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Stevensville product Sims is Montana’s new No. 37

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MISSOULA — In front of more than 6,000 fans on a picturesque spring Saturday in Missoula, the Montana Grizzlies made a special announcement at halftime of their annual spring football game. Jesse Sims is the newest No. 37.

The Stevensville native is the 14th Grizzly to earn the right to wear the hallowed jersey since Plentywood native Kraig Paulson started the tradition of handing down the number to hard-hitting Montana products. Sims inherits the jersey from Tucker Schye, a defensive end from Malta who wore the jersey for the 2017 season.

Montana defensive tackle Jesse Sims/by Brooks Nuanez

Sims is the fourth straight defensive linemen to wear the jersey, following Schye, Helena’s Caleb Kidder (2015-116) and Missoula’s Zack Wagenmann (2014). Missoula’s Jordan Tripp wore the number in 2012 and 2013, broke up the string of defensive linemen as he followed East Helena defensive end Ryan Featherston (2011) and Deer Lodge defensive tackle Carson Bender (2008-2010). Sims is the eighth defensive linemen to wear No. 37 at Montana.

Sims, who previously wore No. 49, broke into the starting lineup as a redshirt freshman in 2016. A former Class A state basketball tournament MVP and a highly recruited tight end who originally committed to Oregon State out of high school made the move from end to defensive tackle where he has been an anchor for the Griz defensive line. He had 26 tackles, four tackles for loss and a sack two seasons ago. Last season, he had 43 tackles, six tackles for loss and three sacks.

MALTA MOLDED: Schye shows pride in hometown while wearing No. 37

Sims is also regarded as one of Montana’s strongest players and top performers in the weight room. He earned the team’s “offseason MVP” entering his redshirt freshman season. The 6-foot-4, 272-pounder is one of the most physically formidable players on the Montana roster.

Montana’s No. 37 jersey

Tucker SchyeDefensive End2017Malta
Caleb KidderDefensive End2015-16Helena
Zack WagenmannDefensive End2014Missoula
Jordan TrippLinebacker2012-13Missoula
Ryan FeatherstonDefensive End2011East Helena
Carson BenderDefensive Tackle2008-10Deer Lodge
Loren UtterbackLinebacker2004-07Fort Benton
Ciche PitcherDefensive End2001-03Anaconda
Andy PetekDefensive End1998-00Helena
Jason CreboLinebacker1994-97Helena
Todd EricsonSafety1990-93Butte
Tim HauckSafety1987-89Big Timber
Kraig PaulsonFullback1983-86Plentywood

Photos attributed. This story will be updated. All Rights Reserved. 

About Colter Nuanez

Colter Nuanez is the co-founder and senior writer for Skyline Sports. After spending six years in the newspaper industry with stops at the Missoulian, the Ellensburg Daily Record and the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, the former Washington Newspaper Association Sportswriter of the Year and University of Montana Journalism School graduate ('09) has cultivated a deep passion for sports journalism during his 12 year career covering the Big Sky Conference. In August of 2014, Colter and brother Brooks merged their passions of writing and art to founded Skyline Sports.

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