FAIRFIELD — For 23 years, Les Meyer roamed the football sidelines at Fairfield, leading the Eagles to nothing but success with 181 wins, three Class B state titles and eight championship-game appearances, all while working with one of the lowest enrollments in Class B.
But with Meyer now in Frenchtown as superintendent, it’s time for a new era at Fairfield. The Eagles are now under the watch of new head coach Greg Misner.
“It’s been a really neat transition,” Misner said. “I have a lot of respect for coach Meyer and the coaching staff they have here. We’ve been welcomed with open arms and it’s been a positive experience so far.”
Misner enters his 18th season as a coach. Most recently, he was on the coaching staff of Houghton Lake High School in Michigan, where he helped the team to a conference title.
“There are eight divisions in Michigan, and we were in Division 7, so it was a small school,” Misner said. “But we had a great opportunity to turn the program around, got in the playoffs. Really great to be a part of that.”
But he’s no stranger to Montana. Misner, who accepted a Special Education job at Fairfield, and his wife Nikki have made several previous Treasure State stops, including Fort Benton in 2014. He knows that Fairfield has a tradition-rich program, so there’s no need to reinvent the wheel.
That’s something his new players appreciate.
“It’s been a little different, but we’ve only changed just a little bit, and we still have coach (Charlie) Brown and coach (Tim) Love, who have been here,” said senior quarterback Guidry Giles, “so not much has changed.”
And the cupboard is not bare, either. Fairfield lost only five seniors from last year’s state semifinal team and has a confident group of upperclassmen returning.
“We’ve been playing with each other for four years now. A lot of us have actually been starting for two years, so we know and we’re tested,” said senior lineman Kolter Buoma. “We’re just really excited to have a chance to prove ourselves.”
Fairfield opened the season at home with a 22-0 win over Missoula Loyola on Friday night. The game was originally scheduled to be in Missoula but was moved to Fairfield to accommodate more visiting fans.