Polson High School “PIRATE TRACKS”

Bob GundersonWelcome to “Pirate Tracks”, where you will be able to “TRACK” recent results of PHS athletic activities.  Our “Tracking the Pirates” links in the left column show up-to-date results of pirate athletic activities.  “Pirate Treasures” links has information about recent and past divisional and state competitions, All Conference and All State selections,  as well as previews (when possible) of teams currently competing in their season.  There are also photo galleries of the Pirates and Lady Pirates, again separated by seasons Fall 2021 – Winter 2021 – Spring 2021 – Posters.  I am continually gathering pictures for the galleries. If you have a picture that can be added to the gallery or comments in general about our PHS Athletic Blog, please email them to [email protected]

Polson wins Ronan rivalry volleyball match


For The Leader

Polson picked up a five-set rivalry victory over Ronan in Northwest A volleyball action on Tuesday, Oct. 10, winning by scores of 25-23, 25-23, 23-25, 22-25, 15-8.

Mckenna Hanson led Polson with 12 kills while Samantha Rensvold had 11. Avery Starr led the Pirates with 32 assists, while Julia Barnard had 25 digs.

Hanson also had 13 digs and three aces, while Carli Maley had three blocks. Starr had seven aces in the matchup.

Ronan was led by seven kills by Lauryn Buhr, Mckenna Corley, Maddy Illig, and Sierra Blood. Seattle Adams dished out 31 assists, while Buhr and Corley prowled the net with three blocks apiece.

Nevaeh Perez had two aces and 20 digs. Kailyn Marengo had 16 digs as well, while Blood had 10 digs.

In the second set, Ronan rallied from a 17-6 deficit against Polson to tie things at 19 apiece, before Polson was able to get an ace from Star and a tip from Maley.

Polson improved to 9-3 on the year and 8-2 in league play, while the Maidens fell to 6-7 on the year and 5-6 in the Northwest A.

Pirates keep football playoff hopes alive


For The Leader

Polson got two touchdowns from Holden Emerson to pick up a key 29-26 Western A overtime victory over Whitefish on Thursday. The Pirates improved to 4-3 to keep their postseason hopes alive, with one home game against Hamilton left on the schedule.

Emerson got Polson on the board first during the home game, running the ball in from the two-yard line. Whitefish responded with a oneyard touchdown run by Carson Gulick and a 15-yard touchdown pass by Gulick to Dane Hunt for the 13-7 lead.

Polson took the lead again as Emerson punched it in the endzone from three yards out for the 14-12 halftime lead. After a scoreless third quarter, Whitefish pulled ahead with another touchdown pass by Gulick to Mason Kelch from 11 yards out.

An 11-yard touchdown run from Uriah Ulutoa and a one-yard scoring run by Lucian Sawyer gave the Pirates a 26-20 led. A two-point conversion fail opened the door for Whitefish, which tied the game up in regulation with a twoyard touchdown run by Gulick.

Polson had a chance to end things before overtime as Tommy Sherry caught a long pass from Emerson, but the ensuing field goal attempt fell short of its school-record 33-yard distance.

Whitefish had the ball first but had its go-ahead field goal attempt tipped by Bordy Bulette and Cason Graham. Polson got the ball back, and Sawyer nailed a 23-yard game-winning field goal.

Polson finished with 147 yards on the ground, and Emerson passed for 204 yards on 9-of-20 passing. Emerson also rushed for 51 yards. Ulutoa had 15 rushes for 93 yards. Brock Henriksen caught four balls for 117 yards, Sherry caught two passes for 41 yards, and Graham grabbed two receptions for 38 yards.

Whitefish had 96 yards on the ground and 197 yards through the air. Brenden Griffin harassed the Bulldog offense, collecting three interceptions for the Pirates.

