MISSOULA — The guys who make the biggest impact on the college football field sometimes take a long road to success.
Cy Sirmon will suit up at his fourth position for the Montana Grizzlies this coming season, and the KPAX Athlete of the Week seems to have finally settled in.
He came to Montana as a linebacker, moved to defensive end, and then last year switched to guard when the Grizzlies needed help on the offensive line. So, another change for Sirmon felt like nothing new. Now he’s handling the snaps as the starting center.
“From my time at guard last year I kind of had a feel for what the calls were and what we are doing schematically,” said Sirmon. “So taking over the center position, the biggest learning curve has been snapping and moving at the same time.”
The fifth-year senior last played center nearly a decade ago, as a high school freshman in Wenatchee, Washington. But now that he has played nearly everywhere on the field, he understands everyone’s job.
“Cy is a really bright football guy,” said head coach Bobby Hauck. “And so he’s got some ability to direct the offensive line.”
“Center is a really cerebral position, with the quarterback and the run game,” added Sirmon. “And you’ve got to make all of those calls. You’ve got to account for a bunch of stuff. So it’s a lot to take in.”
After three-plus years as a backup on the sidelines, Sirmon suddenly finds himself a senior leader. While he downplays that new role, his teammates have noticed.
“He’s definitely pushing guys, ‘Hey, let’s go, let’s do this,’ and trying to be the anchor of the offensive line,” noticed quarterback Dalton Sneed. “So he is making strides to get better every day and becoming a leader in the process.”
“We have a group of guys that are easy to lead,” said Sirmon. “Everyone is on the same side when it comes to school, doing things right, being on time. There is no loose ends. Lead by example, and the rest kind of handles itself.”
Sirmon’s dad, John, played at Idaho. His uncle David played for the Grizzlies in the early 1990s. And another uncle, Peter, starred at Oregon and later in the NFL for seven seasons. But Cy says he gets his intensity from his mother, Kaye, who wished she could have played football.