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  Missoula Phoenix (2007 - Present)

Years of Operation: 2007 - 2010

 

Overall Record:  17-19

 

First Game: Apr 14, 2007 vs Helena Titans

 

First Win: Apr 14, 2007 vs Helena Titans

 

Final Game:

 

League Affiliation:  

Rocky Mountain League (2007-2010)

 

Team Headquarters: Missoula, MT

Owner: Missoula Phoenix LLC

 

Dr. Mike Johnson, John Velk, Todd Mackey, Chip Bush. 

 

General Manager:

 

Coaches: Bill Funke (HC -2007-08), Mike Swann (OC) Ciche Pitcher (DC), Willie Beamon (HC-2009) Cody Steele, Charlie Pollock, Tim Parks, Stephan Barras

 

Home Field(s): Washington Grizzly Stadium

Titles Won

None

 

 

 

 

Honors

 

 

 

 

Rising From the Ashes

Missoula semi-pro football players, prompted by the frustration that peaked during a playoff loss in June 2006, decided a new start for Missoula football was in order. That change manifested itself in the formation of a completely new and separate team.  The new team would have new management, a new color scheme, a new logo and a fitting new name: The Missoula Phoenix LLC.

Along with that new look came a new attitude and a new way of advancing the business side of Semi-Pro football in Montana. The team was made up of many of the same players already familiar to Missoula fans, and was aided by spirited new additions.  The new management team consisted of Dr. Mike Johnson, Mr. John Velk Esq., Mr Todd Mackey, and Mr. Chip Bush.  This blend of old and new promised to make the Phoenix a formidable foe.  The 2007 Missoula Phoenix would prove to be entertaining while exhibiting the Pride and Poise which has become the trademark of Missoula football.

Despite bumps along the way, including the abrupt resignation of the head coach after a mid-season win, The Phoenix rallied around new head coach Bill Funke.  He was assisted immeasurably by Offensive Coordinator Mike Swann and Defensive Coordinator Ciche Pitcher.   The Phoenix excelled on and off the field.  The Phoenix embraced community service and assisted with many charitable functions throughout the Missoula community. 

On the field, The Phoenix played extremely well and made the playoffs in their first season.  Finishing second in the tough Northern AA, the Phoenix hosted the Great Falls Gladiators and prevailed in the first round of the playoffs.  Despite the fact that no Missoula team had ever won a road playoff victory in Utah, hopes were high going into the semi-finals.  The Phoenix travelled to Davis, Utah to take on the Southern AA champion, the undefeated Davis Vipers.  Though no one gave the Phoenix a chance, the score was knotted up midway through the fourth quarter after the Vipers scored.  On the ensuing kickoff, Tony Sanderson darted up the middle and then shot outside behind an impenetrable wall of blockers, untouched to the endzone.  The point after, however, was botched and the Vipers had plenty of time for their high powered offense to score the winning touchdown.  The mighty Phoenix defense bent all the way to their own red zone, but stopped the Vipers on fourth down only inches from a first down.  The celebration silenced the Vipers faithful and history was re-written for the Phoenix.

The Blaze had done their part to set up an all Montana championship and the Phoenix had a chance to avenge their only two losses of the season.  An off night on offense, due in no small part to the Blaze's strong defense, sealed the Phoenix's fate and the Blaze captured the 2007 championship. 

The promise of the 2007 Phoenix has grown even stronger in 2008.  Having moved up to AAA, Missoula's games will be against much tougher competition.  The Phoenix believes it has assembled an even stronger cast of players and knows it will bring its exciting brand of football to the RMFL in 2008!    

