Chinook's championship season
Beeters finish 7-1 in the regular season and share Northern C title.
Class C Playoffs
1st Rd - def. Scobey 42-6; Quarterfinals - def. Charlo 28-24; Semifinals - def. P-D-B 28-26; Championship - def. Wibaux 74-6.
CHINOOK — The claiming of the Class C 8-Man state football championship wasn’t just a big deal for the Chinook Sugarbeeters football team, it also meant a lot to their faithful followers that were witness to the 74-6 victory over the Wibaux Longhorns Saturday in Chinook.
This much is true; the small town of Chinook loves its high school sports. And whether it’s old fans or young fans, new fans or alumni, the dedicated fans of Chinook couldn’t be happier.
Thom MacLean grew up in the small Hi-Line town, graduating from Chinook High School in 1985, and even coaching the Beeters’ tennis team for the last eight years. And through the cold on Saturday, MacLean watched his Beeters bring home a long-awaited state title.
“This was great,” MacLean said. “I know all of the kids here, and everybody is pretty close knit. For something like this, it’s just incredible. There has been years where we have been knocking on the door (to a state championship), but this year we have some kids that have been playing and focusing on football for the last four years. With these kids, you can tell what focus and determination will get you, this is great.”
An incredible amount of current Chinook students were also in attendance. They lined the fences that wrapped around the icy field and let their Beeters know they were there. With signs in hand, this also a memory that the current Sugarbeeters won’t soon forget.
“This was a big win,” Chinook junior Kayla Hanson said. “We haven’t been in a state championship for a long time and even in this terrible weather it is good to get a win like this. It is so exciting, and so awesome for everybody to get a win like this.
“This is really cool to be here and cheering for these guys through all their struggles and wins they have been through,” Chinook junior Katie Diemert added. “Just being out here with all of Chinook is really cool. I will never forget this, this is an unforgettable memory.”
And with the emotions running high off the field by the fans, the emotions were even greater on the field with coaches and players.
Seniors Tyler Molyneaux and Josh Jones were two major components of this year’s success. And with both of them finding the end one on Saturday, they remained major components in the most important game of their histories.
“Chinook has never had a state championship before,” Molyneaux said. “And this is what we have wanted to do since the beginning of the season. We wanted to bring one home to Chinook and we believed we could do it.
“It was a lot of hard work,” Jones added. “It wasn’t an easy route. And right now, I just feel like all those hours in the weight room and all of that hard work is paying off. And it wasn’t only one or two people in the weight room, it was the whole entire team, it was a team effort.”
Head coach Matt Molyneaux knows what it is like win a state championship as both a fan and part of the football program.
Coach Molyneaux was born and raised in Chinook. He taught and coached in Havre for 12 years, but even then followed his Sugarbeeters. And after returning to Chinook, and becoming a Beeter as a coach, he couldn’t be happier with what he and his team accomplished.
“Anytime you can bring a state championship to your hometown,” Coach Molyneaux said. “I think it’s huge. It was just a great win for our town and a community that has backed us all year long.”