BILLINGS- "Bobcat born, Bobcat bred, I'll be a Bobcat 'til I'm dead."
One family, five boys, Montana State certainly got their money's worth with the Davis family from up 'on the hill'. Let's start with mom and dad. Doug and Debbie met at Montana State, ironically at the same time the Cats won the football championship in 1984.
"That was the beginning of our time. To move around different places and it all comes full circle with our boys growing up in Billings, Montana and all end up going to school there there (Montana State) is just unbelievable," said Debbie Davis.
First came Leo, a three year starting lineman for Montana State. Matt Davis played one season in Bozeman. Steven broke ranks and opted for basketball, and yes, played for the Cats as well.
"It's way bigger than football, bigger than sports. It's about the community, the state and it's been a long time coming," Steven said.
Now comes Ryan, senior tight end for Montana State. He's in Frisco this weekend playing for the national championship.
"Being a Bobcat my whole life and get the opportunity to come here and actually put on the Blue and Gold I don't know if it's hit me yet and I hope it hits me in a really good way on Saturday," said Ryan.
Team Davis is right there, all for one, one for all.
"All of us brothers are living through Ryan you know, I think we would all be the first to say, 'Ryan this is your moment," said Matt.
The Davis boys all played at Billings Skyview, many times for a team that struggled for wins. Nobody transferred, no one quit. To them, winning is nothing without loyalty to your school and your home.
Strength in family is evident and along with that, culture and heritage. Dad comes from the Blackfeet, mom is Lakota. All the boys were raised strongly in that culture and it sends a powerful message to Native Americans across the state.
"Whether it was on the gridiron or the hardwood, it was an opportunity to present those same virtues that made our warriors successful," Steven said.
Leo added, "Our culture, brings that sense of value and connectiveness. A lot of people don't have that connection to one another and our culture really supports us."
We haven't mentioned the youngest of the bunch and that's Dan. He represents the other half of this story. Yes, he's at Montana State as well. No, he does not compete in sports there. What he does is represent the backbone of the family story and that's academics. He's majoring in construction engineering. As mom says, that's the real value of attending college.
"My mom and dad were first generation college in our family. From day one, we knew get it straightened out in school, and it will take you far in life," Dan said.
Of course, the entire Davis family will be in Frisco on Saturday to watch Ryan play. Would you expect anything less?
"Coming from the hill, coming from the heights, there's not a lot of championships won. It happens to be his final outing, and I'm ready to watch him dance," said Leo.
Ryan capped it off, "You know it's crazy this whole thing is coming to an end but I'm not finished yet, but there's one more box we all want checked off."