High School SportsHigh School Football


Missoula Sentinel's Grady Walker, Danny Sirmon ready to carry legacy traditions with Montana Grizzlies

Posted at 8:15 PM, Aug 30, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-30 22:15:16-04

MISSOULA — High school football got underway last week, and the Missoula Sentinel Spartans came out hot as expected with a 50-12 win over Billings Skyview.

A pair of players on Sentinel's team this season are college bound for the Montana Grizzlies, in Grady Walker and Danny Sirmon, two legacy commits for UM who were both instrumental in Sentinel's season-opening win.

"It was awesome," Walker told MTN Sports. "I never played a varsity football game with Sentinel so all of the traditions they do before the game leading up. Like the buildup was something I haven't experienced before and I was ready for kickoff and as soon as we ran out that tunnel it was game time."

Walker's return to Sentinel was special.

The senior grew up in Missoula as the son of former Griz receiver Travis Walker, but the family moved to Spokane, Washington, after his freshman year of high school.

But last spring they returned to his delight, and Walker now realizes a dream come true by committing to Montana.

"Ever since I was a little kid going to the Griz games, I've always wanted to come here and play for them," Walker said. "All of my family's played here and I've grown up being a Griz. Always have and always will be a Griz and the second I got the opportunity I was like this is awesome, I want to be here."

He added about receiving his offer, "We were in camp in Spokane and it was a couple of days after Danny got offered, me and him were in the room all excited and it was like an unreal moment, and then right after I called my dad and went and told coach (Dane) Oliver and it was just surreal, it was awesome."

Like Walker, Sirmon also follows in a long family line of former Grizzly athletes.

His father, David Sirmon, played at UM, and recently his cousin, Cy Sirmon, was also a key part of the Griz football team.

He was recruited hard by the Montana State Bobcats as well as the Idaho Vandals, but ultimately, staying in Missoula called his name.

"Went over (to MSU) and it is a pretty good spot, but after visiting the Griz, me and the coaches, and seeing my dad on the wall, and my uncle and my cousin all went there, it's a whole, almost like a dynasty and so all of those family ties led me to lean towards the Griz and I'm a Griz through and through now," Sirmon said. "Pretty special. That feeling when you get what you want and everything kind of falls into place, obviously it's not over yet but it's feeling like everything's in a good spot."

Walker is lining up at wide receiver and safety for the Spartans this year, while Sirmon is embracing responsibilities at tight end and defensive end. Walker had eight catches for 105 yards and one touchdown in the opener, and also had an interception on defense. Sirmon had three catches for 39 yards and also had a sack against the Falcons.

But while at different positions, similarly, Sirmon and Walker have related to one another because of moving, as Sirmon moved to Missoula from Washington state his sophomore year.

And now as key components of Sentinel's program, the two are ready to tackle their senior year together, before taking the next step at Montana as future teammates staying home.

"We kind of clicked when we saw each other, we're kind of similar builds, we're similar people but it's really nice having a good friend like Grady and then going to the same college as him is going to be really fun because then we can improve and keep our relationship going throughout college and that's going to be really fun for us," Sirmon said.