Columbia Falls celebrates with its State A championship trophy. (MTN Sports photo)

COLUMBIA FALLS – Last weekend, the Columbia Falls Wildcats won their first state championship in Class A football.

Head coach Jaxon Schweikert says their win comes down to having the best defense in Class A.  But after the victory, the coach was hoping to slide off and let the boys have the spotlight.

“I’m not a big celebratory person, but the kids and the coaches are. I like to, you know, stay in the background,” said Schweikert.

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But the team had other plans. Right after he said he’d like to stay in the background, the Wildcats doused him in sports drink, placing him firmly in the spotlight.

The Wildcats defense proved more than a match for the Hamilton Broncs offense, with Columbia Falls coming out on top 26-14. It was a test for the Cats, as Hamilton came into the championship averaging more than 40 points per game, but Columbia Falls was up to the task.

Most of the Wildcats coaching staff has been around for quite a while, including a number of lean years without any post-season appearances. For them, the state title is something special.

“It’s unbelievable,” asid linebacker and running back coach Phil Sapa. “And I’m just so happy for these kids and the community and for the coaching staff. I mean they’ve worked hard and last year we fought hard and we came up a little short. It’s just great to come out on the winning edge. Great win, what a great atmosphere for these kids and very happy for them.”