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Billings Gazette Sports Five on Five

Billings Gazette Sports Five on Five

1. In honor of Big Sky State Games founder Tom Osborne, who recently passed away, what is your favorite sport at the annual event? 

John Letasky: I've always enjoyed venturing out to the softball fields to see what's going on, but each sport is likable in its own way. 

Jeff Welsch: One of these years I'm going to enter the table tennis competition to see if I can recapture the glory years of my athletic prowess.

Lindsay Rossmiller: I've attempted to document them in a single weekend and the image of table tennis competitors playing in the middle of Rimrock Mall as shoppers wandered by sticks out, but I'd like to check out cornhole next time.

Bill Bighaus: I have always enjoyed watching the Pickleball competition and thinking I'd be pretty good at it.

Mario Small: I have been a huge basketball fan of the biggest amateur draw inside of the upper-west U.S. Shout out to Hammond Law! Five-timers club. Until the wheels fall off. 

2. Will the Lady Griz ever reclaim their former glory? 

John Letasky: Montana is capable of once again being one of the supreme programs in the league. It will just take a little time once the program decides on a coach and direction. 

Jeff Welsch: No. The rest of the league has caught up to the Lady Griz and the days of extraordinary dynasties in The House That Rob (Selvig) built are over.

Lindsay Rossmiller: I don't know of anyone who has found success chasing past achievements. Life is always moving forward.

Bill Bighaus: The Lady Griz of the 1980s and '90s are a tough act to follow. The Big Sky certainly has better balance these days, but I am not going to rule out a return to dominance by Montana. 

Mario Small: Jeff said it. I blame social media. Why? I don't know, but it seems nothing is sacred anymore.

3. What will the upcoming Montana high school spring sports season bring? 

John Letasky: Hopefully bright, sunny blue skies, Top 10 meets, good competition and camaraderie and fans at the events. 

Jeff Welsch: I suspect an even greater sense of normalcy assuming folks keep getting vaccinated. Oh, and a May snowstorm.

Lindsay Rossmiller: These are the athletes that actually lost a full season so I'm looking forward to seeing their return.

Bill Bighaus: Plenty of enthusiasm to be competing outside once again, along with the usual wind, rain and snow.

Mario Small: Track season will be interesting. It is one of those sports like wrestling that is dominantly individualized, but the teams bring home the state hardware. 

4. Will professional sports all-star games ever again become must-watch television? 

John Letasky: It won't turn around in a year or two, and might take several, but things come and go and ebb and flow. With the right mix, these games will regain popularity. 

Jeff Welsch: They haven't been must-watch for me since I was a kid. All are snooze-fests. Baseball lost me when it went inter-league.

Lindsay Rossmiller: I don't know that I've ever sat down to watch a full all-star game of any pro sport.

Bill Bighaus: Over the years I am watching less and less sports on TV, including the all-star games. I don't think I am the only one either.

Mario Small: Yes, if the system can bridge the gap between the sensationalized individual and the fabric of the sport within the media. Market more of the sport's lore and tradition and less of the pop culture. 

5. Easter is fast approaching. When was the last time you dyed an Easter egg? 

John Letasky: It's been a few years, but I have fond memories. Plus, I still hide some Easter eggs stuffed with candy for my nieces! 

Jeff Welsch: At least 30 years ago when my daughter was a tyke. As adults, now we hide beer in the yard. Found one last summer that had been in a tree nook for five years. FYI, beer does not age like fine wine.

Lindsay Rossmiller: I'm going to guess it's been 15-20 years.

Bill Bighaus: I might be off by a year or two, but perhaps it was 1961.

Mario Small: Wow. Those were the days. I remember losing a few of the boiled babies in the house and finding them months later. 


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