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Wagenmann carries on legacy of #37

By Brad Peers, KECI Sports, bpeers@keci.com
Published On: Mar 27 2014 06:00:57 PM MDT
MISSOULA, Mont. -

On the gridiron the Montana Grizzlies have a tradition that dates back to 1987 when Kraig Paulson passed the number 37 jersey on to Tim Hauck.

The passing of the number 37 jersey has continued since then and this year a new Grizzly will carry on the legacy of the jersey.

Very few Griz football players have had the honor of wearing the number 37 jersey, also known as the legacy jersey. Most recently Missoula's own Jordan Tripp represented the number 37 jersey for the Montana Grizzlies.

"As far as 37 goes you know you accepting the number is not going to change who you are," said former Griz linebacker Jordan Tripp. "You pass it on to someone who has those qualities and you know what that entails is  from the community, to the locker room, to the field, to what your teammates see you as. That number is on you, you're not going to see that number, everybody on the external is going to see that number and what it represents."

Once again number 37 remains with one of Missoula's own as former Sentinel standout and current Griz defensive end Zack Wagenmann was recently chosen by Tripp to wear it this year.

"It's an immense honor," said Wagenmann. "Can't really put it into words what it means especially being a kid from around here growing up and seeing it as I've got to grow up seeing a few guys wear it and what not. "So glad that I was able to be here with a few 37's with Fetherston and Tripp and definitely seen what they can do and how I should act with it and it's just a huge honor."

That's what he represents you know he represents himself in the community in the locker room as a leader and 37 is just one of those things that is special that coach Paulson started back in the day."

That thing is something that I think is cherished so much by the guys that wear it," said Griz head football coach Mick Delaney. "There's a big responsibility that goes with it because you know to hold up basically the legacy of the University of Montana, that's what the jersey is, it's the legacy jersey so it's quite an honor for Zack and he's very deserving of it."

Wagenmann, who wore number 58 last season, now becomes just the 11th Griz to wear the storied number.

"It's a little surreal right now turning on the film and seeing myself wearing 37 still expecting to see 58 it's kind of a surreal feeling," said Wagenmann. "Just to be in the same conversation as some of the guys who have worn this before me it's extremely humbling and just an awesome honor.