Montana State and GFH star Bobby Howard is this week’s Sunday Conversation

Former GFH and MSU standout Bobby Howard was this week's Sunday Conversation.

Former GFH and MSU standout Bobby Howard was this week’s Sunday Conversation.

We’ll get to Bobby, who was this week’s Sunday Conversation in a moment. First we’re going to talk about wrestling.
Much like the wrestling “Tournament of Champions” sponsored by the Hoyt and Blewett law firm, the CMR Holiday Classic was devoid of the Billings schools.
Consequently, we did get a chance to see how the Class AA No. 2 Great Falls High Bison match up with top-ranked Billings Skyview. GFH claimed its third straight Classic title and head coach Steve Komac said the weekend showed that the young Bison will continue to build the depth necessary to compete for the team state title.
However, GFH is plenty aware of the Falcons’ mat prowess.
“We definitely feel on paper, coming into the season that Skyview was the team to beat this year,” Komac said.
Bison wrestler Austin Shupe is looking to bounce back from a difficult loss in the 125-pound state title match last February. Shupe was in control late in the third period when Skyview’s Justin Waterson scored a quick reverse and stuck Shupe with less than a minute remaining.
In Sunday’s story, Shupe said that loss has driven him into harder rooms and tougher challenges as he attempts to avenge that loss. But what has been tougher for the junior is the loss of fellow 2012 state finalists Josh Morin and Cole Mendenhall.
“I miss Morin and Mendenhall – I ran around with them a lot,” Shupe said. “They helped me get to where I am today. It’s a lot different without them. There’s not a lot of people pushing and you’re the one doing the pushing.”
Mendenhall, a four-time champ, and Morin are wrestling unattached at the Division I level as they redshirt their respective freshmen seasons. Mendenhall is competing for Wyoming, while Morin is at Arizona State.
“The room is very intense, but it’s not as fun at times without them,” Shupe said. “At times it’s not as intense, but overall, we have a very intense room. We keep pushing forward and everything is working pretty much the same.”
Turning our attention to basketball, we’re still a year away from the Brendan-Bob Howard father-son combo at Great Falls High. But former GFH and MSU star Bobby Howard is now coaching at Minot State, fulfilling a lifelong coaching dream after a brief professional career.
The Bison girls are 3-1 after defeating Glacier on Saturday afternoon, while the CMR girls are 2-2. The CMR boys are 3-1 after topping Missoula Sentinel on Saturday.

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