Well folks, it’s that time of year again. I am not talking about classes getting harder and more time-consuming, or the time to start thinking about blowing out your sprinklers and exchanging the bike rack for the ski rack, but rather a more intense season. A season that requires grit and guts, a sense of want to and integrity, a sense of playing for one team under one goal: to win. The college football season is now in full swing; the Cats finally played a real team in Eastern Washington and opened up conference play in a strong manner. Tailgating, hot dog munching, adult beverage sipping (if one is of age of course), boisterous cheering, and so forth are just some of the aspects about game day that get my excited. I’ll be honest, I was nervous for the Cats to travel to the ever so ugly, Boise State look a like god awful red turfed Roos Field in Cheney WA. to take on the Eagles. It was difficult to tell how well the Cats would play against a ranked team when they spend the first two weeks of the season playing teams from lower conferences (disregard the Utah game, all teams have to make money some how) with consistent blowouts and the first team squads on both sides of the ball only playing for one half. I was about to be pleased and my doubts were about to me shoved under the table until another daunting foe comes along to play, which happens to be this weekend against Sacramento State.
The MSU victory on Saturday against the Eagles was the Bobcats first win in conference play, which is important because every game in the Big Sky conference is pivotal. The Montana Grizzlies also had a strong showing against the Eagles in Missoula at Washington Grizzly Stadium with a record-breaking crowd on hand winning a tight one 17-14, but simply fell apart the next weekend against the Cats’ next foe Sacramento State the week after. The Cats will look to improve on their undefeated Big Sky record this weekend in front of a predicted record-breaking homecoming crowd in the new Bobcat stadium. The Cats are led by wide receiver Elvis Akpla, who has caught a pass in his previous 24 straight games and stands alone in fourth place in the Big Sky with an average of 84 yards receiving per game. Leading the rushing attack for MSU will be Cody Kirk, who had 218 rushing yards in his previous two games coming into the weekend. Not to be outdone, the place kicker Jason Cunningham went 5 for 5 while breaking a school record and secured the 36-21 victory which was the first loss for the Eagles on their coveted red carpet- excuse me, sprint turf… The Eagles are now 0-4, and no one expected the reigning FCS national champions to get off to such a meager start. This leaves the door wide open for, well, any team in the big Sky to jump in. It is still early, and as seen before, anything can happen.
I hope everyone who gets the opportunity to visit the new stadium will do so. The expanded seating in the east end zone accommodates for 8,000 more seats (hopefully 8,000 more CAT fans!) and the new instant replay scoreboard is GIANT, which makes it easy for those older MSU alumni to watch the game and or replays of the hot action from the nosebleeds with ease. So come out and enjoy the conference opener and root home the Cats!
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She is just like any other woman I have ever encountered: intimidating, daunting, scary, time consuming, and most importantly relentless. I am not talking about my mother or my girlfriends of the past (that is a whole different story in itself), but rather “Maid of the Mist.” The plan was to travel up Hyalite canyon; yes again I am sorry bear with me, and summit this glorious 9,500-foot peak that is one of the tallest in the canyon besides Hyalite peak itself. Joining me for the adventure was my roommate Colten McCullough and close friend Luke Benz. We started the trek early in the morning and would not finish until late afternoon. The beginning was just like any other day hike around Bozeman; a nice wide trail, clear directions, distances to trail heads and so forth. Our ascent was a little different than the norm, for there is no trail up the “Mist” and we would have to play the role of tough bushwhacking manly men and forge a route up to the mountain ourselves. After cruising on the trail for roughly a mile our cut off point was soon upon us, so we crossed Hyalite creek and started the journey upward.
What started off as a relaxing trek quickly turned into what seemed like an episode off of Man vs. Wild and we were Bear Grylls’ disciples. The dense pines covered every inch of the forest, making it hard to navigate up the mountain. Slick rocks from the morning rain made every rock hop that much more intimidating. Waterfalls were not in short supply and neither were the mountain goats enjoying the cool, brisk day. As we neared the base of the peak the rain turned to snow and a snowball fight quickly ensued. May I mind you that it is still mid September, so needless to say the excitement was eminent. The numb legs, soaking wet shoes and socks, rumbling stomachs, and the cold sweat were pushed to the back of the mind and the excitement of reaching the top over powered all of these uncomfortable feelings. As if we were being poked with a cattle prod, the last 100 yards were a sprint, or at least what felt like a sprint, to the top. It was tangible, and we were hungry, literally! Being on top of the world with a 360-degree view of the most beautiful mountains in the world is a feeling that cannot be explained but only felt. I will let the pictures do most of the talking from this point forward as well as my cramping sore legs. Cheers to good friends, good hikes, good times, and most importantly of all good luck to all of those taking their first exams this week! I have a couple, so go visit good ol’ Renee (MSU library for those who are not aware) and remember to maintain a good balance of play and academics.
In America, the saying “Sunday’s are for football” is quite arbitrary. In our household of manly men, we say Sunday’s are for mountain biking and exploring the endless possibilities of things to do in the vast mountain ranges that Bozeman has to offer. Before the ritual of spending a few hours in the library on Sunday evening due to procrastinating all week long, a little sweat and dirt is always refreshing before starting in on some studying. I find it is the best way to clear the mind and be refreshed for the always-busy week ahead. This weekend, the roommates and myself headed up to Hyalite canyon just 20 minutes south of town for an afternoon ride up to Emerald lake (roughly a nine mile round trip from the trail head). Being the out of shape college student that I am, the ride was rigorous but the surrounding behemoth rock cliffs with traces of snow on both sides of the canyon and the striking beauty of the endless meadows made me forget about how hard I was breathing and how badly my legs were screaming at me to stop.
On the way up to the lake a family of mountain goats tiptoed across jagged rocky peaks like it was nothing. If this is still a virgin sight to anybody I highly recommend watching these animals if one is lucky enough to cross them in the wilderness; it is truly amazing at how well these animals can maneuver the rocky cliffs they call home. Finally, the lake was in sight and the hour and a half ascent was nearly complete. After a few “family” photos and some B.S., it was time to rock the downhill and get the adrenaline flowing. With the music pumping into my ears and my nerves anxious, the feeling of euphoria was flowing through my veins and it was time to rip! Cruising the downhill section back to the car made the grueling uphill ever so worth it and the flying dirt and rutty roots on the trail soon engulfed me. It was all smiles at the bottom and the planning for next weekends ride was already in the planning process….
Roomies lookin' TOUGH