 2008

The Phoenix Take Flight

The Phoenix started the 2008 season with some big changes.  Though not required to by the league, the team and management decided to take a huge step up to play AAA football.  Missoula semi-pro football's first venture into AAA in four years yielded a victory in the first game against their arch-rival the Bitterroot Blaze.  Marking the first time the Phoenix beat the Blaze in the record books bolstered the team's credibility and gave them a new found swagger.  This momentum propelled the Phoenix to victory in their next game over the league's oldest franchise the Idaho Falls Mustangs.  Buoyed with confidence after those wins, the Phoenix travelled to Bear River to take on the Rockets.  In a forty mile an hour wind, the Phoenix passed and ran their way to their first ever AAA road victory.

The season progressed well and culminated with a playoff seed and first round game at the RMFL's oldest franchise:  The Idaho Falls Mustangs.  In a see saw game the Phoenix found themselves down 2 points with the ball on the IF three yard line with under a minute to go.  Shockingly, an audible led to a fade pattern instead of the anticipated run play and an interception broke the hearts of the Phoenix and their fans.  So close to advancing, the Phoenix were gutted by the loss and had only to look forward to building on their success in 2009.

With the scars of the 2008 fresh in its memory, the Phoenix campaign of 2009 seemed shaky from the start.  New coaches, a new QB and many new faces led to a rough transition for the team.  The resignation of the OC weeks before the season ultimately put the Phoenix too far behind the eight ball.  Though competing well in many games, the Phoenix were unable to break through in the win column and would ultimately be returning to AA play.  A high point of the season that signaled the strong foundation of the team was having 40 players travel on their own dime to Idaho Falls for the last game of the year.  A meaningless game in terms of the upcoming playoffs and the Phoenix record, the Phoenix played inspired football and led the playoff bound Mustangs until deep in the 4th Quarter.  Only a costly miscue kept the Phoenix from getting their first win of the season.  However, the team unity boded well for the 2010 season and hopefully signaled another rise from the ashes for the Phoenix.

The team spent 2010 playing "Jeckle & Hyde" football going 4-4 losing and winning close games.

2007 Schedule & Results (8-3)  
Apr 14 - Helena Titans 34-12
Apr 21 @ Great Falls Gladiators 28-7
Apr 28 - Glacier Knights 49-0
May 12 @ Helena Titans 29-0
May 19 @ Bitterroot Blaze 0-6
May 26 - Great Falls Gladiators 21-7
June 2 - Bitterroot Blaze 0-6
June 9 @ Glacier Knights 44-0
June 16 - Great Falls Gladiators * 46-15
June 23 @ Davis Vipers * 34-28
June 30 @ Bitterroot Blaze ** 0-15
   
   
2008 Schedule & Results (5-4)  
Apr 5 - Bitterroot Blaze 16-10
Apr 12 - Idaho Falls Mustangs 3-0
Apr 19 - Bear River Valley Rockets 24-6
May 3 - Utah Wolverines 15-35
May 10 - Pocatello Predators 14-23
May 17 - Davis Vipers 59-21
May 31 - Salt Lake Seminoles 54-0
June 7 @ Bitterroot Blaze 6-41
June 14 - Idaho Falls Mustangs * 7-9
   
2009 Schedule & Results (0-8)  
Apr 4 - Utah Shock 14-24
Apr 11 - Bitterroot Blaze 13-61
Apr 18 @ Utah Wolverines 17-19
Apr 24 @ Bitterroot Blaze 6-29
May 9 - Eastern Idaho Lionz 18-21
May 16 @ Boise Bombers 12-47
May 30 - Pocatello Predators 9-10
June 6 @ Idaho Falls Mustangs 18-22
   
2010 Schedule & Results (4-4)  
Apr 3 - Bitterroot Blaze 6-22
Apr 10 - Glacier Knights 18-13
Apr 17 - Gallatin Valley Snow Devils 53-8
May 1 - Great Falls Gladiators 0-14
May 8 - Arco Anarchy 13-12
May 15 - Idaho Matadors 0-14
May 29 - Helena Titans 25-8
June 12 - Clark Fork Rush 7-20
   
   
   
* RMFL Playoffs  
** RMFL AA Championship  
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   

 

 

 

 

 
 
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