Ennis superstar McKitrick will showcase talent in Cleverley

Walker McKitrick understood the moment.

The Ennis superstar athlete already had the pole vault title locked up at the Class C State track and field meet in Laurel. McKitrick cleared 14 feet to win the title, and then he missed two chances at matching his season best of 14 feet, 6 inches.

Then, he went for history.

“I thought, ‘This is my senior year. My last jump might as well go for the State record,’” McKitrick said. “So I tried 15 1 ½. I just went for.”

McKitrick didn’t clear the bar on his final vault, but he left Laurel knowing he’d have no regrets.

That’s the kind of attitude by the Ennis quarterback that has to have the spectators at Saturday’s 32nd Bob Cleverley Class C 8-Man All-Star Football game excited. The $10 price of general admission will definitely be well worth it.

When you factor in the video game numbers McKitrick put up at Ennis, and even the $15 price for reserved seating is a steal.

McKitrick will play quarterback and outside linebacker for the Red team Saturday. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Montana Tech’s Alumni Coliseum.

The Red team is made up of stars for the Northern and Southern divisions. The Blue team is comprised of stars from the East and West.

As a senior, McKitrick, a future Montana Western Bulldog, had a hand in 40 touchdowns to lead the Mustangs to the semifinals of the Class C State playoffs.

The 5-foot-10, 165-pound McKitrick completed 86 of 138 passes for 1,472 yards and 21 touchdowns. He threw just one interception.

McKitrick also ran 104 times for 893 yards and 19 TDs.

If you think that’s impressive, check out the stats McKitrick put up in Ennis’ 68-56 win over Wibaux in the 2013 Class C State championship game in Ennis.

The quarterback had a hand in 10 touchdowns as the Mustangs delivered Ennis its first State title since 1982. Yes, 10 touchdowns.

He ran for 131 yards and seven touchdowns. He also passed for 376 yards and three scores. McKitrick, who started two years at quarterback, one year at receiver and three years on defense, also had a key interception late in the game to help seal the victory.

In January, McKitrick signed to play for coach B.J. Robertson at Montana Western. The three-sport Ennis star will play receiver for the Bulldogs.

“I like their coaching staff,” McKitrick explained of his decision to go to Dillon after a practice Friday at Tech. “B.J. is really a great guy. It’s a big class they signed this year. They got a lot of good athletes. It will be some good years there.”

Of course, speed is a key aspect to McKitrick’s game. It isn’t his only strength, however.

“I’d say my speed, but my knowledge of the game helps a lot,” he said of his strong points on the football field. “Just knowing the game, knowing where you have to be at certain points of the game.”

Playing receiver before taking over behind center helps his quarterback smarts, McKitrick said.

McKitrick was also selected to play in the Montana East-West Shrine Game, which is July 18 in Great Falls. He’ll play on the West team, which will practice in Butte.

Playing alongside guys who used to be charged with trying to stop, or better yet, slow down McKitrick is a highlight of playing in the Clev, McKitrick said.

“It’s pretty great, especially playing with rivals,” he said. “You always had to play against them. Now you can buddy up and play with them. That’s pretty nice.”

Since he cleared 14-6 in the pole vault, McKitrick, who also ran a leg of the 400-meter relay team for the Mustangs, had several opportunities to go to college for track. He had offers from Dickinson State, among other schools.

In the end, though, he realized football and a degree in elementary education at Western was the way to go.

“I kind of wanted to do track in college, but I started to love football more I guess,” McKitrick said.

Saturday night at Alumni Coliseum, football fans will get a first-hand view as to why. McKitrick said fans will be for a treat.

“We’re the underdogs going it,” McKitrick said of his Red teammates. “They (the Blue team) have got a lot of size. We’ve got more speed, though, so it should be a good game.” 1 comment

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