A difficult anniversary was once again turned into a positive Tuesday night at the Knights of Columbus.
“Boyle’s Buddies” played a crowd-pleasing four-on-for basketball game to honor and remember their friend, teacher and coach Casey Boyle and his pal Kyle Burgman.
Boyle and Burgman were killed in an automobile accident on Aug. 10, 2015. The families put on the Burgman/Boyle Classic the next four years on the anniversary, playing a Butte High-Butte Central alumni game along with a Special Olympics game.
The games were played at the Butte Civic Center, Ross J. Richardson Gymnasium and Maroon Activities Center to raise money for a scholarship fund before COVID-19 wiped out the games last year.
This year, the alumni game is being replaced with a cribbage tournament. Thanks to a high demand from “Boyle’s Buddies,” the Special Olympics game made its triumphant return at the Felix Medrazo Gym.
Members of the Burgman and Boyle families watched the action. That includes Kyle’s parents Patsy and Dale Burgman and Casey’s parents Peggy and Bernie.
“You’ve got to make something good out of something bad,” Bernie Boyle said while watching the game that brought smiles all around.
Most of the players compete on the Butte Eagles Special Olympics team, and they were competing for the first time since the 2019 Montana Special Olympics tournament in Butte. They have had nearly two full years off because of the pandemic.
The White team came from behind to beat the Red team 35-29.
Players from the White team are D.J. McCumber, Joe Gibson, Jalee “Hollywood” Foley, Christian Shock and Josh Mota. Players on the Red are Zach “Hemi” Stenson, Kallie Robbins, Bryce “Smiley” Bailey, Dalen Dagen and Tristan Grogan.
Casey Boyle’s brothers Dan and Tom refereed the game. Their brother Matt looked on and could not help but smile.
“I think we’ll be doing this game every year for as long as we’re alive,” Matt Boyle said.
Burgman/Boyle Scholarship checks were also handed out. This year’s recipients were Aidan Lee and Anna Trudnowski of Butte High and Avery Kelly and Bryan “Hugo” Holland. They received their first of four $1,000 checks.
Mati McGree of Butte Central received the $300 Spirit Award from the Boyle family.