Friday, August 27, 2010

Neutrality's History in Small Town Football

Custer Field
Originally uploaded by mdt1960
At some point in my travels to various small town football games in Montana and Wyoming, I remember a few people here and there telling me about football games that would sometimes be played at a neutral site—so one team didn’t have to travel so far. And back in the old days, that neutral site was often some empty wheat field in the middle of nowhere.

I’m unsure of the mechanics in such scenarios, but it must have been a sight. Imagine the kids getting off the busses and spending the first hour or two just preparing the field—cutting down some of the higher weeds and measuring off and chalking the field. Did they even have referees? How did they even locate a particular field, let alone agree on a particular remote area?

I’d like to see a re-enactment of this little slice of small town high school football history. But for now, if you’re someone who knows of a particular account or heard of such events, feel free to tell us about it in the comment section below or you can email me at:

As for today, this concept is still used on occasion, only it’s not nearly as primitive. In fact, there’s nothing primitive about it at all. In this first weekend of the 2010 football season, Custer, Montana (where six-man football is played) will host an eight-man double header consisting of four teams that will travel to Custer’s “Field of Dreams.”

In the opener (1:00 p.m.), Eastern Montana powerhouse Wibaux (“The Beast from the East”) will face the Absarokee Huskies. Both teams are rich in football lore accounting for at least eight Class C titles between them in the past 25 years. The nightcap (7:00 p.m.) features Harlowton-Ryegate taking on the Wildcats of Circle.

There will be two separate admissions, but whatever the cost, it will be well worth it.


Morgan said...

Wibaux 60, Absarokee 34. Looks like another tough 'Horns team that will likely be playing into November.

Morgan said...

Looking for 2010 schedules? KPAX has the best coverage on this in my searches thus far.

Morgan said...

How about them Sugarbeeters... Chinook over Centerville: 47-16. Perhaps a changing of the guard in the North?