Americans’ season comes to close over weekend

This Sunday, senior Bridger Croft and the Great Falls Americans are hoping to end the night singing their victory song at the state tournament in Billings.

“After every win our coach comes in and we all start clapping in rhythm and sing our victory song. I have no idea where it came from, but we started doing it this year,” he said.

Senior Malachi Bushey, however, knows the roots of the tradition.

“It’s a song that our coach used to sing with his team when he was younger, and he carried it on with us,” Bushey said.

Going into the state tournament tomorrow with a record of 23-3-2, the team is confident in its chances to win it all.

Bushey is especially confident.

“We’ll win it. We’ve beaten every team pretty handily. We’ve been playing really well and all of the things we’ve been working on in practice are coming together. All of the small things are building up at the right time,” he said.

Croft agrees, believing that team chemistry has helped the Americans this season.

“We’ve had a great season. Everyone is just really coming together as a team, and it’s making this year a lot more fun than the previous years,” Croft said.

Senior Cole Funseth says that the year has turned out better than any of them thought.

“Everyone wants to be there, and it turns to a family bond,” he said.

Their success included winning the Casey Cup on Feb. 16, despite it testing their ability to make adjustments.

“The toughest part about the Casey Cup was that we weren’t really familiar with any of the teams we had to play against, so we just had to play our best and hope that it was good enough to win,” Croft said.

Junior Blake Miller, who was the MVP of the Casey Cup, said that the Casey Cup victory very well could be a precursor to success in the state tournament this Friday through Sunday in Billings.

“We’re going into it in first place, so we’re hoping it turns out good,” Miller said.

Senior Marvin Simmons agrees.

“We’re completely capable of winning. It all just depends on who comes to play,” Simmons said.

Although the Americans have had a good year, there have been some low points.

According to Miller, the lowest point was a game in which they led until the opposition tied it with one second remaining.

Sophomore Sean Morris said the lowest point has been a constant battle with injuries.

“I got hurt in practice, Bridger and Luke [Wilson] got hurt in a tournament in Butte, and Cole got a little dinged up in our last game,” Morris said.

Simmons believes that the low points are miniscule compared to the highs of the year.

“Right away, out of the gates we went 7-0. Then we lost one but won a few more,” Simmons said. “This whole year we never lost two games in a row. We won two tournaments: in Salmon, Idaho and the Casey Cup here in town.”