BUTTE — The Missoula Sentinel Spartans put together an unforgettable run over the last two seasons, as they had back-to-back undefeated campaigns and won two Class AA state football titles.
At this year's East-West Shrine Game, the Spartans have five players ready to suit up together one final time.
After getting six players in the Shrine Game last year, Sentinel's reps this season are Chase Williams, Drew Klumph, Connor McCarthy, Charlie Kirgan and Ramsey Knowles, with all five athletes excited to play together again as well as alongside the rest of their new teammates.
"Such a great opportunity to play with some of the best in western Montana and against the best in Montana and it's obviously for a great cause," said Williams, who will play college football at MIT. "It's a great fundraiser for great people so super fortunate to have this last opportunity to play football together and have a bunch of fun."
This group of seniors helped lead the Spartans to 21 straight wins and two state football championships. But growing up in the program, they didn't know the success they'd experience until it actually happened.
"Our junior year, every game, you didn't know if you were going to play the rest of that season just with COVID and everything," said Klumph, who will play college football at Montana. "And so, especially building up from freshman year, you thought you were good but you never really knew. And then seeing it confirmed through every single game and all of that hard work you put it through four years, it's really special with the results we had."
And the winning that followed proved that the hard work and camaraderie paid off.
"It was so cool and so fun and I think a lot of people see they won but we had a lot of fun doing it," McCarthy said. "We were so close, all of us, it was more than just football, we hung out in our free time and we really were a family."
"Every now and then it's cool just to think about how much we accomplished in two years and the group we did it with," added Kirgan, who will play college football at Montana Tech. "A lot of guys from my junior year are playing (college football) and a lot of guys from this year are going to play somewhere and so it's just super cool to see where everybody is going and there's some underclassmen that are going to be really good there too."
Now, this group gets set to suit up together one final time before heading out on separate paths.
"It's one last game as semi-Sentinel kids so it'll be fun and exciting to see what we can do," Knowles said. "If we can make the win happen, that'll be damn good."