MISSOULA – The Grizzlies have spent two weeks on the field in Fall Camp, working hard to prepare for the season. Wednesday night, they took a short break to catch up with their biggest and smallest supporters.
The Annual Great Griz Encounter once again brought the team and fans together, but this time in a different setting. Instead of downtown in Caras Park, the maroon and silver gathered with everyone in Washington-Grizzly Stadium.
UM brought in food trucks, a bouncy house for the kids, and showed the movie Black Panther on Griz Vision at the end of the night. Plus the whole football and volleyball teams signed autographs for everyone who wanted one, which gave the new Grizzlies a chance to meet their fans face to face.
“Definitely a different experience for me. Never had something like this,” admitted quarterback Dalton Sneed, who transferred to Montana this offseason after stops at UNLV and Fort Scott Community College. “The support from everybody in Missoula who is fired up. Asking where do you play? Where are you from? They truly care. And you can tell that about the fans. That’s why I love this place. It’s why I love Missoula and the fans.”
“We’ve been grinding and kind of heads down,” explained senior wide receiver Keenan Curran. “We haven’t even been practicing in here. So being able to be in here and see the excitement of other people, knowing the first game is close, it was a really good feeling.”
The Grizzlies clearly enjoyed the interactions with the large crowd, especially with the hundreds of kids that waited in line for autographs and pictures. For an evening, the only worries for the players were hand and face cramps from all of the signatures and smiles.
Montana will head back to Dornblaser Field for another practice Thursday, and a final closed scrimmage on Friday.
Then the team gets back into Washington-Grizzly Stadium for game week. The Grizzlies host Northern Iowa in the season opener on September 1st.