At Polson POLSON 29, WHITEFISH 26 (OT) Whitefish – 13 – 0 – 0 – 7 – 0 – 26 Polson – 7 – 7 – 0 – 12 – 3 – 29 SCORING SUMMARY P — Holden Emerson 2-yard run (Lucian Sawyer kick) W — Carson Gulick 1-yard run (kick failed) W — Dane Hunt 15-yard pass from Gulick (Ryder Barinowski kick) P — Emerson 3-yard run

(Sawyer kick) W — Mason Kelch 11-yard pass from Gulick (pass failed) P — Uriah Ulutoa 11-yard run (Sawyer kick) P — Sawyer 1-yard run (pass failed) W — Gulick 2-yard run (Barinowski kick) P — Sawyer 23-yard FG GAME STATS Rushing: Whitefish 29-87 (Gulick 19-61, Cole Moses 6-24, Hunt 1-9, Brady Howke 1-9, Riley Zetooney 2-2), Polson 39-147 (Ho.Emerson 21-51, Ulutoa 15-93, Henriksen 3-3). Passing – Whitefish (Gulick 2237-197-3), Polson (Ho.Emerson 9-20-2041). Receiving – Whitefish 21-189 (Kelch 4-73, Carson Krack 3-34, Hunt 6-46, Jesse Burrough 4-35, Howke 2-12), Polson 9-198 (Brock Henriksen 4-117, Tommy Sherry 2-41, Cason Graham 2-38,Cody Haggard 1-

