The tiny towns of Westby and Grenora straddle the Montana-North Dakota border way up near where the United State meets Canada. Hot Springs in western Montana may as well be in a different country.
The MonDak Thunder 6-man football team, which comprises players from both towns, traveled almost 800 miles for its Class C quarterfinal playoff game at Hot Springs on Saturday on a journey split up into three days.
The drive home is always a little easier when there’s a win in tow.
Some sports are available to students no matter which Montana high school they attend. Others, like softball, can generally be found only at the larger classifications, Class B and up.
That leaves a void for many at smaller schools. Darby is filling one of those holes this spring for its diamond cravers, co-oping with Hamilton for spring girls’ softball.
As a sportswriter, it’s important to begin a post-game interview with the right question. You need something that can start a dialogue and set the pace for the rest of the conversation, something that proves you as the asker are competent and entices the interviewees to want to talk and give you those juicy nuggets to fill out a story.
Saturday, following Hot Springs’s nail-biter of a 6-man football loss to Denton-Geyser-Stanford, I decided to start my conversation with Savage Heat coach Jim Lawson by asking how it was that his team managed to score 21 points – i.e. three booming touchdowns – on three massive plays that totaled 220 yards while the rest of his early game tries on offense went for squadoosh.
He, immediately recognizing me as a 6-man rookie, politely offered an explanation to the explosiveness of broken plays before adding a smile and a caveat:
“That stuff is all pretty common in 6-man football.”
You’re right, Coach. Of course it is. It was at about this time I think we each acknowledged I was a bit out of my element. You see, Saturday’s Montana Class C state quarterfinal game was my first foray into the world of 6-man football. Continue reading
A light drizzle at kickoff verged on a steady rain by halftime which became some serious precipitation at the dawn of the fourth quarter when the Superior Bobcats hosted Broadview-Lavina in a Class C 8-man football playoff game Saturday.
Such conditions can be disastrous for a team that likes to put the game in motion with passes deep down the field, but Broadview-Lavina dared the Bobcats to beat them through the air.
Despite the likelihood of slippery footballs and errant passes, quarterback Wyatt Zylawy and Superior did just that.