Even a narrow loss couldn’t keep the Ronan football team down.
“You don’t ever want to say you’re happy when you lose, but come on,” Chiefs head coach Jim Benn said gesturing to his surroundings. “Getting to coach here and letting our kids have this experience, I mean I’m watching my quarterback take pictures with his parents on the field.”
The special location was Washington-Grizzly Stadium Saturday, which hosted the first Hometown Pride Classic series between high school teams in Montana and Idaho — an event as pleasing to its organizer as it seemed to be to the players, coaches and fans involved.
“This was the best case scenario,” said Marc Burr, GM of the Billings Wolves indoor football team and the driving force behind the Hometown Pride Classic. “Who doesn’t want to say they’re hosting a game like this? And to have two or three of them lined up?”
Burr said the opener featuring Hamilton drew 577 paid attendees and 1,474 people , though the gate isn’t really the main factor in calling the experiment a success or not. It’s more in the feedback that Burr and other officials receive.
Which so far has been overwhelmingly positive and supportive.
The future of the Classic is still unknown. It only came together so nicely this year with the Montana Grizzlies traveling to Wyoming in Week 1, leaving their 25,000-capacity stadium vacant.
Should it not work out so swimmingly in the future, Burr hopes to move games to Bozeman and Bobcat Stadium for another round here or down to the Moscow, Idaho, at the home of the University of Idaho. Either way, Year 1 of the Classic has Burr and Co. hoping to make the games a yearly event.
“I would have to say this is definitely a win for the state of Montana,” Burr said.