The Montana Grizzlies’ thrilling run to the FCS national title game in Frisco, Texas, has not only captivated fans but also garnered heartfelt praise from former teammates who intimately understand the team’s relentless dedication. These ex-Griz players, having shared the day-to-day grind with the current roster, are expressing their immense pride and joy for the remarkable journey.
Jace Lewis, a Townsend native and former linebacker, enthusiastically acknowledges the team’s hard work over the years, stating, ‘From an ex-player, it’s super cool to see all those guys succeed like they have and put themselves in a situation to get to Frisco. They definitely earned it.’
Former offensive tackle Dylan Cook, now with the Pittsburgh Steelers, applauds the team for reviving the dominant culture of Griz football, noting, ‘It’s bringing it back to old Grizzly football, dare I say, but you know, it’s fun football to watch.’ Cook emphasizes the collective effort and resilience that have defined the team’s success.
Marcus Welnel, a former linebacker, describes the current group as ‘a special and gritty bunch’ and highlights their ability to stick together after facing adversity early in the season. ‘Man, they’re a special group, they are a gritty group. Especially after the NAU game, they stuck together. Still found ways to win games. It’s truly just such a cool story of how they came together,’ Welnel passionately expresses.
While recognizing their role in establishing the program’s foundation, former players emphasize the exceptional resilience and determination displayed by the current team. Robby Hauck, who played safety for the Grizzlies, commends the team, stating, ‘They worked their tails off to be in that situation, and they got themselves there, and then executed and were able to succeed. So it’s amazing.’
Mitch Roberts, a former wide receiver, underscores the significance of the team’s success to the community, stating, ‘It means everything to this community. You want your buddies to succeed as well.’ He reflects on the behind-the-scenes efforts that go into building a successful team and expresses excitement about witnessing the team play for the national championship.
As the Grizzlies prepare for the pinnacle moment, the unwavering support from former players remains palpable. Samuel Akem, a former wide receiver, expresses overwhelming joy and pride, stating, ‘It just warms my heart so much with joy to see the success, and I’m just so happy for them.’
Come kickoff in Frisco, Texas, these alumni-turned-fans will be among the loudest supporters, eagerly watching their beloved team chase the FCS national championship. ‘The stress you feel as a fan, especially like an alum who’s been through it and done it all, like it’s crazy. To finally be able to brag and like the team will back it up, you know, it’s amazing,’ Akem adds, laughing.”
By: Big Sky Headlines staff