COLUMBIA FALLS - The Schweikert name has been familiar in Columbia Falls for a decade now, thanks to high school football coach Jaxon Schweikert and a rising program.
Now Schweikert's son and Wildcats quarterback Cody Schweikert will carry on the family name through football thanks to his recent commitment to the Montana Grizzlies.
"It's just an honor just to know that people are looking at me going, ‘Hey, you're going to be my hero by going to play for the Griz,'" Cody Schweikert told MTN Sports. "I mean, I can't turn down that opportunity. It's once a lifetime. It's special. It's like nothing else."
After sending his three older children to also play collegiate sports — Hannah for volleyball at Carroll College, K.J. for softball at the University of Providence, and Ike for football at Montana Tech — Jaxon Schweikert knows how much it means to now be sending off his youngest.
"His dream was to go to the Griz and we're just really thankful and blessed that we have a really good relationships with those coaches," said Jaxon. "They did a great job of recruiting him, and really made me and (wife) Suzy feel really comfortable with the situation. And the fact that they're so close, it's pretty awesome."
After Schweikert combined for almost 3,000 yards of offense and 33 total touchdowns last season, teammate and childhood friend Hunter Goodman knows he couldn’t ask for a better team leader.
"You know, it's just super special. He always does his job. He always does his part. He always does a little bit more," Goodman said. "He always helps everybody else be as good as they can be."
While excited about the next chapter of his football career with the Griz, Cody Schweikert is focused on his senior season.
"The thing I'm looking forward to most is probably just the fourth quarter of a tight game, Friday night," Cody said. "You know it's a little cold, you're a little tired. You're looking around at all your brothers just knowing, hey, they're right there, they’d die for you, they give it all for you right there and that feeling is unlike anything else. It’s something special."
And that something special is what the No. 2-ranked Wildcats are hoping to capitalize on this season.
"We're looking to win the state championship," said a confident Goodman. "That's our goal, so that's kind of all I have my eyes honestly."
And after bowing out in the second round of last year’s playoffs, Jaxon Schweikert has a feeling this team could be the one to bring it all home.
"We feel really good. We don't shy away from it, our goal is the state title," said Jaxon Schweikert. "So the expectations are really high; the expectations are high from the coaches, really high from the kids and really high from the community.
"Like I said, we're not one to shy away. We think we're good, and we want to go prove that we're really good and that we're worthy."
The Wildcats started their year with a commanding 42-12 win over Frenchtown and the Schweikert father-son duo hopes that’s a sign of more wins to come before Cody trades Wildcat blue for Griz maroon and silver.