MISSOULA – A lot changes year to year in Montana high school football. But Missoula Big Sky hopes one thing remains the same in 2018. The Eagles are want to match the magic of last season with a new cast of stars.
Big Sky has its lowest number of players in years, so head coach Matt Johnson knows his team will need many guys to suit up both ways. But unlike last year’s team that relied heavily on standout seniors Levi Janacaro and Kaden Lahti, Johnson feels he has more weapons to get involved on offense.
The 2017 Eagles ran all the way to a two-seed with an 8-2 record, and hosted Missoula’s first class AA playoff game since 2004. Many key members this year learned some valuable lessons from that success.
“Just never quitting, never give up on a game,” said wide receiver and safety Wyatt Shinn about the lessons learned. “We won a lot of games. We won multiple games in overtime. A lot of them were pretty close. It was all about effort and not quitting, everyone just giving their all.”
“We had a lot of younger kids get a lot of playing time and experience last year,” continued Johnson. “They know what that took to get to that. They were a part of those experiences. And so it’s huge having that come back.”
“I think it carries over a lot,” added right tackle and nose guard Noah Hren. “I believe we’re going to do pretty good this year too, like they did last year. But I guess we’ll see.”
The Eagles will get their first chance to show what 2018 will look like next Thursday. They’ll kickoff the season at Billings West at 7:00, August 23rd.