Everything about creating a new program can be tricky when the ingredients include a pair of longtime rivals with their own storied and distinct histories. The safest way to name the new 8-man football co-op between Drummond and Granite high schools, both sides agreed, was to create an entirely new identity.
The school districts settled on Flint Creek, carrying the mascot The Titans.
The two schools shied away having the co-op take the name of one of the respective existing programs for fear of slighting one or both of the natural rival towns that are separated by about 27 miles. Flint Creek, which runs from the mountains of Flint Creek Range near Philipsburg north toward Drummond before spilling into the Clark Fork River, allowed for a shared commonality.
“I was thinking we could go all Granite, since we’re all in Granite County,” Philipsburg senior lineman Thomas Paxton said, “but since we couldn’t keep the same name and had to change it up I figured, Flint Creek? Might as well.”
There were plenty of other options and both Drummond and Philipsburg, both of which saw enrollment declines warranting a co-op to continue play at the 8-man level. had their students vote for both a name and a mascot.
That included students in the respective high schools and all the way down to the primary schools and feeder programs in nearby Hall and Helmville.
The list included your classic animals like the Rams, Badgers, Trout or Wolves — though Wolves was quickly stricken from the list, said longtime Drummond head football coach Jim Oberweiser, who takes over the helm for the Titans.
“Wolves are not helping our livestock industry right now,” he said with a chuckle that accompanied the P.R. move.
Along with Titans, one popular finalists was the DawGs. The nickname would have allowed both original teams to sneak into the new name, the capital D for Drummond and the capital G standing for Granite.
The Pintler Peaks was another popular choice, a shout out to the nearby Pintler Range of mountains.
Flint Creek Titans won out and became the moniker for the new program, which opens its existence this fall. The Titans begin play on the road against Seeley-Swan on Sept. 5.
Read more about the team with the Missoulian’s two-part series: