Thursday, December 23, 2010

Celebrating Goal Post Relocations

Jumping Hornets
Originally uploaded by mdt1960
Classification and alignment changes have been handed down from MHSA for another season and, once again, things look pretty exciting even if most of the schools that are discussed here are moving down in class.

First, let’s hear it for those schools/teams who have to move their goal post(s) as a result of moving from Class B (a 100-yard field) to Class C (an 80-yard field)—or vice versa.

Making the move up, along with expanding their gridiron will be Joliet. Best of luck J-Hawks as you get to meet up with Columbus and Huntley Project in your new family. Yikes!

Talk about living on a bubble... Can anyone tell me how many times Superior has moved from C to B and then back to C? Well, the last time they played eight-man (2008), they won the state title. And after two years of B-11, they are coming back to C-8 to “defend” their title. Consider this: What if the Bobcats made it to the title game in 2011 to face Chinook—who would be defending their title too? Talk about Frazer vs. Ali. Should that happen, I only hope the game is played in Superior since I’m not allowed back in Chinook.

Here’s a good one: Lodge Grass successfully petitioned to remain in Class B rather than move to Class C??? I suppose they’d rather take their chances against Baker over Wibaux. I’d be curious to know the last time the Indians (yep, that’s their mascot name) notched a winning season in Class B?

Also moving their goal post(s) and coming down from B-11 to C-8 will be Cascade (heading for the Northern C) and Darby (assigned to the Western C).

Check out the tentative 6-man football realignment and its new members (in red).

Alberton, Hot Springs, Lima, Lone Peak, St. Regis, Two Eagle River and West Yellowstone.

Ekalaka, Frazer, Jordan, Hysham, Lambert/Richey, Rosebud, Savage and Terry.

Bridger, Custer/Melstone, Denton, Fromberg/Roberts, Grass Range/Winnett, Reed Point/Rapelje, and Roy/Winifred.

Augusta, Big Sandy, Box Elder, Geraldine, Highwood, Heart Butte, North Star, Stanford/Geyser and Valier.

That’s 31 teams playing six-man football although Frazer and Box Elder will be limited to junior varsity competition. Makes me wonder if Willow Creek is revving up for another go in the near future.

Great Falls Central is moving up to C-8 joining the high and mighty Northern C, but they won’t have to move any goal posts.

Lastly, one of my “inside sources” informed me that there is/was some discussion regarding Highwood and Geraldine teaming up as a co-op. Does anyone realize how many times these two school have been in a title game in the last 15 years—often playing each other? That could be one powerful six-man team given their rich traditions of producing champions.


Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Chinook: Maybe Cold, But Not Crooked

Stroh & Company
Originally uploaded by mdt1960
Hindsight is always twenty-twenty. —Billy Wilder

There’s no arguing that I’m not a controversial person, but the one thing I’ve always strived for is to avoid controversy when it comes to this particular blog. That said, I have come up short a couple times—last week would be one of those times.

I’ve had plenty of time to consider this, but earlier this week (you might say) brought me to my knees.

First, I learned—attributed to a couple of unsolicited phone calls from disgruntled Chinook fans—my boss, Northwest College Vice President of Academic Affairs, Bob Krenz has decided to break the link from the college web site to this blog in an attempt to deflect any “harm” that might find the college. Admittedly, I’m hardly crushed. After all, as far as this project goes, I suspect there are few people in the sandstone towers of NWC who really give a toss whether or not I travel 300 miles to a small town high school football game in Montana or Wyoming via icy and snow-covered roads. My impression over the years has always been that the NWC powers-that-be see little-to-no benefit in the extracurricular activities of its employees—and thus, prefer to have the public only know of its “esteemed” faculty in a sterile, unimaginative, one-dimensional plane. So be it and so much for "shared governance (again)."

Second, and more importantly, I received a phone call from a Chinook football mom who wasn’t satisfied with leaving only a comment on this blog. She clearly went out of her way to speak to me personally, so as soon as I heard her voice, I was determined to hear her out and keep my interruptions at bay—or at least to a minimum.

I learned that despite my damage-control efforts in the comments section of the previous blog, her biggest concern about the entry was that I had come across as doubtful or critical of the Chinook state football title because some of the players (including her son) were painted as employing non-regulation equipment (i.e., illegal cleats).

That is unfortunate and regrettable.

Hoping to not re-open a sensitive wound here, I can say that if I could do it all over again, I would have delayed the post until I heard back from my sources regarding my query on the rules and regulations of cleats. Had I done that, there would have been no need to use that two-sentence parenthetical text that said, “(More importantly are those even legal? Click on the image below to see for yourself.).” However, I was concerned (and impatient) that no one would reply promptly, so I posted the blog knowing that I could follow up later with the details of cleat regulations in the comment section once I heard back from my sources—which is exactly what I did. Yet, for whatever reason, that didn’t cut the mustard.

So, persuaded by this recent Sugarbeeter lobby, I believe it’s important to go a little out of my way here to acknowledge the legitimate title won by the Chinook Sugarbeeters in Class C eight-man football—which I’m happy to do and humbled that my input even matters. Further, it was never my intention to dispute the Chinook victory either, but rather to consider the validity or gravity of a few of the variables in the game that showed up that particular day.

Lastly, I think many have given me way too much credit for the things I’ve said here, whether they agree or disagree because, in my mind, once the dust settles and blogs like this vaporize, nothing speaks louder or truer through the years than a state championship trophy sitting in a school’s trophy case.

Congrats to all the fine folk in Chinook and their state championship football team.