Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Imitation, Flattery, Coincidence, or Outright Plagiarism

An organism that lives in or on another organism (its host) and benefits by deriving nutrients at the host’s expense.

• derogatory a person who habitually relies on or exploits others and gives nothing in return.

Some might consider it a light case of plagiarism. I’m too close to the subject at hand, so I’ll leave it up to others.

On the left: my humble and modest self-published book from December of 2011.

On the right: SB Nation’s story on Wibaux and eight-man football in Eastern Montana.

Of all the typefaces available in this digital world (hundreds of thousands), Rockwell Extra Bold (or a clone of it) also landed on the SB Nation piece too... and across the sky.

Coincidence? Maybe. But, SB Nation’s Chris Mottram (see below) who produced the piece comes across as an arrogant tool when the likenesses of these two are presented to him.

Regarding parasites... they are usually small intities feeding off of larger bodies. Perhaps SB Nation represents a model that works the other way.

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Broadus To Farson, And No Ketchup

End Of Game by mdt1960
End Of Game, a photo by mdt1960 on Flickr.
This was a good year in terms of attending small town high school football games in Wyoming and Montana—better than the last two anyway. When it comes to the title game weekend—the last weekend of the season—there is a certain bittersweetness about it all. Despite the anxiety and excitement of that last game, being on the road for eleven of the thirteen weekends that constitute Wyoming and Montana high school football can take its toll on a guy, especially if he’s juggling a full-time job on the side. I’d put it right up there with finishing a marathon (and yes, I have run a marathon).

For the record, I covered 5,623 miles in those eleven weekends. That comes out to 511 miles per weekend. Given there were some years when I covered more ground while other years were less, it’s safe to say this was probably a pretty “normal” year of travel. As one of my colleagues once told me, “That’s a lot of windshield time.”

On a related note, despite their nearly identical distances from my hometown of Powell, Wyoming, why did it seem that Broadus, Montana (261 miles away) was so much farther than Farson, Wyoming (258 miles away)?

Of course those last games of the playoffs also translate into more night-time driving thanks to the end of Daylight Savings Time. During those times, I usually don’t get too far down the road from that Saturday venue before I’m pulling over and calling it a night from the comforts of my car and sleeping bag. My eyes aren’t what they used to be. And, it seems like there’s more big pickups pulling heavy trailers than ever—none of which have adjusted their headlights to their loads (does anyone even do that anymore?). Yet, after that last game, there’s something in me that just wants to get home, despite the excessive darkness and bright oncoming headlights... along with a little voice that says, “C’mon, you can drive in the darkness just this one time.”

Now the season is a memory, and the days keep getting shorter. With no more six-man or eight-man games to live for in the near future, these are the bleakest days of the year for me. At least until December 22 when the days start getting longer again. And, when I stop to think about it, that’s a pretty short period of “downtime” in the course of a year. Perhaps I’ll try increasing my intake of ketchup (with its “natural mellowing agents”) as the commercial on NPR’s Prairie Home Companion suggests.

I’ve already been thinking about next year. Because it has been so long, perhaps I really should try to attend a Wyoming playoff game, but not the title game at that behemoth stadium in Laramie… that’s no place for small town high school football! The semi-final perhaps would be best. Hopefully there will be some good match ups instead of rematches. If a Wyoming playoff game does materialize for me, it’ll be a huge sacrifice given the excitement and drama of the Montana C-8 and C-6 playoffs.

I've got the wheels to ride and the wheels to run,
Some say I got ramblin' in my blood
No pretty girl can slow me down
I'll travel 'till my country home is found…
—“Traveling Song” by The Avett Brothers

Postscript: I’d like to tell you that I meticulously recorded the mileage and other details of each trip, but the truth of the matter is I used distancescalculator.com.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Ennis Passes The Wibaux Acid Test

Game Over by mdt1960
Game Over, a photo by mdt1960 on Flickr.
It’s a “season” that begins with the fighting of heat and mosquitos, but near its completion, the fight is with a growing cold while each new week brings a stronger opponent.

One could make an argument that either team was deserving of this year’s title. Ennis hadn’t won it all since 1982 (coincidentally against Wibaux). Yet, Wibaux has been knocking on the title door five different times since winning it last in 2001.

In my camp and beyond, there was worry of a title game blowout. Ennis had been playing invincible football all season long. The Billings Gazette’s Slim Kimmel said of the title game, “It’s the matchup we wanted, but Ennis is playing at a completely different level than the rest of Class C 8-Man. Ennis 44, Wibaux 20.” And so for once, the Longhorns were the undisputed underdog coming into the season finale.

As it turned out, Kimmel was right about the winner, but there was no doubt that the Longhorns from Wibaux were playing at the same level as the Mustangs. Every time it appeared the Mustangs were going to put the game out of reach, Wibaux would come back to pull within a touchdown or less.

