Sunday, October 03, 2010

Plan B and Zenning in Bridger, Montana

Score Crowd
Originally uploaded by mdt1960
Like some guy who just retired, I just sat there and watched the game—for once. Well, a good part of it anyway.

Plans for Great Falls Central to see their six-man showdown with Stanford-Geyser were nixed due to the loss of a friend and the resulting funeral to attend on Saturday. I considered the next best thing—the nearby Bridger Scouts were at home on Friday night for a six-man contest with Reed Point-Rapelje—a mere one-hour drive from home.

I’ve attended at least two other games in Bridger over the years, so this was probably more about a trip to get my weekly dose of small town high school football rather than attend a game in some remote location I’d never visited. Thus, my decision to sit and watch the game as the camera equipment was demoted to secondary.

But, strange things happen when you sit and “observe” from one location. You start seeing things that you might not see while moving about during a given event like a football game in Bridger, Montana—things that an image from a camera might not illustrate very well.

Anxious Parents.
Near the back corner of an end zone, I watched with fascination as a concerned Reed Point-Rapelje mother juggled a conversation with (what were probably) other parents while intensely watching the game. I suspect she had a son on the field. The group of parents were right at the back corner but as each play came up, this particular mother would drift away from them—perhaps only five or ten yards—toward the goal post and once the play ended, she drifted back toward the congregation and picked up the conversation again. This went on for at least an entire quarter.

A Scoreboard Community.
Bridger has a low-seated scoreboard that is placed on a small hill overlooking the gridiron. It is so low, that an adult could stand in front of the lower-positioned stats (such as the down or quarter indicator) and block a good portion of the displayed numeral. Further, the scoreboard is beyond the lighting of the gridiron floodlights and as a result, makes for its own “illuminated community.” Here—away from the gridiron’s lighted perimeter—is where you’ll find many of the students congregating, or as in the case of the younger kids, taking up their own football game just like any other Friday night football setting in the country.

While those approaching retirement consider the climate (as in weather) of what will likely be their final residence, I suspect one of the retirement home factors for me (when that day comes) will likely include the proximity to the settings and action of small town high school football.

Shoutout: Chinook Sugarbeeters and their resounding victory over Power-Dutton-Brady complicating the Class C eight-man North with a three-way tie for first: Chinook, PDB and Ft. Benton.


Anonymous said...

Your observations brought back memories of my experiences with you at games around the region. Observing families and community gathered to support the kids - hoping someday my grandson, son and I will be able to do the same. You are documenting way more than football MT - and I am pleased to have shared some of this document / adventure with you. I know myself better as a result. Namaste and gratitude.


yellowbeard said...

Hi Mr Morgan !! Well i finally was able to get your story and a blog section from someone on the Billing Gazette and wanted to tell ya that you told a good story last year ! Small town in Idaho next to the mountains ! And now one on Bridger home games. Sure hope you can visit Savage in two weeks when the Mighty Terriers take on the Warriors Friday night at 7pm for the conference title. Our lights are the best of any six,eight and eleven man football !! Except for the AA.

Mark said...

Just thought I'd stop by and say hi. Drove up to Grass Range yesterday to watch the Rangers get clobbered by Highwood ... and on homecoming, too.

I'd forgotten how much fun those afternoons were ... guess I'll have to get to a couple more games this year.

Morgan said...

Savage has lights now? When did that happen? That's a lot of driving, but not out of the question.