Polson QB Jarrett Wilson has Pirates offense flying high in resurgent season

LANCE HARTZLER Missoulian [email protected] Oct 13, 2021

Polson Jarrett Wilson Scramble
photo – Bob Gunderson

MISSOULA — Polson Pirates star quarterback Jarrett Wilson has recorded some eye-popping passing numbers this year, but last week against Havre, the junior slinger did something different that wowed both his head coach and fans in attendance.
On the first play of a drive, third-year Pirates head coach Kaden Glinsmann and his staff called a deep pass play to try to catch the Havre defense off guard. That makes sense considering the Pirates run a shorter passing scheme centered around Wilson’s accuracy — 72% at the moment — and the speedy wideouts who flank him in the offense.vrd line, Wilson dropped back and immediately noticed the blown pass coverage. He slid to his left around a rusher and blew past the rest of the Havre defense for a season-best 80-yard touchdown run.
“I saw a hole and they were in man coverage and thought that I would get, I don’t know, at least 10 yards,” Wilson said Monday during an interview. “I wasn’t really thinking I would get 80, which was exhausting honestly. … I was so tired and, like, oh my gosh I hadn’t ran that far since track season.”
The game ended with a 42-14 Polson win as Wilson threw for 301 yards and five TDs to keep the Pirates undefeated at 7-0.
Playing the way Polson does, with the high volume of throws, the scramble drills are bound to come. So the team does practice it, but not as much after doing it “a ton” last season, only brushing up on it during the fall camp because of the eight upperclassmen who returned at receiver.
Glinsmann embraces Wilson extending plays. He trusts the young quarterback, who is disciplined about those freelance plays in a way some slingers might not be. Wilson doesn’t really look to run, with 35 carries on the season — the burst against Havre excluded. He looks to get the ball to a deep group of receivers when he breaks out of the pocket and eludes tackles.
“We’re thinking we are coaching this high school kid, so we are teaching him these high school-type football situations. Instead, he is next level,” Glinsmann said. “He is thinking about ‘I wouldn’t slide there because it wasn’t this exact right situation’ or ‘I wouldn’t take off because it wasn’t this situation.’ … He is just thinking leaps and bounds ahead to even where we would as a staff.”
Glinsmann called Wilson’s football IQ through the roof and his accuracy uncanny, and the stats back his claim up. Wilson has thrown for 34 touchdowns, zero interceptions, 2,087 yards on 347.8 yards per game and has a QB rating of 144.3 — a perfect passer rating is 158.3 — and he has been as close to perfect as a quarterback in a pass-heavy offense can be. He leads 11-Man football, regardless of class according to stats compiled on MaxPreps.com, in passing touchdowns, yards, yards per game and is the only QB with at least 100 passes thrown without an interception.
It’s safe to say the junior, in his second year starting as the Pirates QB, is in the middle of a massive breakout season.
“He is just one of those special, once-in-a lifetime type guys that you get coming through a program. We are just so fortunate to have him and thankfully have him for another year.” Glinsmann said.
If you ask Wilson about his talent he is soft spoken and humble. He knows what he is doing but gives credit to his coaches and teammates.
“I don’t know about that,” Wilson said about his coach’s comments about his abilities. “He is just hyping me up, maybe a little too much. … I’m not just better, but our team is a lot better too. Our coaches do a good job of easing our offense to spread the ball out. It makes it a lot harder on defense when they have to worry about several guys catching the ball, not just one guy. I have a good relationship with all of them, we are all really good friends, and we’ve worked hard together starting in my sophomore year and from then our relationship has just grown.”
This season, five Pirates have caught at least 15 passes, and a trio of seniors have caught at least 31 to give the team a three-headed attack at the top of the depth chart. Colton Graham has 38 receptions, 648 yards and nine TDs, Xavier Fisher has 33 catches for 448 and eight touchdowns, and Robert Perez has 31 snags for 433 yard and five scores.
Football in the family
Wilson is a triplet, with his two brothers, Trent and Colter, manning the defense at linebacker. But the football bloodlines go even further for the trio.
Their eldest brother Tanner Wilson — who was a quarterback for the Montana Grizzlies in 2017 and 18 before leaving the team in spring 2019 — was a star for Polson, leading the Pirates to their most recent winning season in 2016 when the squad went 7-3 and won the Northwest A title playing under their dad, former Missoula Big Sky QB Scott Wilson.
“Everybody grew up around football,” Scott said Wednesday. “ … Growing up, the triplets had football, whether it was practice, going to games, following big brother around, all of those things.”
While Scott, now an MHSA assistant director, never coached Jarrett, Trent or Colter at the high school level, the former Big Sky player and at one point coach will impart some advice to his sons.
“He is still just as much as a head coach as he has always been,” Jarret said. “I never had him as my head coach, but he is still giving me pointers.”
Pirates resurgence
The last time Polson was this good was in fact when a Wilson was the quarterback. Things have come full circle so to say.
Jarret led the team to a 4-5 record last season as a sophomore, and now the team has exploded with newfound dominance.
The Pirates are in the middle of their best season, even better than Tanner’s 2016 team, since going 9-1 in 2012. The current edition of the Pirates are 7-0 with two games left against Browning and No. 5 Whitefish (7-0) in the regular-season finale in Whitefish.
The Pirates have outscored opponents 307-48, with the closest game coming against Columbia Falls, which ended as a 37-0 shutout in favor of Polson.

Unbeaten Polson Pirates living up to lofty expectations as season hits midway point

Katelyn Pitching

MISSOULA — Polson’s softball players hung their heads as they stared down at the left field grass on Frenchtown’s No. 3 softball field on an overcast, windy Saturday afternoon.

They had just ended a game without a win for the first time this season. They didn’t lose either, but the looks on the players’ faces sure made it seem like the Class A Pirates had lost when they finished in a 2-2 tie with Class B/C Mission-Arlee-Charlo in an extra-inning game.

Polson dropped to a still-impressive 11-0-1, a record that many teams around the state would love to have midway through the season. As they clapped their hands to break the postgame meeting, coach Jami Hanson had left them with a message that this was a result that should be beneficial going forward for the team that’s widely considered the state title favorite in Class A.

“That’s exactly what we needed,” Hanson said. “You’ve got to have that adversity in games every once in a while because that’s the only thing that makes you better. You want those games because you don’t want to get to state and then get in your first dogfight and not know how to handle it. We can learn from this.”

