By Mick Holien

You know there just are no givens – surely not in life where I and I am sure you have learned not to take anything for granted.

Surely not with family, with a job – how well I can attest to that – and certainly not with relationships no matter their status.

But when the wicked arm of injury strikes down a prospective top tier athlete twice in a career, I’ll here to tell you it is just cruel.

What is it they say: adversity builds character? While certainly it is true but that doesn’t make it any easier.

Heading into Homecoming weekend festivities for the University of Montana campus comes word that Lady Griz first team all-league player Kayleigh Valley blew out her knee, the same one in which she sustained injury almost to the day a year ago.

Coming off one of the program’s most celebrated season in2015-16 as a junior when with a 21.9 point average she broke head coach Shannon Scheweyen 25-year season scoring mark with 668 points.

Named the Bis Sky Conference pre-season MVP after her sophomore season when the Spokane area combo player was certainly a key cog in Montana’s chances to turn around an extra challenging season for Schweyen.

Women’s knees have more of a propensity for ACL injury but an off season now falls to the wayside as Valley, who was physician cleared in late July, works through another year of rehab.

Valley already holds a marketing degree and is working toward an additional undergrad degree in management.

In the meantime after a pair of road wins and now elevated in the top 25 for the first time this season the Grizzlies play host to defending league champion and pre season selection North Dakota. Headed by running back Jon Santiago, a near 1000 yard rusher in the championship run last year, he is augmented by Brady Oliveira who picks up about seven yards a tote.

The bar is set high for Homecoming at Washington Grizzly Stadium where Montana has lost but three of 31 contests.

The Lighting of the M, Ringing of the Bell and Singing on the Steps takes place on the Oval starting at 8 p.m. with the annual parade leaving the north end of Higgins Avenue at 10 a.m.

The Fighting Hawks are in a must win scenario while the Grizzlies in protecting the home field can enhance their poll standing and stay alive for a league title.

Just say’in.


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