Clearly there was something special about that Trojan team as they drew nearer to their third consecutive Class C eight-man state title. Arguably, there were only two games that were ever in doubt during those three years and even that doubt was swept away by the third quarter. I also suspected that it would be a long time before I ever saw anything like this again in my small town football haunts—maybe never.
Most notably in my eyes was that Drummond was not only a team that went undefeated in three years, but handily defeated other undefeated teams. There was Belt, Harlowton, Wibaux, Big Sandy, Chinook, Stanford, and Park City—all undefeated teams that suffered great losses (many shut-outs) when they finally met up with the Trojans in the playoffs or title game.
For the record, from front to back in this photo; that’s Tyrell Cockrell, Chase Reynolds, Cody Alt, Petey Carillo, Clay Cantrell, Cody Baker, Eric McGregor and Alex Verlanic. Funny, I still know there names and remember how to spell them. How is it possible that the youngest of men can make a lasting impression on a middle-aged one?
Looking back, one could almost see them as immortals in the realm of eight-man football, but we can be sure that each of them has gone on to experience their own setbacks of humanness whether on the field or elsewhere.
In all three years Chase Reynolds was first team all-state on both sides of the ball, but it was clear that the other Trojan starters were all-state material as well, especially if they had been scattered amongst the other Class C teams—and perhaps even the higher classes. Nevertheless, many still joined Reynolds on the all-state team that was heavily weighted with Drummond talent.
This past week, maybe an hour’s drive down the interstate from Drummond, University of Montana senior running back Chase Reynolds, broke a school record in notching his 54th career touchdown for the Griz. Having watched Reynolds play high school, it doesn’t surprise me too much but it does seem a bit surreal in that he came from such an obscure venue of the game. It will seem just as surreal if he is gainfully employed in the NFL by this time next year. Congratulations Chase. In the words of a colleague, “Strong work.”
As a footnote, Alex Verlanic is still blocking defenders for Reynolds as the starting center for the Griz.
Lastly, thanks to Drummond head coach Jim Oberweiser for allowing these photos to materialize on that October day back in 2005.