Sunday, June 03, 2012

All-Stars Shine One Last Time

Sticker Exchange by mdt1960
Sticker Exchange, a photo by mdt1960 on Flickr.
Unlike most football games of Class C nature, I decided not to take my camera equipment to the Bob Cleverley Class C Eight-Man All Star game this past weekend in Butte, Montana… although the gear was in the car had I changed my mind. “To shoot or not to shoot,” was something I’d been mulling around all week prior to the game and the final decision didn’t come until I surveyed Alumni Stadium on the campus of Montana Tech in Butte.

As expected, I found the setting to be an exalted version of what is typically a modest and humble game played in places like Centerville or Scobey—which is a key attraction for folks like me. Yet, the All-Star “shoot-out” in Butte, with its JumboTron and a cream-of-the-crop roster is OK—in the same way that the prom doesn’t represent a typical day of school. And besides, isn’t it always nice to give the students a taste of what it feels like to be important and dress up accordingly (assuming that is your understanding of high school proms)?

So, I just sat back and watched the game much like everyone else. I did use my camera phone a couple times (for the above image too), but no more than anyone else who had such devices in the stands. Here are a few things that came to me as I soaked up the night.

I’m not sure which side (the Red or Blue) was the more spirited, but I’m pretty sure the folks from White Sulphur Springs cheered the loudest for their all-stars Cy Williams, Keith Forkin and Tyler West (along with coaches Barry Hedrich and Pat Morris) whenever they were introduced or made a big play.

One might think that having the game in June is a bit “non-representational” of autumn weather, but give Butte credit for making sure the evening felt like typical fall weather (even if the sun didn’t set until the third quarter). I should have brought a blanket to wrap myself in while watching the game.

As far as the game’s outcome (which is probably the least important revolving around this event), the Blue (West/North All Stars) must have noticed a chink in the Red (East/South All Stars) armor as they took a seven-point advantage at halftime and ended the game with a 49-22 victory. Some may have been surprised given the Red included state champions Twin Bridges and and runner-up Fairview. Yet, this was a game of seniors only. And for all we know, perhaps the Red simply had more fun during their week of camp prior to the game.

As the game unfolded, I couldn’t help but think several times that this particular game would be the last game of organized football for many of these talented and athletic young men. So, it was gratifying to see five-foot-six-inch, 120-pound, Superior running back Matt Campbell slip into the end zone one last time despite the stiff opposition coming at him from all angles during the game.

Next year… I suspect there’s many of us out there who would like to attend both all-star games when it comes to Class C. So, why not hold the six-man contest on the first Friday of June and then have the eight-man game the following night. What a fun weekend of travel and football.