Tiger fans find a new way to support their team

Between Shawn and Shelly Wolf’s family, from nieces and nephews to their own children, they have eighteen years of Tiger athletic events ahead of themselves.  A problem Wolf noticed is their families were attending the games, but driving in separate vehicles.

Shawn and Shelly Wolf’s children Carly (left) and Ty (right) stand in front of the  TIger themed bus. [PHOTO BY RACHEL BOCK | For The Herald]
Shawn and Shelly Wolf’s children Carly (left) and Ty (right) stand in front of the TIger themed bus. [PHOTO BY RACHEL BOCK | For The Herald]
By RACHEL BOCK | For The Herald

Between Shawn and Shelly Wolf’s family, from nieces and nephews to their own children, they have eighteen years of Tiger athletic events ahead of themselves.  A problem Wolf noticed is their families were attending the games, but driving in separate vehicles.

“We were always going to games, but everybody was in three to four vehicles,” Shawn Wolf said.

So what vehicle could you find to haul fifteen, to almost forty family and friends to the games?

The answer was simple, a bus.

Wolf purchased a Chevrolet short bus, which made its debut last fall in the New England Wheat Harvest Parade. The children in the Wolf family helped paint the bus to fit with the parade’s Tiger Pride theme. That is when Wolf realized they needed an even bigger bus.

“When we took it in the parade, we realized we didn’t have enough room.” Shawn Wolf said.

So Wolf went on a new search to find the perfect bus. His search lead him more than 700 miles away from New England. The 1975 Gillig was in Libby, Mont., which is located in the northwestern part of the state.  Wolf purchased the bus through Harlow’s Bus Sales, and he ended up purchasing a couple of extra buses along the way.

“I ended up with a couple extras by accident, but then I saw this one on the internet, and I thought this one looks like the right one” Shaw Wolf said.

The Wolfs started taking the bus to a few games, weather permitting.  The heater system is in need of some updating, meaning if the temperature was 20 degrees or colder they, wouldn’t take it.

Right after the New England boy’s basketball team won the Region 7 Championship is when the Tiger theme came to life.

Shawn and Shelly are the owners of Wolf Body and Glass and they used their time and talents to work on the bus to get it ready for the Class B State Boys Basketball tournament in Bismarck.

“Every night from after they won regionals that Saturday, until we left on that Wednesday we were doing little things here and there” Shawn Wolf said.

The original plan was to sandblast the whole bus and paint it orange and black before the state tournament, “but I was so busy at the shop, and we didn’t have time” Shawn Wolf said.

So with the help of Shawn’s brother Troy, and Shelly’s sister Kayleen, they started on Saturday morning and painted until midnight, and finished up the painting that following Sunday morning.

The artwork and sayings were taken from old t-shirts from previous sports throughout the years.

To paint the artwork on the bus, they first took pictures of and projected them on the bus, outlined, and painted everything by hand.

Wolf always drives the bus, however it can only go 55 miles per hour.

“Usually I think that a lot of people just like us, and they’re following us, but it’s just cause we’re going too slow,” Wolf said laughingly.

New gears are one of the many future plans for the 1975 Gillig bus. This summer he hopes to sandblast and paint the bus orange, and black.  He would like to get some art made in vinyl and also add some volleyball and girls basketball logos.

He also would like to carpet and insulate the roof, update the heating system, and upholster the seats.

Even with all the hours invested into the project and the future work that will be required, he would do it all over again.

“At least we are getting people to go to the games, and it seems like you get pumped up a little more or more excited,” Wolf said.

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