An acquaintance reminded last week that a “lot of people here” have family on the East Coast and we were all anxious for word about their safety.
Hurricane Sandy provided a sobering thought to accompany last week’s celebration of Butte High and Montana Tech football victories, and a day’s successes for other teams the community supports.
The message from the wife’s nephew, Corey Edgar, was that he, thankfully, survived the tremendous storm. Living in New Jersey, now, the family of a friend invited him to join them in riding out the storm. So he did and he is safe. Corey spent part of his school years in Butte, attending Butte Central and Hillcrest elementary schools.
The emotional toll was noticeable on my wife. Eileen is my Jersey girl and her face reflected the pain she was feeling as pictures on TV displayed the ruination of Seaside Heights, a beach community walking distance from where she spent her high school days. A classmate wrote that the Ferris wheel still stood on the Oceanside boardwalk. A lot of good times spent tanning on the beach, digging for clams and chasing around as teens had occurred for her at the site.
“I guess it might kind of like when the people here lost the Columbia Gardens,” she compared, sadfully.
We were affected from afar and did not have to witness, endure or mourn the way those brave souls who suffered the consequences there did. We were lucky to have the diversions we did.
Inspiration from Friday’s Butte High 40-21 win at Naranche Stadium over Billings Skyview in the quarterfinals of the state Class AA football playoffs could be taken from the play of Beau Taylor as an undersized nose guard manning the middle of the defensive line for the Bulldogs.
He wouldn’t back down or give up at any point, time or situation.
His quarterback sack that followed one by another teammate thwarted a Skyview drive as a tone of toughness continued and denied the Falcons a scoring opportunity at an important juncture of the second half.
The Butte High offense and all its proficient components at the hands of capable quarterback Dallas Cook was probably every good as it was in the high-scoring loss to the Falcons in Billings early in the regular season. The defense, though, must have caught Skyview by some surprise.
The Falcons have a sprint relay team, that kind of speed anyway, to jet the ball up and down the field, but was shut down this time around by relentless Butte High defensive pressure. The Bulldog unit looked to have dug extra deep and the result was obvious.
They’re going to play a Great Falls C.M. Russell team bent on a similar revenge, but against the Bulldogs this time around, in the semifinals Friday night at legendary Naranche in historic Uptown Butte.
Montana Tech’s Saturday afternoon win was a flag winner for the new Frontier Conference champion Orediggers. One can’t have much of a better bounce-back season than has second-year Montana Tech head football coach Chuck Morrell. The Orediggers struggled through a season of adjustment in 2011 following the retirement of legendary coach Bob Green.
Montana Tech will try to make it an outright championship this Saturday with a long bus trip to Ashland, Ore., to play new conference member Southern Oregon.
Montana and Montana State both won road games in Big Sky Conference football on Saturday. MSU edged Sacramento State and the Grizzlies, coached by Butte native Mick Delaney, similarly got past Weber State in a game attended by World Cup skiers and brothers Bryon and Brad Wilson of Butte. Bryon, the 2010 Bronze Medalist in Olympic men’s moguls, and Brad, the 2011-12 World Cup freestyle skiing rookie of the year in moguls events, have been training in Park City, Utah.
The boys posted that their mother, Jeanette, also went to a game, but not the one in Ogden. She accompanied her dad, Butte lawyer Jim Harrington to South Bend, Ind., and witnessed Notre Dame staying undefeated with a triple-OT win over Pittsburgh.
Still, our thoughts were with so many people at those times of football celebration. We truly hope for the best for the victims of Sandy. Paraphrasing the man, almost all, and perhaps all, of us know somebody who was directly affected.