Polson isn’t expecting to only get to state; the Pirates believe they’re capable of winning state. They nearly did that in 2019, finishing as the State A runner-up while being powered by a large contingent of sophomores and being led by Hanson, who was in his first season replacing Larry Smith, who had led the Pirates to seven state titles in 31 years. They were hoping to make a return trip to the title game in 2020 before the pandemic canceled the season.

This spring, the Pirates have back one junior and four seniors who played big roles in the 2019 state tournament when they were underclassmen. That experience gives them a leg up on some of their competition, who lack similar numbers of returning starters, let alone that many players with any previous varsity experience, because of the long layoff since the last season.

“The expectations are high again. Absolutely,” Hanson said, noting that he anticipates both his team and MAC to end the year with titles. “We expect big things. These girls have done a lot of work to put themselves in this position.”

The Pirates have steamrolled their competition by outscoring them 189-17 through 12 games. They already own a 13-0 win last week over Frenchtown, the leader in the Southwest A, and an 18-6 win Friday over Lewistown, the presumptive champ in the Northeast A.

They also have a 10-2 win over Columbia Falls and a 12-0 victory against Libby, the two teams that were expected to be their toughest competition in their conference. The only other Class A team without a loss is Laurel, the leader in the Southeast A.

“I strongly believe that softball on our side of the state is tough. Really tough,” Hanson said. “We just haven’t seen a pitcher like (MAC’s Kooper) Page, who spins the ball really well. We needed a game like this because we haven’t gotten to see stuff like that yet.”

Polson is powered by five seniors in Josie Caye, SaVanna Carpentier, Kobbey Smith, Lexy Orien and Mossy Kauley. Caye was an all-state shortstop in 2019, Carpentier and Smith were all-conference honorable mention picks, and Orien started in the 2019 state tournament.

Polson also has the pitching prowess with junior Katelyne Druyvestein, who’s been the team’s ace after she was second-team all-conference in 2019. She’s started all 12 games and has allowed just 10 runs on 30 hits while striking out 84 compared to 15 walks. The two runs she allowed against MAC were both unearned as a two-out error led to them ending the game in a tie.

“She’s a really good pitcher, moves the ball around, has a nice curve, her rise ball is really nasty,” MAC coach Shane Reum said after the tie. “She’s a really seasoned pitcher and has a really good defense behind her as well. They’re just an all-around solid team.”

The Pirates will now test themselves by playing up a classification against Class AA teams Glacier and Flathead on Tuesday and Thursday. It’ll also be a chance for them to see how they bounce back from not winning a game as they continue preparing themselves for the state tournament May 27-29.


Building and maintaining an athletic program

When I first came to Polson in the summer of 1976 I never knew that I had found a home where I would spend the rest of my life. I was a math teacher at the high school and an assistant boys basketball coach and head track coach. Having never had the reigns of a boys track and field program, I was most apprehensive in that area. I knew that Polson had a pretty good history of fielding competitive teams in track and field with their most recent championship coming in 1974. That first year was a learning experience. Only two of the returning boys had been to the state track meet the year before and less than 20 turned out for track that spring. At the divisional that year, I was able to watch a veteran coach from Hamilton named Lloyd Clark. He had one of the top programs in Western Montana and his teams were consistently at the top of the Western A division. I absorbed as much from him as I could during the meets that first year.

After attending STATE that year I knew that I would have to do something different with our program to build it back to being a consistent contender. The task ahead for me as a head coach seemed awesome and I felt a little apprehensive as to whether it could be accomplished. We needed to get more kids out and the coaching staff had to be knowledgeable and effective and motivated. My goal in the beginning and throughout all the years was to create a program where kids were successful as individuals and team oriented as a group. Although track and field is a sport made up of a number of individual events, I soon found out that team success was huge when it came to motivating kids to do give their best effort. Track and field events are technique events and each event requires a lot of practice and hard work. Leadership is extremely important. I needed leadership in the athletes and the coaches to build success. Polson was good to me in both areas. Over the years we gathered an outstanding group of coaches and the Polson area provided us with quality athletes to work with.

