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.
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.