By Ryan Divish/Havre Daily News Sports Editoremail@example.com
Until recently, I had never heard the lyrics to the Lewistown High School fight song. To be perfectly honest, I never knew Lewistown had a school song. It could be because during my two years of playing varsity football, the Golden Eagles never scored a touchdown in the two games we played against them. So I could never really pick out the fight song from any of the other songs their band was playing.
However, thanks to one of my roommates, I now know that Lewistown does have a fight song, and either the song is really terrible, or his singing makes it sound bad. Most likely it's a combination of both.
For this week's Armchair Quarterbacks, I decided to challenge Lance Reesor's loyalties this week as 1-4 Lewistown takes on the mighty Ponies on Saturday at Blue Pony Stadium.
I first met Lance, who is a physical therapist at Northern Montana Hospital, during my third junior year at the University of Montana playing pick-up basketball. When he first told me he was from Lewistown, I was skeptical. In my high school days, there were two things you never did - lose to Chinook in basketball and let Lewistown score on you in football.
It just wasn't supposed to happen. It was ingrained into our heads. During my senior year, coach Mickey Williams, now defensive coordinator for the MSU-Northern Lights, went on halftime tirade about how bad we were playing in Lewistown. It was a little odd because we were up 28-0 at the time, but he swore to us if any Eagle player made it to the endzone, we would be running for the rest of our lives. Losing to Lewistown in anything was unacceptable.
All my skepticisms aside, Lance didn't turn out to be half bad. A couple years ago, he had the unfortunate situation of moving into a house in Missoula with me and three other guys from Havre while he was finishing up school. Five guys in one house - yeah, you never walked anywhere barefoot in that place.
In all that time, he never exhibited too much Golden Eagle pride. He'd try to, but with four Havre guys around, it didn't last long.
This past year after moving to Havre, Lance has dealt with his fair amount of Pony pride and trash talking about his old school. For the most part he's bit his lip. It wasn't until the Boys Central A Divisional basketball tournament that he really unleashed on us.
With the Ponies and Eagles meeting in loser-out action on Saturday morning of the tournament, myself and a few others used up a large amount of our ample free time on that Friday night, to leave at least 30 somewhat vicious, arrogant and not always lucid messages on Lance's cell phone about how bad Havre was going to drill his team. To his credit, Lance, who was back home visiting, never called back or resorted to our juvenile tactics.
Even after the Eagles defeated the Ponies to end their season, we never heard a single peep from him all Saturday night. But on Sunday as we prepared for a city league basketball game, my phone rang and I heard some idiot singing - at least it sounded like singing - a very terrible song. And then I saw on the caller ID, who it was and realized what he was singing. I promptly hung up on him and shut my phone off. Oh, but he wasn't through. As we were warming up in the HHS gym getting ready to play, the door swung open and in walked a singing Lance clad in his Lewistown's letterman jacket.
Two thoughts appeared in my mind: That has to be the ugliest letterman jacket I have ever seen; And why would someone still have their letterman jacket? We just stood there and took it. We didn't have much to say, how could we? I had plenty to say though after our so-called best player proceeded to score 10 points and shot about 12 percent from the field in the game.
"It must be the jacket," I said to him after our 15-point loss.
Despite that episode, Lance has been a Pony fan since moving here. With his job, he has treated several Havre High athletes among his normal patients. So he's pretty familiar with many of the Ponies lining up on Saturday.
Lance's got interested in his line of work after of suffering an injury himself in his first year out of high school.
"I blew out my knee," he said. "When I had my physical therapy for it, I got interested in becoming one.
"How did the knee injury happen?"
"No comment," he said reluctantly.
Luckily for the readers, I know the truth. It seems that Mr. Coordination was giving his buddy's girlfriend a piggy-back ride. As he was running down the street with her on his back, he hit funky spot in the concrete, the knee buckled and hello reconstructive surgery. Not only can he treat our young athletes for injuries, he can also offer advice on how not to get injured in the most absurd ways.
Besides rehabilitation, Lance has also proved to be a valuable motivator for Havre High hoops star Cory Brothers, who he has squared off with in numerous pick-up basketball games.
Cory seems to play just a little harder against Lance. This was even before Cory found out he was from Lewistown.
Last year, during Brothers' mid-season shooting slump, he showed up at the middle school on a Monday night and proceeded to drop a plethora of three-pointers on Lance's head. They were both going at it with Lance scoring down low at will and Cory raining down three's. Three days later, Brothers scored 51 points on Great Falls High. The shooting slump was over.
"He couldn't miss," Lance said. "The way he was shooting, he would have scored 51 points on anyone."
Even though his dad, Steve, lived in Havre for a year and was the pharmacist at Owl Drug, even though he will probably treat numerous more HHS athletes this year, even though he dates the older sister of a prominent Pony player and even though he knows deep in his heart the Eagles don't stand a chance, Lance is still picking Lewistown.
"I have to, it's my old school," he said. "I can't pick against them."
Besides going with the Golden Eagles, Lance is a die-hard Griz fan and stayed with new ground-bound Montana squad. But he did pick the Bobcats - "only because they are playing an 0-4 team."
He also picked his other favorite college football team, the Auburn Tigers, in an upset over Tennessee.
How did Auburn, of all schools, become one of his favorite teams?
"I bought their hat and started kind of following them," he said.
"Oh, so you just started liking them then?"
"No, I bought the hat about four years ago," he said.
"And you still wear it?"
"Yeah, it's just getting broke in."
Never will quite understand those Lewistown people.
We couldn't put his favorite NFL team, the Oakland Raiders, in this week because they are still licking their wounds from last week's pasting by the Denver Broncos.
Speaking of pastings, that's what happened to just about everyone last week. It was a brutal week as nobody reached double figures in correct picks. With a ton of upsets in the high school and college ranks, our combined record looks about as appealing as the Detroit Tigers' record.
There was a mistake in last week's picks. In Barry's picks, we had him choosing the Griz over Idaho, which he did not. He went with his head instead of his heart and it cost him a game. To quote the movie "Tin Cup"... "You're brain was getting in the way."
The battle Fergusons ended up in a draw as both of them finished 9-9 to lead the group. We still like you better, Linda. Harvey, Wells and myself finished with 8-10 records, while Barry finished 6-12. That'll teach him for going against the Griz.
As always, we're looking for suggestions for guest pickers. I speak for everyone when I say the embarrasment only lasts a little while, but the article will remain on the interent forever.