Question was, what could I do that might go above and beyond what had been done in the past to build and maintain a successful program. I wanted the athletes at PHS to be motivated and want to be part of our program. I needed the athletes in our school to come out and want to be part of a program in the spring of the year. Many were ready to take a break at that time. I very much needed the cooperation of coaches in other programs and the encouragement they could provide to compete in the spring. This is harder than it sounds as many coaches are centered in “their” programs.

How do I begin? First I decided to attend coaching clinics on a regular basis and encouraged my assistants to do likewise. I decided to have an overall plan for the many parts of the season with individual planning for every practice. I started with a publication that I placed in the commons on a weekly basis called “Pirate Tracks”. It was totally about the kids in our program. Individuals were highlighted on a weekly basis and team and individual results appeared in every issue throughout the season. I also started keeping track of every athlete in every event for every class A athlete in the state of Montana. I ranked them and kids in our program and provided a weekly update. These updates were handed out at a meeting that I started having every Monday before the weeks practices started. Kids were able to see where they stood statewide in their events. All athletes were rewarded for “personal best performances” at these meetings. The goal was to be ranked in the top six in the state in each event. I also kept fantasy team scores based on the marks that were recorded. Athletes always knew exactly where they stood on a statewide basis. Needless to say, I never ran out of things to do on Sundays throughout the season.

I worked hard at obtaining complete uniforms and equipment for the program. Anyone that has coached a field event knows the importance of the “right” discus or the “correct” pole for the pole vault. And we wanted our athletes to look good and to represent the community of Polson in the best possible way. I said many times that when arriving at a meet I wanted other schools to see us coming and know that they would be in for a battle that day. PRIDE in themselves and the program they were part of was a huge part of our success over the years.

Coaches going home early from practice was not an option. Flexibility was important when dealing with our individual athletes. I encourage multiple events but it was not a requirement. Get them out for something, get them interested, and maybe multiple events would happened for them. Many times you could find our coaches working past 7:00 at night (practice started at 3:45) with individual athletes. I can’t begin to thank all of the coaches for the effort that they put forth. As the head coach, I was always the last one out and locked the gate and closed down the locker room.

At some point about 2/3 of the way through the season the entire team went to one of the local “ice cream” shops where I treated them to whatever they wanted (within reason of course). Was kind of expensive when the turnout in the boys program alone stretched into the 60’s and 70’s but the fellowship and memories were priceless.

It was amazing how fast things started heading in the right direction. We had some very good seasons and some great seasons over the next 30 plus years. Our coaching staff underwent some changes over those years but I was always able to fill positions with qualified people. Some of the people came from the ranks of athletes that had gone through the program at PHS. Once again I reflect on how “lucky” I was to be coaching at PHS and to be a member of the Polson community.

In 2008 my friend and Girls Head Coach Bruce Thomas headed off to Alaska. We shared assistant coaches during his days as a head coach and each of us assisted the other in our programs. In order to organize practices a little better the programs were united that year and I was the head of both programs. All that I was doing for the boys I now did for the girl program also. Sunday for me involved even more time on the job essentially doubling my workload. What a pleasure though, working with such a great group of talented girls. Many great memories.

I would encourage coaches trying to build or rebuild a program to go the extra mile if that is really what they intend to do. The hill is sometimes steep but not impossible to climb. Be creative. Never quit searching for ways to get kids involved with you and your program. Always put the kids first. Their success is your success. Reaching the top is one of the most satisfying experiences you will ever experience.


End of Season Soccer honors

Northern A

Boys Soccer

First team

Austin Luper, sr., Polson*

Honorable mention

Kaden Nelson, jr., Polson

*Indicates all-state selection


Second team

Grace Hobbs, sr., Polson; Sophia Moderie, jr., Polson; Tia Mercer, so., Polson.

