Butte Central’s junior high school football players received the surprise of their lives last Thursday when their bus pulled into Missoula for a game against St. Joe’s.
Instead of driving them to a junior high school field, the Maroons’ Tucker Transportation bus pulled up at Washington-Grizzly Stadium at the University of Montana.
On the Grizzlies’ home turf, St. Joe’s beat Central 24-14 in a game that saw eighth-grade players play three quarters and seventh-grade players play one.
Ryan Moodry caught a pair of touchdowns from Cameron Johnson to account for BC’s scores. Noah McGee ran for a 2-ponit conversion.
Like McGee, Nate McGree ran well, BC coach Jeff Hartwick said. He was also good in the return game, while Richards and Moodry were solid on both sides of the ball.
“It was a great experience,” Hartwick said.
Montana coach Mick Delaney, a Butte native, donated money toward covering the cost of using the Grizzlies’ facility.
“A lot of credit goes to Coach Marcos Pica Sr. for setting the whole thing up, and the school and parents for their support,” Hartwick said. “The whole thing was set up as a surprise for the boys. They didn’t know where we were playing until the bus pulled up outside Washington-Grizzly Stadium.”
Eighth-grade players for BC are Riley Riordan, Sam Johnston, Tanner Kump, Nate McGree, Ian Campbell, Ryan Ashby, Renzy Doherty, Jared Schneider, Blake Burton, Archie Petritz, Riley Richardson, Ryan Richards and Paul Thomas LaFleur.
Seventh-grade team members are Hunter Hartwick, Len Hoar, Cameron Johnson, Ryan Moodry, Noah McGee, Dylan Shea, Colter Stillwagon, Shane Callahan, Colby Kline, Greyson Mandic, Elliot Fantini and Payton LaBuff.