Maybe not for everyone, but one of the highlights for me was when the “light guy” trekked around the Savage gridiron before the game with a ladder and turned on each of the four separate units. That was a pure small town high school football moment.
I haven’t been to a game in Savage since the season opener against Wibaux in 2003—when they played eight-man football. A lighted gridiron allowing for Friday night play and a new game level was all I needed as an excuse to return in 2010.
The actual game between the hometown Warriors and the visiting Terriers from Terry (another team that recently moved from eight-man to six-man) delivered all the excitement that one would expect between two undefeated teams—especially the first half. Some might argue that perhaps the only difference between the two teams might have been an injury suffered by a key player for the Terriers in the second half—whatever the case, hopefully it’s not a season or career-ending injury for the athlete.
As a result, the combination of Savage and Terry should make the Eastern Conference very competitive in the upcoming playoffs. Expect the same next year too, especially from Terry in that they are only losing their starting quarterback Jerett Freiboth to graduation. (On a sidenote: Freiboth throws the ball with the greatest of ease.) Savage will lose three seniors to graduation, but the current junior class is composed of five players.
For all those 11-man football fans out there who look down their nose at six-man and eight-man football, here is a school enrollment and roster ratio comparison between Savage, Terry and my hometown Powell Panthers:
Powell: 500/about 50/.1000
If Powell had a turnout for football like Savage, they would have about 206 kids on the football team. If Savage experienced a turnout like Powell, they would have a football team with 2 players.
Speaking of key injuries and their impact on the six-man game: Great Falls Central Catholic starting quarterback, Kelby Depner was out this past week with a concussion sustained during their match-up with Denton in the previous week’s contest. Going into this past week’s game, the Mustangs (5-1) were heavily favored (their only loss to Denton) in facing a 3-3 Roy-Winifred team (last year’s state champions). As it turned out, GFCC lost their homecoming game to the Outlaws 43-0. In another scenario, perhaps Roy-Winifred is making another late-season dash for the title as they did last year.