BUTTE — Scott Reed always enjoys his trips back “home” to Butte.
Reed, a former all-state tight end at Butte High, isn’t from the Mining City — he moved there when he was a freshman in high school.
“I was here for four years and Butte’s still home to me,” said Reed, who returned to Butte to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Bulldogs’ 1968 state championship team. “It’s a very special time to come back and reunite with folks who you don’t get a chance to see normally and just to spend a little time, tell a few lies — your stats keep getting better and better, and that’s good.”
The Silver B’s have annually brought alumni together to celebrate football milestones. Former Bulldogs receive Silver B’s 25 years after earning their first varsity football letter, Golden B’s after 50 years and Diamond B’s after 75 years. The organization has been honoring players for nearly fourscore.
This year, on Oct. 12, Reed, who has lived in Salt Lake City since playing football at the University of Utah in the 1970s, was back in Butte celebrating with his former teammates and coaches. Sonny Lubick coached that 1968 Butte High team before a college coaching career that included stops at Montana State, Stanford and Miami before a 15-year career as the head coach at Colorado State. Lubick was also back in town for the Silver B’s members-only banquet and dinner at Butte High School.
“What a guy. I mean, enthusiasm, he was thoughtful, he was inspiring, he was emotional, all when it needed to happen,” Reed said of Lubick, who visited at the dinner with fellow former Montana coaching legends Mick Delaney and Tom LeProwse, who claims he’ll receive his Diamond B next year.
For Reed and the many alumni who return to Butte for the Silver B’s weekend, it’s about more than just catching up and reminiscing with old friends, though. They also meet the current Bulldogs and cheer on the team at historic Naranche Stadium. Butte High kept its playoff hopes alive with a much-needed win over Great Falls High that Friday.
“I remember as a high school player visiting with the Silver B’s on the night of their dinner. This organization is 79 years old this year. As a kid, you look at it and go, ‘Wow, look at those old guys.’ But now as an old guy coming back and watching the kids, it’s real special,” Reed said. “Just to have the kind of fraternity and collegiality of a group of guys that have all been through the same thing at the same place over 79 years, it’s really special.”
“Coach (Arie) Grey has done a fantastic thing in the last several years: He’s actually brought the kids in on the night of the dinner. … That’s a special time when they walk through and get a chance to shake hands with everybody in the room, and it’s just really, really humbling for us to see that,” Reed added. “I remember as a kid when we had the dinner at the end of the season and they would all come in, and the old guys would buy us dinner and that was nice, and we would look at those guys and nudge each other and say, ‘I’m never going to be that old,’ and now here we are.”
After his high school career concluded at Butte, Reed played in the 1971 Montana East-West Shrine Game — alongside the likes of Pat Donovan, inarguably one of the best football players Montana has ever produced.
Reed was a fine player in his own right, earning all-state recognition in 1969 and 1970. Reed was awarded the Harry “Swede” Dahlberg outstanding male athlete honor as a senior, receiving the award from the legendary icon himself just months before he passed away in 1971.
“I was lucky as kind of the new kid in town to come into a situation like this — I was living in a small town in Idaho at the time, came to Butte as a freshman. They give an annual award named after Harry “Swede” Dahlberg, who was a legend in this town as a coach going back 80 years,” Reed said. “Fortunate enough to get the award in the last year of Swede’s life, and I got to meet him personally. Just being a part, being a small part of that is very humbling and very gratifying.”