In the Bleachers: Volleyball, football, picks


There’s not much you can do to prepare yourself for the All-Class volleyball tournament. The noise……the noise is like a living, breathing animal. Or a wall that keeps ramming you in the head.

I’m guessing that most of you have at least been to a high school volleyball match. They’re loud. Every point is celebrated by one of the teams. I don’t mind the exuberance, I’ve gotten kind of used to it over the years.

But at the All-Class tournament, there are four matches going simultaneously. So every 30 seconds or so, a group of 10-12 high school girls are shrieking. It can be a bit unnerving.

Besides the obvious noise levels, the All-Class state tournament is something that needs to be witnessed if you call yourself a prep sports fan in Montana. I will always say that the All-Class wrestling tournament is the best state tournament experience in Montana, but the volleyball tournament is quickly gaining ground.

I’m a bit of a competition junkie (shocking for a guy that has four brothers), so this is almost overwhelming having four high-level matches going on at the same time. 

Yesterday, I covered teams playing in all six rounds of the tournament on one court or another. So I got to see a ton of volleyball. After Forsyth finished off Red Lodge, I was going to grab the stat sheets I needed and try and beat the crowds. 

When I was in the media hospitality room, a guy came in and said, “the A match is going to the fifth.”

I’d kept my eye on the match, with fellow Eastern A team Billings Central playing Corvallis, but wasn’t completely interested in it until I heard it was going to a fifth game.

A fifth game in volleyball is one of the best moments in sports. Every point is huge, and the celebrations are bigger. So I went back into the gym, found a spot by myself and watched the fifth game, not as a reporter, but as a fan of athletics.

I highly encourage everyone to at least check it out once. Just bring ear plugs.

On to this week’s football picks

CMR at Glacier

CMR has been rolling lately, but so has Glacier. And they’re the better team…..Glacier 34, CMR 21

Columbia Falls at Billings Central

Good for Columbia Falls beating Havre last weekend. Central isn’t Havre, however……Central 42, Columbia Falls 14


Glasgow at Baker

Baker beat Glasgow early in he season, but the Scotties were missing their quarterback that week. The Spartans are just too battle tested for that to matter too much…..Baker 27, Glasgow 21

Ennis at Charlo

For most of the season, Ennis and Wibaux have received the lions share of attention in Class C. I’ve heard around the way that Charlo isn’t too thrilled about being overlooked. I don’t think it matters though…..Ennis 49, Charlo 13


Savage at Geraldine-Highwood

In one of the quirks of the bracket, Savage (#1 in the east) will play Geraldine-Highwood (#2 in the north) while Westby-Grenora (#2 east) plays Stanford-Geyser-Denton (#2 north) in the other semfinal. In the de-facto state championship game, Savage in a shootout…..Savage 63, Geraldine-Highwood 53


Georgia at Auburn

Do I dare say the SEC isn’t the greatest? I think they’re still the best conference in football, but it’s not as wide a margin as it has been……Auburn 31, Georgia 27


Oklahoma State at Texas

Weird to think Texas as being overlooked. With the high school talent that state produces, they probably should be playing for a national title every year…..Texas 37, Oklahoma State 31


USC at Stanford

ESPN has been hyping this game all week, because they have to. They’re trying to sell me on USC, I’m just not buying this week…..Stanford 42, USC 17


Texas Tech at Baylor

Let down game for Baylor after beating Oklahoma last week? Are the teams going to score 100 points apiece? If you like offense, this is your game….Baylor 58, Texas Tech 49


Southern Utah at Montana State

One of the major pluses about covering the volleyball tournament is that I get to go to this game on Saturday evening…..Montana State 34, Southern Utah 7


Washington at Philadelphia

RGIII is the greatest thing that’s ever happened to the NFL!! Nick Foles is the best quarterback and the Eagles offense is revolutionary!! If you love overblown hype, this is your game…..Philadelphia 31, Washington 17


Cleveland at CincinnatiI won’t trust the Browns until after they win a Super Bowl. And even then, I won’t believe it actually happened…..Cincinnati 27, Cleveland 17


San Francisco at New Orleans

Speaking of too much hype too quickly, hello Mr. Kaepernick…..New Orleans 42, San Francisco 28


Green Bay at New York Giants

The JV Game of the Week!.....New York 19, Green Bay 10


Kansas City at Denver

Ok, 1972 Dolphins, you can pop your champagne now…..Denver 24, Kansas City 7

Last week: 7-8. Overall: 84-51.

Kelly Reid’s pick: Glacier, Central, Baker, Ennis, Geraldine-Highwood; Auburn, Oklahoma State, Stanford, Baylor, Montana State; Philadelphia, Cincinnati, New Orleans, New York, Denver. Last week: 9-6. Overall: 96-39.

Paul Rask’s picks: Glacier, Central, Baker, Charlo, Savage; Georgia, Oklahoma State, Stanford, Texas Tech, Montana State; Philadelphia, Cincinnati, New Orleans, New York, Kansas City. Last Week: 8-7. Overall 89-46.

Tyler Chapmon’s picks: Glacier, Central, Baker, Ennis, Savage; Georgia, Oklahoma State, Stanford, Baylor, Montana State; Philadelphia, Cincinnati, New Orleans, New York, Denver. Last week: 9-6. Overall 87-48.

Ryan Watts’ picks: Glacier, Central, Baker, Ennis, Savage; Georgia, Oklahoma State, Stanford, Baylor, Montana State; Philadelphia, Cincinnati, New Orleans, Green Bay, Denver. Last week: 6-9. Overall 84-51

EDITOR’S NOTE: Josh Samuelson is the Sports Editor at the Miles City Star.