Honorable mention

Autumn Burland, sr., Polson

Polson’s Thiel, Emerson earn all-state golf honors

Portions of an article BY JOHN HEGLIE Special for the Leader

The Mission Valley reaped a pair of all-staters when senior Ellie Thiel and freshman Hunter Emerson of Polson placed among the top 15 at the two-day Class A state golf tournament Thursday and Friday at the Butte Country Club.

Thiel improved her second day score by seven strokes to move up three spots from tied 14th after first-day action. Emerson and fellow Pirate Torrin Ellis were initially tied at 24th after first-day action with dual 87s. But Emerson shaved 10 strokes off his firstday tally to leapfrog up the leaderboard 11 spots and finish 13th.

Emerson’s 10-stroke improvement tied for thirdbest second-day

recovery with Johnny Nix of Whitefish among the boys field, behind a 17-stroke leap by Kaden Hardin of Miles City and 15-stroke surge by Bryce Hayes of Livingston.

Polson’s Ellis and Carson Hupka and Carly Garrick were models of consistency. Hupka and Ellis turned in duplicate scores over the course of both days, while Garrick was within one stroke of her preceding day tally.

Thiel tied for 10th in 2018 for all-conference kudos at the Western A Divisional her sophomore season, and finished tied for eighth last year for all-state honors. The seasoned senior put together a complementary set to close out her prep postseason finales with her all-state flourish, coupled with her preceding sixth-place finish at divisionals for all-conference acknowledgement.

Pirates rake in Western A accolades

Portions of an article by JOHN HEGLIE Special for the Leader

Almost a dozen Western A football players from Polson and Ronan were acknowledged with postseason honors for their athletic performances on the gridiron this past fall. Polson had seven named to the honors list: two allstaters, four second-team noms and an honorable mention. All-state accolades for the Polson Pirates went to sophomore southpaw signal- caller Jarrett Wilson and junior receiver Colton Graham. The tandem rewrote the school record book for passing and receiving yardage, appended their names among statewide top 10 lists, and were nationally ranked among the upper echelon of teams posting the MaxPreps. 

Wilson broke the school passing record twice in the same season: his season opener debut on the road at Columbia Falls, and a 500-yard performance at home against Butte Central. His over 3,100 passing yards vaulted him into second place among the all-time Class A list for season passing along with appending his name multiple times to the top tier list for single- game yardage, according to Class A statistician Brian A. Reed.

Graham set the school reception record in the season opener against the Wildcats and almost broke the record again at home against Butte Central — if not for adownfield holding infraction that reduced his net gain. Graham’s 1,000 yard-plus season was tops among Class A receivers and was accomplished despite not seeing action in two games.

Second-team junior Xavier Fisher was the second leading receiver for the Pirates. According to Reed, Fisher’s eclipsing of 200 receiving yards against Butte Central in conjunction with comparable yardage by Graham was the first time two receivers had caught passes for over the double- century mark in the same game.

Second-team junior defensive end Braunson Henriksen was a second leading tackler on the team, recovered a fumble while forcing three others, and regularly brought havoc to the backfield.

Second-team sophomore linebacker Trent Wilson was the leading tackler for the Pirates with 79 total tackles. His defensive portfolio this past season included a pick-6, a blocked PAT and a fumble recovery.

Second-team senior jack-of-all-trades Boston Goode did a little bit of everything for the Pirates: backfield rusher, complimentary receiver and punter. In the secondary he recorded four interceptions, at least four pass deflections and was third leading tackler among the team. Goode culminates his prep career with more than 1,200 total yards of offense, factoring in his sophomore season filling in as quarterback. This was the second all-conference acknowledgement for Goode, an honorable mention punter last season.

Senior center Ethan Cunningham was conferred with honorable mention recognition for his crucial role in anchoring the offensive line.

2020 WESTERN A football postseason honors

POLSON – (A-S): Jarrett Wilson QB, Colton Graham WR; (2ND-TM): Xavier Fisher WR, Braunson Henriksen DE, Trent Wilson OLB, Boston Goode S; (HM): Ethan Cunningham C.

