Some notes from the 83 years of Silver B night
I'm a sports fan, and a history guy. When you combine those into this community of ours, I just love it. I love our history, the stories, the legends. As I've grown older the respect I have for Silver B night has just grown exponentially. All of these notes come from the full history of the Silver B organization, give to me by the man, the myth, the legend Scott Paffhausen, current Silver B Historian. Here's hoping you enjoy these notes as much as I do.. Go Butte.
The first-ever annual meeting and banquet of the Silver B’s took place Friday, Oct 11, 1940, in the Butte High Cafeteria before the kickoff of the Butte High Purples and the Anaconda Copperheads. The Lettermen from the 1916 team were inducted as Silver B’s at the event as well as a mass induction of all BHS lettermen who played from 1893 until 1915.
The 4th Silver B night was in 1943 when the Bulldogs were hosting the Helena Bengals, this year was noteworthy because it was the first year for Golden B eligibility, (50 years after their first varsity letter). this year was also noteworthy in that the stadium was renamed Naranche Memorial Stadium, in honor of Former Bulldog Star Eso Naranche.
The 1944 game was a win for the Purples over the Tigers of Idaho Falls. This win also started a 10 game winning streak on Silver B night, that ran until 1954 when they tied with the Billings Broncs 6-6.
The 1945 season was the first time the Butte High football team was called the Bulldogs rather than “the Purples”, that season they played Billings Senior on Silver B night and won 13-2.
1948 saw the first ever ‘Father-son membership’ in the history of the organization. As Ralph Dawson was inducted as a Golden B (1898) and his son Dally Dawson (1924) was inducted as a Silver B.
From the first Silver B game in 1940- through the 1970 season, Butte High was 22-8-1 (71% winning percentage)
1974 witnessed the first big change in the game, as the Bulldogs took on Missoula Sentinel at Alumni Coliseum, with the meeting and banquet prior to kick-off in the Tech Student union building. Both the 74 and 75 games were played at Alumni, as the East Junior High Stadium was under construction.
1976 was a big year for a couple of reasons, it was the first game at the brand new, East Junior High School stadium, and it was the year the organization inducted their very first Diamond B. (75 years after earning their first varsity letter) That very first Diamond D was Angus McLeod, who received his first varsity letter in 1901.
A decade later in 1986, the organization inducted their 2nd ever Diamond B, Mr. Bob Darragh, who received his first varsity letter in 1911.
In 1992 the game was played at the newly renamed Bulldog Memorial Stadium, formerly known as East Junior High Stadium.
In 1997 the Silver B’s organization did not induct any silver, gold, or diamond B’s to, ‘correct’ the calculations issues from prior years’ standards. They fixed the glitch.
In 2000 the Bulldogs played Raymond, Alberta (Canada) on Silver B night.
2002 saw the induction of the 3rd ever Diamond B, Mr. Bill Hawke. Mr. Hawke was inducted posthumously due to the fact he passed away just before the event.
2007 saw the induction of the 4th ever Diamond B, Mr. Alex Ducich
In 2009 Mr. Bill Harrington was inducted as the 5th-ever Diamond B.
2010 saw the induction of the 6th Diamond B, Mr. Joe Harrington who received his first varsity football letter in 1935.
2011 was a big year, the Bulldogs (and the Silver B game) returned to Naranche stadium for the first time since 1973.
2012 saw two men inducted as Diamond B's Mr. Ben Tyvand and MR. Gorham Ward. Both received their first football letter in 1937.
2013 The 9th Diamond B, Mr, Ralph Stodden was inducted.
2014 The 10th Diamond B, Mr. George Paul was inducted posthumously do the fact he passed away just prior to the event. George received his first football letter in 1940.
2017 witnessed the induction of 2 Diamond B's. Mr. Matt Casick, and Mr. Bob Mack.
in 2019 Mr. Tom Leprowse was inducted as the 13th Diamond B. (A guy that NEVER missed the Silver B banquet. ever)
The 2020 banquet and meeting were cancelled due to Covid. The 14th Diamond B Mr. Bill Lindsay was to be inducted, instead they honored him in 2021.
And last year, the Bulldogs hosted the Glacier Wolfpack for Silver B night, and that night saw the induction of the 15th ever Diamond B, Mr. Bruce Goddard. who recieved his first varsity football letter in 1946.