Story by Casey Conlon
BILLINGS – It says it in the title; all-star game. Every player on this week’s 6-man rosters is a stud, but only one generates this reaction.
“Ever since I learned he’s on the other team, I thought it’d be nice to stop that Paro kid,” said Jordan’s Tyrone Hageman.
There’s an aura surrounding Hot Springs’ Trevor Paro. It’s what comes with being Montana’s all-time touchdowns leader, a feat the blue team is all too familiar with.
“Well, I’ll tell you what, we lost to him in the state championship game, and he’s a terrific player,” Westby-Grenora and blue team coach Troy Walters said.
“It’ll be fun,” said former Westby-Grenora stud Daulton Holecek. “He’s a quick dude, definitely (want to tackle him).”
“I think there will be a little bit of that,” said Colton Becker of Valley Christian. “We want to prove ourselves that we’re up there with him.”
It’s a feeling Paro is used to by now. And it’s one he embraces.
“Showing up here, turning some heads, kids looking at me and whispering,” Paro said. “Knowing I had that impact and they almost look up to you, it’s kind of an honor.”
He’s also happy to feed into it with a little fun.
“Saw his ring today,” said Hageman. “It was sweet. They’re wearing it. That’s the greatest honor; to win a state championship.”
“Got to show it off a little bit, got to know who’s boss,” Paro said with a big grin.
The coaches, of course, are quick to remind everyone of the game’s title.
“It’s not about one player,” Walters said. “It’s about the red team and beating the red team.”
“They’ve got plenty of good players themselves, so we’re trying to stop them, as well,” Hot Springs and red team coach Jim Lawson said. “That’s a challenge. Both teams have good talent and lots of speed.”
Lawson would know. He’s had a front seat to one of the best all season long.