Lady Pirates earn All-State volleyball honors

Portions of an article BY JOHN HEGLIE Special for the Leader

Five Polson volleyball players recently were honored with postseason accolades, including first-team all-state designations for Lady Pirates senior Maggie Todd.

Todd surpassed the double- century mark for kills while spearheading the Polson attack. Equally adept as a solid defender, Todd surpassed recorded more than 200 digs while also leading the team with blocks at the net. This was the third straight season that Todd has lodged at least 100 kills and digs, and it’s her second allstate nod.

Polson senior setter Berkley Ellis was named to the all-state second team. She was second on her team in aces and had more than 100 digs on defense. This was the second all-conference nod for Ellis, an honorable mention last season.

Senior outside hitter Kobbey Smith of Polson netted an allstate honorable mention. She was the second leading hitter at the net for kills and led the team in aces. Also garnering all-state honorable mentionhonors were teammates

Hallie Moss, a senior, and senior libero Ara Mercer, who surpassed 700 digs over the course of two seasons.

Western A all-state/all-conference honors 2020 Northwest A

POLSON – (a-s): sr. Maggie Todd; (2nd-tm): sr. Berkley Ellis; (hm): sr. Kobbey Smith; sr. Ara Mercer; sr. Hallie Moss.

Pirate football: A unique season under unusual circumstances

BY JOHN HEGLIE, Special for the Leader

Jarrett Wilson
Quarterback Jarrett Wilson passes to Robert Perez.

Football experienced a unique fall 2020 season that extended far beyond playing under the cloud of a worldwide viral pandemic. Statewide as well as local school records were reset by a quarterback in his inaugural season as well as by those among his receiving corps. In the season opener at Columbia Falls, both southpaw sophomore signal- caller Jarrett Wilson and his lead receiver Colton Graham would reset the single game Polson school record for both passing as well as receiving yardage. Wilson threw for 444 yards, obliterating the previous record of 310 set by Craig Bagnell against Stevensville back in 2007. Graham would catch a dozen passes for 251 yards, surpassing the previous mark of 248 set by Matthew Rensvold in 2016. Bagnell is currently head coach of the University of Mary Marauders. Rensvold is among the receiving corps on the University of Montana Grizzlies roster.

The season opener would be just a portent of things to come. Jarrett Wilson would throw four more games for over 400 yards, including a north of 500 yard performance against Butte Central that reset the school passing record yet again. By the end of the season, Wilson had surpassed three thousand passing yards, ranking him at the pinnacle of statewide passers as well as among the top 15 nationally among schools posting to MaxPreps.

Only Dakota Bridwell of Columbia Falls in 2016 has passed for more yardage in Montana Class A history. Bridwell’s league leading 3,901 passing yardage was accomplished over the course of a dozen games that included three postseason playoffs. Jarrett Wilson accomplished his 3,116 over the course of nine games.

It should be noted that two of those nine entailed atrocious weather conditions. The midseason Libby match featured sheets of pouring rain, while the regular schedule finale against Hamilton was played in a snowstorm with limited visibility. Had more favorable weather conditions been present for those two contests, there is little doubt Wilson would have further enhanced the Polson passing attack with a higher cumulative tally. Add in his 89-327 yards rushing from scrambling or quarterback keepers along with his lone eight yard reception and Wilson has generated 3,450 total yards all by his lonesome.

On the receiving end of the spectrum, junior wideout Colton Graham not only reset the school receiving record in the season opener, but almost did it again in the Butte Central game as well. Graham would have attained the necessary yardage with a string of final frame receptions. But a downfield holding penalty on a 37-yard gainer scrubbed some of his accumulated net yardage that would compromise resetting a new record.

By the culmination of the season, Graham was listed at the pinnacle among statewide receivers, while making the top 40 nationally among schools posting to MaxPreps despite not playing in two games. Had he also played in those contests while maintaining his per game average, Graham would have stratified among the top ten nationally among schools posting to the MaxPreps matrix.

