Friday, October 06, 2006

A Six-Man Saint

Originally uploaded by mdt1960.
The Roberts Rockets have a good shot at winning the Montana Class C Six-Man football title this season, and I suspect Fromberg's head coach and superintendent, Randy Durr, couldn't be happier if they pull it off. Even though Durr's Falcon's face the high-powered Rockets this coming week, it was the Fromberg coach who single-handedly put the Roberts team on the six-man map back in 2001 when he started the program there. Prior to that, 50 years had passed since Roberts fronted a football team.

Today, Coach Durr sports tattoos on his lower legs—homages to his successful days at Roberts. The kids at Fromberg have called for a big "F" wherever he can find the space, but he's not budging until they tally their first five-win season.

DurrAble Legs
Originally uploaded by mdt1960.
Randy Durr hopes to concoct another successful football formula in Fromberg's newest athletic program. For several years, the Falcons played eight-man football in a co-op with nearby Bridger. And as he did in Roberts, it was Randy Durr who convinced the Fromberg community that the world was a better place if they had their own six-man football team.

Besides establishing the new six-man program in his first year, Durr was also the impetus in raising $28K for renovations in Fromberg's gym.

Along with guys like Stephen Epler and Jack Pardee, Randy Durr might merit sainthood someday in the world of six-man football.

Postscript: I first met Randy Durr in the summer of 2003 when the superintendent and head coach was mowing the Roberts gridiron. "Only in a small town," I thought to myself and wondered if mowing the lawn was in his job description.


Anonymous said...

I think this was a very respectable article on one of my biggest roll models.
Coach Durr is like a second dad to me, and I think you did a very good job of portraying his dedication to the game, but more so the kids who play.
Once again, good work.

-Colter DeVries

Morgan said...

Thanks for chiming in Colter. I'm always looking for a few good stories, snipets, lessons, etc. from those who played in the small town venues like Roberts. Surely talents like yourself and brother have a few worth speaking. Feel free to email me about anything that stands out in your mind that may have really defined that experience for you. Anything goes, really! If a book ever materializes, it will be such stories that extend the colour of any photograph reproduced within its pages.

Anonymous said...

I would be more than willing to share some stories or pictures I might have from playing 6man football. My good buddy up here at MSU Bozeman is Tanner Rippley, and I'm sure he'd also be willing to share memories.
To me, that's what sepparates small town Montana football from most other programs. Tanner was always my biggest rival, and I always had my sights focused in on being his worst enemy on the field. Now, when we are 20 and in college, we party together and go to church together. Because of that, I would have to say 6man football is more than a small town sport, it's more of a foundation for life after highschool.
I couldn't find your email address, but feel free to shoot me an email and we'll see what we can do to help you with your book.
Colter DeVries

Morgan said...


Thanks for your comments on the blog. I certainly welcome hearing from you and Tanner (former Highwood standout, yes?). I don’t have any specifics as to what I’m looking for regarding stories, but anything that is colourful, humorous, human... I’m pretty open. It could be about one play, one practice, one game, one season. I suspect between the two of you, several interesting stories are there.

Certainly Tanner can speak to the type of person found in Coach Nelson and you certainly can of Randy Durr. There’s a start. What about referees? I seem to have a shortage of anything on refs. I may try to arrange some kind of travel with a group of Montana refs next year. I did it once with a group from Wyoming.

You can post them on the blog (whichever essay you wish) or send them directly to me if you don’t want that kind of exposure (

As for the book... Well, it remains a work-in-progress until a publisher comes along. I continue to line up exhibits and keep the images in various magazines each year (Did you see the autumn issue of Montana Quarterly? There was a shot in there of a regular season Roberts-Highwood game.). I remain hopeful that the day will eventually arrive.

Kind regards to you and Mr. Rippley.