Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Reservation Regards

Halftime Recovery
Originally uploaded by mdt1960.
Congratulations to the Hays-Lodgepole Thunderbirds and their Class C basketball championship this past week. The Reservations continue to post some of the best basketball teams in both of these states.

Although I don't follow basketball anything like I do the football season, I still watch from the comfort of my computer the basketball season, especially when it gets into the post-season. In particular, like football, I watch the small schools—the ones I've seen play football. I also look for the same names that I would see on the gridiron.

I was at the Hays-Lodgepole gridiron during the 2005 season and watched Lance Brockie and his Thunderbird teammates take a beating from the visiting Knights from Northstar. I suppose no one was too surprised, but I remember seeing the look of competition in the eyes of the gridders from Hays-Lodgepole. They probably didn't like losing in football anymore than in basketball. I also remember overhearing the players from Northstar commenting on how big Brockie was. They clearly knew him from the basketball court as well.

They say basketball and the Reservations go hand-in-hand. What is it about football that doesn't produce the same consistent results in these Native American communities?

Nevertheless, I remember the six-man football team from Lame Deer in 1999. They made it to the playoffs and went on to Highwood and defeated the Mountaineers who are always a perennial favorite when it comes to football playoffs—if not outright winning the state title. Though they didn't win the state title, the Morning Stars were clearly a good football team hailing from the Northern Cheyenne Reservation.