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Badlands Bowl roster announced; Billings West coach Rob Stanton to lead Montana all-stars

Posted at 6:54 PM, Dec 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-11 21:00:54-05
Billings West coach Rob Stanton looks on during the Bears’ game against Helena Capital at Vigilante Stadium. (SLIM KIMMEL/MTN Sports)

MILES CITY — After leading Billings West to the Class AA football state championship, Rob Stanton will lead the Montana all-stars into the 26th Knights of Columbus Badlands Bowl against all-stars from North Dakota.

Stanton will have six of his Golden Bears on the Montana roster, which was released Tuesday. Wide receiver Jesse Owens, defensive lineman Conner Paul, linebacker JJ Lindsay and defensive backs Kade Wilcox, Trevin Gradney and Lucas Gibb will represent West in the annual all-star game, which is scheduled for June 15, 2019 at Miles City.

This fall, Owens shared Class AA offensive MVP honors with Kalispell Flathead record-setting running back Blake Counts. Counts set the Montana single-season rushing record with 2,588 yards in helping the Braves to a runner-up finish. Gibb was Class AA’s defensive MVP.

Both Montana and Montana State are represented by five athletes, who have reportedly given oral commitments to continue their football careers. The Grizzlies have received commitments from Bozeman’s Kris Brown, Great Falls Central’s Noah Ambuehl, Missoula Loyola’s Ryan Tirrell, Billings West’s Gradney and Fairfield’s Ryder Meyer. The Bobcats have secured commitments from Bozeman’s Joe Olson and Ryan Lonergan, Helena High’s Holden Sampson and Alex Johnson, and Billings Central’s Marcus Wehr.

Montana has won the past four games and seven of the past eight to take a 19-6 all-time lead in the series. The past two games have been especially lopsided with the Treasure State all-stars earning 63-0 and 55-7 wins. The 63 points Montana scored in the 2017 game are the most ever scored in the Badlands Bowl.

Mark Estes, a Kalispell Glacier product now at Montana State, was the offensive MVP for the 2018 game. Billings West’s Tyler Buckingham, who is now at the University of Nevada, was the defensive MVP.

Knights of Columbus Badlands Bowl
June 15, 2019 at Miles City

Montana roster

Head coach — Rob Stanton, Billings West.

Assistant coaches — Matt Hollowell, Billings West; Kane Claunch, Billings West; Jim Stanton, Billings Central; Les Meyer, Fairfield; Greg Horton, Great Falls Central.

Quarterback — Blake Thelen, Great Falls High; Kris Brown, Bozeman.

Running back — Blake Counts, Kalispell Flathead; Joe Olson, Bozeman.

Wide receiver — Jesse Owens, Billings West; Dawson Allen, Fairfield; Noah Ambuehl, Great Falls Central; Ryan Simpson, Bozeman; Kyle Torgerson, Great Falls High.

Tight end — Ryan Lonergan, Bozeman.

Center — Justus Perkins, Bozeman; Maverick Roberts, Billings Central.

Guard — Sebastian Koch, Kalispell Flathead; Nico Young, Kalispell Glacier.

Tackle — Holden Sampson, Helena High; Sam Gray, Billings Central; Andrew Siderius, Kalispell Flathead.

Defensive line — Patrick Hammond, Kalispell Flathead; Ethan Baines, Kalispell Glacier; Conner Paul, Billings West; Marcus Wehr, Billings Central.

Linebacker — JJ Lindsay, Billings West; Ryan Tirrell, Missoula Loyola; Alex Johnson, Helena High; Wes Jamison, Lewistown; Max Evenson, Billings Senior.

Defensive back — Chrishon Dixon, Billings Central; Kade Wilcox, Billings West; Trevin Gradney, Billings West; Wyatt Brusven, Shelby; Ryder Meyer, Fairfield; Jaden MacNeil, Kalispell Flathead; Zach Spiroff, Helena High; Lucas Gibb, Billings West.


Quarterback — Joe Byorth, Billings Central; Mitch Norslein, Lewistown; Rylan Ortt, Missoula Sentinel.

Running back — Jack Studer, Billings Central; Preston Blaine, Kalispell Glacier.

Wide receiver — Cam Rothie, Hamilton; Anthony Jones, Kalispell Flathead; Tanner Trafton, Lewistown; Cooper Waterson, Missoula Loyola.

Tight end — Logan Kennedy, Laurel.

Offensive line — Kobe Nelson, Billings West; Spencer Warren, Bozeman; Keegan Mires, Glendive; Garrison Poetzl, Billings Senior; Riley Allen, Kalispell Flathead; Carter Slade, Billings West.

Defensive line — Carter Hughes, Sidney; Nick Konesky, Great Falls CMR; Alaric Greil, Helena Capital; Mason Harrison, Lewistown; Gunnar Hegg, Billings Senior.

Linebacker — Cole Crosby, Kalispell Glacier, Tristan Hirsch, Miles City; Riley Dickinson, Great Falls Central; Brody Grebe, Roundup; Hugh Edwards, Billings West; Tyler Walker, Dillon; Michael Nehring, Manhattan.

Defensive back — Tucker Greenwell, Great Falls CMR; Duncan Kraft, Billings Central; Jake Clinton, Lewistown; Cade Dschaak, Wibaux; Tyson Racht, Townsend.