BOBCATS IN FIGURES: Only 25 days left before kickoff!



Bill Lamberty

A look at the no. 25 in Bobcat Football History …

Bobcats by the Numbers takes a look at current and past Bobcats whose jersey numbers match the number of days left until the state of Montana opens the 2021 football season in Wyoming on September 4.

# 25
Eli Aby, S: For Bobcat fans of a certain age and with some specific connection to Montana State football, Eli Aby’s signing in 2020 brought a smile. Not only was Aby one of the best preparation athletes in the state at Laurel High, but her father, Bart, was himself a formidable athlete who coached the Bobcat team from 1990 to 1993. He started as a as a graduate assistant to Earle Solomonson’s squad and was promoted to a full-time linebacker coach position by Cliff Hysell. He played at Dawson County High and was a Carroll College All-America. Eli was an All-State quarterback in 2020, helping the Locomotives to a state championship.

Spotlight on Jay Groepper: For any college football program, a positive relationship with its home region is important. From the start, the Bobcats have benefited from local talent – from Cy Gatton and Punk Taylor over 100 years ago to Dane Fletcher and Nick Marudas and Corey Widmer, Bozeman High (or Gallatin County High, if you go back far enough, and Gallatin High since 2020) has consistently listed talent down 11e Street. Jay Groepper was a former Bozeman Hawk no doubt drawn to MSU not only for football but for academic excellence. From his days playing for Bobcat legend Tom LeProwse at Bozeman High, he was known as an excellent student, and Groepper later in his college years focused on a career in medicine. This became clearer in the winter after his senior season, 1970, when he received an NCAA graduate scholarship. As a Bobcat grill, Groepper was nothing but versatile. He was one of the team’s top flankers in 1968, became a starting defenseman in 1969, then started several games as a quarterback in 1970. He is a longtime Spokane doctor.

Chronology: Albert Allen (1926), Ray Buzzetti (1931), Kenneth McBride (1934), Clifford Vaughn (1937), Arthur Lovera (1940-41), Bill Boston (1946-49), George McCormick (1950), Frank Landon (1953) -55), Bob Given (1964-65), Steve Rundle (1966-67), Jay Groepper (1968-69), Larry Hiller (1970), Larry Hiller (1970), Ken Williams (1971), Henry Olmstead (1972 )), Don Ueland (1973-76), Steve Roderick (1978-81), Pete O’Keefe (1982-83), Eric Miller (1984-85), Scott McFarland (1986), Pat Dringman (1987-88) , Clint Bryan (1989-92), Kenyatte Morgan (1993), Charles Ephraim (1995), Steve Salo (1996-99), Jermaine Allen (20000), Cedric Baker (2001), CJ Adkins (2002), Demontae Fitzgerald ( 2003), Toph Grengell (2004-05), Aaron Mason (2006-07), Colby Kinna (2008), Cody Kirk (2009-13), James Nelson (2014), Zach Stern (2015-16), Tyrel Burgess ( 2017 -19), Joe olson (2020), Eli Aby (2021-)

Other # 25 Notes: If you care about these things, which we clearly do here at BBTN, the lack of statistics available prior to 1956 is a disappointment. But when stories from the old days really spark interest, it can drive you crazy. This is the case with postwar star Bill Boston, a center for the good (and not so good) Bobcat teams that immediately followed World War II. Montana and the problems of Exhibitor both refer to Boston’s prowess. “Boston’s long punts earned him a place among the best in the country,” the Exponent reported in his 1947 season record. Little statistical evidence of Boston’s heroism survives, but among the anecdotes and incidents can be extracted. For example, this from Montanan’s capsule of a 12-6 homecoming victory over North Dakota in 1948: “Montana (State) won their first touchdown after the brilliant Bill Boston ruffled the Sioux’s feathers with a 52-yard punt to the Savages 4-yard line. ” Observations like this on Boston’s Kicking Chilli almost every Bobcat game story for four seasons, and he was no doubt a weapon whose kicking would be remarkable even today.

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