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Spartan Scoop

HISTORY OF THE GOAT GAME

Looking into the past of the Golden Goat as it approaches once again
The+silhouette+of+the+Golden+Goat
Caitlyn Busig
The silhouette of the Golden Goat

The high schools of Missoula county are abuzz as the annual Golden Goat Game approaches, once again creating the opportunity for a school to take home the prize: Gertie the Golden Goat.

The hallways of Sentinel high school have been filled with the thrill and excitement of once again being able to participate in this tradition. The student government, as well as teachers, parents, the dance and cheer teams, art club, and overall student body have been working tirelessly to get everyone ready for the event on February 15th. 

With it having been many years since the first Golden Goat, taking a dive into the shallow past of the game is needed in order to address concerns and questions about the tradition past and present.

…this is the most collective effort I’ve seen in the six years this has been going on.

— Lisa Anderson

In order to answer these questions an interview was taken with Lisa Anderson who supervises the student government alongside Erika Martin and has always been heavily involved with the preparations of the game. 

The Goat started when “six years ago the Sentinel and Hellgate student governments developed this spirit war together,” Anderson says. It was created because the groups decided that having a designated event where both schools could come together and compete in a show of “good sportsmanship” and “positive cheering,” would be a good way to slow the ever growing rivalry between the two schools. 

Throughout all previous years the only schools to compete have been Hellgate and Sentinel, making this a yearly tradition. However, come the 2023 school year, Big Sky was added to the roster in order to make a play for the goat as well. 

With this addition to the third school the rules were made so that whichever school “sits out gets to play the winner of the goat the following year.” Meaning that whichever school takes home the goat this year will be playing against Big Sky next year.

However, in all the games thus far, Hellgate has been the only school to take home the golden prize. There are many speculations as to why this has been the case. 

The most common rumor is that Hellgate, being the only winners, have been rigging the game in order for their school to be the only one to win the prize. Brayden Wallace, one of the two student body presidents, claims that he “[doesn’t] know if it’s rigged exactly” but does know that Hellgate performs better, on average, than Sentinel. 

“Having more energy when you’re playing can bring more energy” to the crowd and those watching the game. He also stated that “you never know” if the game could be rigged and it’s possible that a kind of truth could be unearthed during this year’s game. 

Anderson also addressed this rumor calling it false.

“I can tell you for certain that it is not rigged,” Anderson says. Besides the game having been a collective effort to create, she claims that she has seen the score reports of the previous years games and how they decided who was declared the winner. 

Anderson also reassures that the judges of each year’s game have nothing to do with Sentinel’s continuous losses. 

Each year the people chosen to judge the level of enthusiasm displayed by each school are switched. Before they are chosen it is also made sure that they are not made to show any kind of favoritism to either of the schools who participate. “[The judges] are chosen because they are impartial community members that have no ties to either school.” 

Additionally, it is not the decision of one school alone who judges the spirit competition. Both of the participating schools come together and collectively decide who will be chosen to judge the game.

These are all precautions taken in order to eliminate the risk of an unfair advantage to either of the schools. 

Having considered all of these factors, it begs the question, why has Sentinel yet to take home the Golden Goat? 

Anderson claims that what is easily the most difficult part of the competition is keeping the enthusiasm at its height for two entire games. “Which is approximately four hours,” she says, as the crowd grows tired and less enthusiastic towards their peers. 

Despite never having won, Anderson says that Sentinel has also done very well in the enthusiasm department every year we have competed in the tournament. “This year especially every department that has been getting involved with the Golden Goat has been working extremely hard to win this.” 

A large part of this enthusiasm is believed to come from Sentinel not having been able to compete last year. Anderson comments that “this is the most collective effort I’ve seen in the six years this has been going on.”

With the endless support coming, not only from the student government but from all groups involved with the preparations this year, there is very high hope that Sentinel will be the one to take home the Golden Goat for the first time in our school’s history.

 

About the Contributor
Caitlyn Busig, Reporter