Xavier Fisher was another popular target among Jarrett Wilson’s receiving corps, racking up over 600 reception yards over the course of the season. Fisher’s official circa-200 receiving yards against Butte Central juxtaposed with Graham catches was the first time teammates have ever turned in dual 200 reception yards in the same game at the Class A level.

The emergence of Jarrett Wilson isn’t something that materialize overnight. Behind the scenes can be found a combination of hard work, aptitude as well as pedigree. In addition to substantial dedication to a regimen of preparation during the offseason, Wilson’s aptitude can be traced in part to a penchant to emulate his Pirate pedigree. Jarrett grew up among three other brothers who have played their share of backyard football over the years. Eldest brother Tanner quarterbacked the Pirates from 2014-16 before joining the UM Griz roster for a couple of seasons. Father Scott Wilson, current MHSA staff member and former Polson High principal, is a former quarterback himself (Missoula Big Sky, 1984-86) who coached the Polson Pirates football program for sixteen

seasons (2001-16). Witnessing such accomplishments as they unfolded over the course of the season were a marvel to behold. But far fewer had opportunity to witness such a unique display of Pirate passing proficiency on account of the pandemic climate with its associate precautions. With the core of the Pirate lineup returning intact next season, Pirate fans have something to look forward to with anticipation as to what subsequent seasons may hold.

Brian A Reed, Class A football statistician, has documented multiple factoids about Jarrett Wilson’s inaugural season behind center at quarterback:

  • Only three players at the Class A level have surpassed 3,000 yards since 1990.
  • Ranks second among Class A for single season passing yardage (2016: Bridwell, 3901) · Occupies five places among the top ten list for single games with 400 yards passing.
  • Third-most single game passing yards in Class A history, most in 25 years.
  • Four times placed among statewide top twelve for passing completions (39,*41/37,34,32).
  • Most single game passing completions in 25 years of Class A state history (39/*41).
  • Reset Class A state record for cumulative pass completions (256+).
  • Four times placed among statewide top ten for passing attempts (60,54,53,46).
  • Reset Class A state record for cumulative pass attempts (429+).
  • One of just nine Class A players with 30 touchdown passes in a season.
  • One among five with multiple career six TD games.
  • Twice reset Polson school record for passing yardage.

Class A FB single season passing yardage (Brian A. Reed) Dakota Bridwell, C-Falls (2016: 238-401-3901-10-49td) 12gms Jarrett Wilson, Polson (2020: 256-429-3115-12-32td) 9gms* Carson Rostad, Hamilton (2017: 203-336-3079-7-39td) 12gms Dane Warp, Havre (2012: 181-298-2941-12-21td) 11gms Asterisk (*) denotes minor variation(s) may apply Class A FB single game passing yardage (Brian A. Reed) Chris Klein, BlgsC (1995: 38-66-624-2-7td) vs. Colstrip Chris Klein, BlgsC (1995: 30-55-523-3-6td) vs. Sidney Jarrett Wilson, Polson (2020: 34-46-519-0-6td) vs. ButteC Dakota Bridwell, C-Falls (2016: 37-63-464-2-2td) vs. Polson Jarrett Wilson, Polson (2020: 32-53-444-1-3td) vs. C-Falls Jarrett Wilson, Polson (2020: 39-60-441-2-5td) vs. Frenchtown Jarrett Wilson, Polson (2020: 28-46-439-2-5td) vs. Ronan Dane Warp, Havre (2012: 19-32-438-0-5td) vs. Lewistown Josh Link, Hardin (2006: 18-33-435-1-5td) vs. Belgrade Cade Baker, Frenchtown (2018: 23-41-432-4-6td) vs. Hamilton Jarrett Wilson, Polson (2020: 37-54-413-1-6td)* vs. Bigfork Craig Bagnell, Polson (2007: 17-31-310-2 -3td) vs. Stevi