It was gut check time for Ennis, and from behind their green facemasks, it showed—especially in the second half.

Along with their army of football players, Wibaux brought the wood and heart—and Ennis would need some of their own including their talent and high-octane athleticism to claim the title.

Wibaux had done their homework when it came to keeping talented players like Connor Sullivan, Roy Moen and Reid Farnes out of the end zone, but the Wibaux defense had no answers for Ennis junior quarterback Walker McKitrick—neither his running or passing game (in particular his hookups with senior Chad Johnerson). Johnerson and McKitrick were both slippery and elusive to the Wibaux defense and that was significant. Yet, the Longhorns made the scoring look effortless as well in tallying 56 points on their side of the scoreboard.

Uninvited Guest by mdt1960
Uninvited Guest, a photo by mdt1960 on Flickr.
Credit the Ennis coaching staff for not resting on their laurels by resorting to a conservative game once they established the lead. They made sure the high-octane Ennis offense maintained their killer instinct, and in turn, that maintained the team’s confidence.

Looking back on the game, I doubt anyone was too surprised in how the Longhorns measured up to the Mustangs. Pound for pound, season after season, Wibaux continually rises to the top; and if not outright on top, certainly near the top. Look at it this way: how long has it been since Wibaux wasn’t in the playoffs?

…sometime in the Dark Ages I’m guessing.

I’ve contemplated this before, but Wibaux is simply the (as in “thee”) standard when it comes to eight-man football in Montana. (I can hear my select Chinook critics now.) Despite any bragging that goes with being a member of championship team, surely there’s a little extra bragging if one of those victories in route to the Montana state title includes vanquishing a Wibaux team—especially if it occurs in the championship match.

Not long ago, some guy in some bar—say Havre, Montana—likely just told someone that he was on the 2002 Scobey state championship team. You can almost hear him say in the same breath, “…and we beat Wibaux in the title game!”

But the day will surely come—maybe even next year—Wibaux will win another title. After falling short in the past, might this future Longhorn championship team be any more special then these past runner up teams? Probably not. Win or lose, they have all served as bearers of a standard that is quintessential Montana eight-man football.

So, congratulations are in order to the Ennis Mustangs. They were victorious over a bona fide and formidable Wibaux team. They have passed the acid test. They have earned the badge. They have passed “GO” and can now collect their $200. Without question, the Ennis Mustangs earned the title of “State Champs.”

Postscript: Here's a nice story on SB Nation about Wibaux's season and eight-man football in Eastern Montana by Jamie Rogers.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Geraldine, Montana: a football Elysium

Geraldine Setting by mdt1960
Geraldine Setting, a photo by mdt1960 on Flickr.
In the muted light of the Geraldine High School gymnasium, Rivals coaches Rod Tweet and Brandon Gondeiro sat quietly in the bleachers before their Montana Class C Six-Man semi-final game with Savage. It felt like the calm before the storm. Players of the undefeated and number-one ranked Geraldine-Highwood Rivals were casually throwing footballs back and forth to stay loose—dressed in their t-shirts and football pants, sans shoulder pads and helmets.

“They match up with us pretty evenly,” came the subdued response from Tweet when I asked him about undefeated Savage. Their was no over-the-top optimism or impending doom in his voice. Tweet’s comment came across simply as matter-of-fact.

It’s always exciting when two highly touted teams from two different conferences battle in the playoffs, but such meetings don’t always result in an exciting game—as in the Class C Eight-Man quarterfinal game I attended the week earlier between Ennis and Simms.

A couple of hours after that brief visit in the gym, when Savage roared back from a 22-8 halftime deficit to tie the the game at thirty and send the game into overtime, perhaps the least surprised person attending the game was Rod Tweet.

The Savage rally transported me back to 2003 when Geraldine (before their co-op with Highwood) and Custer-Melstone met on the same field for the six-man final. Instead it was the Tigers of Geraldine who ended up rallying from a significant halftime deficit, and winning the title with a final score of 80-78. Coincidentally, in both games the team that was wearing orange and black was the team that overcame their slow, first-half beginnings. However in this semi-final game with Savage, Geraldine-Highwood would survive the rally and answer it with their own rally in the two overtime periods.

It’s always somewhat bittersweet when two football programs of such high caliber play each other in such a fierce and closely battled contest. As a relatively neutral spectator (but fan of the game), I hate to see anyone lose in such conditions.

In those last moments of overtime, after the Rivals secured their second touchdown and PAT, and Savage’s quarterback Paxton Miller was forced out of bounds ending the game, the snow came on cue, like a curtain signaling the end of a theatrical play. As the mayhem of the game’s final seconds was replaced by a post-game hush, both teams circled in the middle of the field and offered up their thanks with the snow coming harder and faster.

