longhorns won the title in 1991, ’92, ’93, 2000, ’01 and ’14, and earned runner-up honors in ’02, ’06, ’08, ’09 and ’13. The school also earned the runner-up trophy in 1982.
Bozeman has been the most successful Class AA program in recent years, playing in four of the last six state title games. The Hawks won three of those tilts, in 2010, 2013 and last season.
Fairfield High advanced to the Class B championship game in 2005, the school’s first title tilt since 1982. Since that season the Eagles have earned six more trips to the grand finale, earning crowns in 2011 and 2015.
Fairfield was also the 1982 Class B winner.
A pair of Class A programs, Hamilton and Miles City, own the distinction of playing in four consecutive state title games. Hamilton did it in 1997-2000, winning championships in ’97 and ’98, while Miles City turned the trick in 1993-’96, earning victories in ’94, ’95 and ’96.
Only Miles City has returned to a title game since those years. The Cowboys won championships in 2008 and 2010 and earned runner-up honors in 2003.