DRUMMOND — Back-to-back 8-Man titles.
An average of more than 50 points per game scored.
That may sound like the defending 8-Man champion Flint Creek Titans, the Drummond-Philipsburg co-op, are a shoe-in for the title game this year, but they may have an uphill battle in 2019.
Since Mike Cutler became coach of the Flint Creek Titans in 2017 they haven’t lost a game in two full seasons. That’s right, the Titans went 12-0 in 2017 and 13-0 in 2018 to cap off back-to-back state championships.
So far in 2019 the Titans feel like they’re in good shape again.
“The squad’s looking great, I’m very excited about them. They’ve been working hard and a great group of kids. That’s what’s been so nice about coaching football, P-burg and Drummond combined, they’re great kids,” said Cutler.
But it’s hard to ignore the fact that the Titans lost one of the most dominant wide receivers across all the classes when Jaxon Lee transferred to Missoula Sentinel at the end of last season.
“Last year we had a couple of big seniors playing big roles, a few of them graduated. I mean, it’s big shoes to fill, but I have faith in my teammates. I think we can do it. It’s just another goal to take down,” said senior running back and linebacker Conley Wagner.
But coach Cutler is sticking to his philosophy that each year has to be a fresh start and you can’t think about past failures or success.
“No. 1, we don’t talk about state championships, we just don’t talk about last year or 2017. Those are great to think about when you’re retired and not playing anymore. Those are lifelong memories, but they have nothing to do with what’s going to happen tonight at practice or next Friday night in the football game and so on and so forth,” said Cutler.
Another obstacle the Titans face is finding a new quarterback for the foreseeable future after their starting quarterback broke his hand recently.
But coach Cutler reiterated that it’s not always the skills that makes Flint Creek successful but the preparation and expectations.
“The consistency of the program speaks for itself. Our kids know what to expect first day they report to Marshall Evans when we start our lifting program and all the way through football camp and the season,” said Cutler.
The Titans open their 2019 season on Aug. 30 versus Alberton-Superior.