Havre, like everywhere else, has it alliances when it comes to the Cat/Griz rivalry. It may look like there is a lot of Grizzly Maroon running around Havre and the surrounding areas, but don't be fooled, the Bobcats are well-supported here too. And with Saturday's 110th Brawl of the Wild set for 12:07 p.m. in Missoula, once again, the area is divided on who will win the big game.
Here's thoughts from eight different locals on not only who will win Saturday's Cat/Griz game, but why they are loyal to their team as well.
It's no secret who Mariani will be rooting for come Saturday afternoon. After all, Mariani has personified the Cat/Griz rivalry for the last four years, and although now he's a Tennessee Titan, he said he's just excited for Saturday's showdown between UM and MSU as he always is at this time. And now he's back to his roots, back to being a Griz fan, instead of a Griz player.
"I'm excited," Mariani said this week. "I feel kind of helpless, not being able to play. I'm a fan now, but I'm excited for the game."
Prediction: Griz 27, Cats 21
Pat Foster was a graduate from Blue Sky High School in Rudyard, where he participated in football, basketball and track. And now a Bozeman Alumni, Foster is now living in Havre where he works for Korb Construction.
Foster has been a lifelong Bobcats fan, and like so many others, attending school in Bozeman has just made him a fan all the more.
“Growing up I had friends who were bandwagon Griz fans,” Foster said. “And I just got tired of it and started routing for the other team. I know exactly how the game is going to go. Go Cats."
Prediction: Cats 31, Griz 17
Wells Lamey was born and raised in Havre, where he graduated from Havre High School. Following high school Lamey enlisted in the U.S. Army where he served his country for one year before attending the University of Montana.
Lamey graduated from UM in 1956 with a degree in pharmacy, and his attendance is a big reason for being such a Grizzly fan today.
Being an alumni is key to Lamey’s loyalty, but while attending UM he was surrounded by football. For one year, Lamey’s roommate was another Havre native, Paul Enochson, who was the Grizzly quarterback at the time.
“As long as I am a true Griz fan I can’t predict against them,” Lamey said. “The Griz are going to win, but it’s going to be a very close game. I am just hoping they get their act together, they haven’t played very well this year, but they are going to get it together for the Bobcats."
Prediction: Griz in a squeaker
Jerod Boles is a seventh-grade sports fanatic. He attends Havre Middle School, and has been a longtime Montana State University fan. The main reason Boles is a Cats fan is because of his dad. Boles has grown up watching the Cats games with his family, and will be tuned in this weekend to watch them take on UM in their annual showdown.
“Growing up with my dad, I have always been a Cats fan. I like them because they are an upset team. They have rarely been able to beat the Griz over the years, but I think they should have a good chance this year.”
And with the cold and snow playing a factor, Boles thinks it will be a tight game, but with the Cats coming away with the win.
Prediction: Cat 24, Griz 20
Jeff Miller is seventh grader at the Havre Middle School, where he is also a part of the boys’ basketball team. And Miller has been a lifelong Montana Grizzly fan, especially because the love of the Grizzlies by the rest of his family. But former Havre High great Marc Mariani has also strengthened Miller’s love of Grizzly football, giving Miller yet another reason to fallow Griz football the last four years.
And coming from a long line of Grizzly fans, Miller is optimistic his team can get the job done.
“I think the Griz will probably win by a touchdown,” Miller said. “It’s going to be pretty close.”
Prediction: Griz 31, Cats 24
Max Erickson of Erickson/Baldwin Insurance Associates has lived in Havre for 30 years now. And he made the move to Havre after earning his degree at Montana State University in Bozeman, and graduating in the early 1970’s. Erickson also played Bobcat football as an offensive lineman. And his son, Michael Erickson also played as an offensive lineman for the Bobcats for three years.
But Erickson has always been a fan of the Bobcats’ football program. He was a fan before he attended, and is a fan now. And still following his old team, he remains positive they can pull off the win.
“On a cold, snowy day,” Erickson said. “I think the Bobcats are going to win.”
Prediction: Cats 27, Griz 24
Havre High School Athletic Director Dennis Murphy has worked for the Havre Public Schools for the last 21 years. Murphy is also a University of Montana Alumni, after completing his undergraduate studies in Missoula and graduating in 1985.
But now a diehard Griz fan, Murphy used to be on the other side of fan spectrum.
“I grew up in Harlowton, Montana,” Murphy said. “And that was about 100 miles from Bozeman so I always went to the Bozeman games and was kind of a Bobcat fan. I didn’t really become a Griz fan until I started going to school there. I didn’t really have any real hard ties to MSU, but when I went to Missoula I became a fan because I went to school there.”
But Murphy is anything but a bandwagon fan. While attending UM, the Griz football program was finding itself in hard times. And while the Griz have struggled some this season, he remains hopeful.
“We got some good old woopens,” Murphy said. “And the Cats gave us plenty of them back in those days. I don’t know about predictions, but I have some hopes. I hope the Griz can pull it out."
Prediction: Hopes his Griz win
Anita Haluszka has lived in Harlem with her family for 35 years. Her husband Pete Haluszka was born and raised in Harlem, and they have lived there ever since. Anita also attended Montana State University-Billings
And Anita Haluszka has every reason to be a Bobcat fan. The Haluszka family is very passionate about their sports, and it has been that way forever. They watch their teams on television, but also take vacations to travel the United States watching baseball and football games.
But having her son Rick Haluszka attend and play football at MSU, the family now has a No. 1 team to cheer for.
“It is definitely a growing thing,” Anita Haluszka said. “Most everybody in Harlem is a Griz fan. Rick was recruited from so many colleges, but he prayed about it and Bozeman is where he decided to go.
“I think it’s going to be a really close and good game.” Anita Haluszka added. “I think the conference has really evened out and I am just looking forward to a good game.”
Prediction: A close game