I know not every game played on the Geraldine field is an exciting or magical one, but in my little universe I have to wonder if there’s something exceptional about that gridiron ...out there on those high wheat fields of Montana with its dramatic skies and crisp air.

Recently I read a story about the best high school football towns in America. For the most part, they were places I would expect given my slight obsession on this topic. Ranging from Ohio to Texas to the South, the top ten football programs were listed by rank. Yet, after reading the article, I couldn’t help but say to myself, “But they’ve never seen a game in Geraldine.”

…or Savage.

…or Centerville.

…or Denton.

…or Wibaux.

…or Alberton.

…or Drummond, etc.

Postscript: A special thanks goes out to Ty from Savage… you know who you are. He let me borrow a pair of gloves for the game when I realized I was without mine prior to the start of the game.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Playoff Musings

Kickoff At Ennis by mdt1960
Kickoff At Ennis, a photo by mdt1960 on Flickr.
This is the time of year when the quaint charm of everything that is small town high school football seems to fade away and is replaced by the pure competitive spirit that has become the playoff season. Given all the wholesome attributes that have drawn me to this particular genre of football (its good sportsmanship, simplicity, and overall Americana-feel for starters), sometimes I think staying home is a viable option once the last week of the regular season is completed. Nevertheless, after attending eight weeks of Class C football in Montana and 1A Six-Man in Wyoming, it’s difficult not to get caught up in everything that points toward the state championships.

And so, there I was driving off to Ennis for their quarterfinal game with Simms. Although it was a playoff game, I had a particular and unique interest in choosing the Ennis venue… I’d never photographed a Simms team in action.

I’ll confess here, deep down inside I wanted Simms to win, but it wasn’t because I knew someone on the team, or I had some kind of strange disliking for Ennis. No, I was only hoping that they would advance so they would host the title game. Why? Because I’ve never photographed a game in Simms and after looking at the town on Google maps, I found myself curious about a town that fit perfectly in a square with its school smack dab in the center (see photo).

Well, perhaps a trip to Simms is in the cards for me next year.

I don’t put much stock into ratings when it comes to high school football, but the Ennis team did catch me off guard. Weren’t they the same team that took a beating by Fairview… twice, last year? My, how things change in the course of a year. Now I know why they were ranked number one from the first week of the season. It wasn’t just some willy-nilly, we-have-to-designate-some-undefeated-team-as-number-one thing.

As much as the Ennis 76-0 win over Simms took me by surprise, I was also astonished by the thrashing Superior suffered at the hands of Wibaux. Forgive me fans of Charlo and Belt, but I’m sensing a huge, well-contested Ennis-Wibaux title game on the near horizon, and surely I’m not the only one who has thought about it. This upcoming week of semi-finals feels way too much like a warm-up game for the Mustangs and Longhorns. That said, nothing keeps me more humble than getting wrong what I was certain I had right.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Farson Fireworks

Troubled Quarterback by mdt1960
Troubled Quarterback, a photo by mdt1960 on Flickr.
It may not have been a well-played game, but it certainly turned out to be a memorable one… a barnburner of sorts.

When I stepped out of the car in Farson for the Friday afternoon six-man shootout between Farson-Eden and Wyoming Indian, my excitement for the contest had diminished considerably compared to earlier in the week. Perhaps it had something to do with the cold wind blowing (despite being a sunny day), and given the 7,000 foot elevation of Farson, I should have expected it. I hadn’t slept well the night before either, making for a brutal five-hour drive in terms of staying alert behind the wheel. In a nutshell, I wasn’t exactly in a football-loving mindset when I arrived.

Thankfully, things turned around for me and like a snowball rolling down a big hill, by the time this game was nearing its completion, it had manifested into a huge event, one where I thought, “Wow, too bad there aren’t more people here to witness this dramatic conclusion.”

Right from the start, both teams came out scoring on their first possession. Wyoming Indian looked convincing in their quarterback senior Trevor Williamson. And when the Pronghorns of Farson-Eden lined up, I was stupefied to see that their starting offense was made up of juniors, sophomores and one freshman.

Following two quick scoring drives by each team, I heard one of the officials say to another, “Looks like we’re in for a track meet. Probably 72-70.”

I was doubtful if these two teams could put that many points on the board.

As the first half unfolded, the Pronghorns seemed to be gaining the upper hand over the Chiefs of Wyoming Indian; leading them by three touchdowns at the half to the tune of 39-20.

Game Officials by mdt1960
Game Officials, a photo by mdt1960 on Flickr.
But, Wyoming Indian showed some spunk as they chipped away at Farson-Eden’s lead. With Farson-Eden’s advantage shrinking, Wyoming Indian’s intensity increased as well as that of the small crowd on hand. And, finally in the late minutes of the final quarter, the Chiefs managed to pin the Pronghorns deep into their own territory, causing a fumble in the end zone that resulted in the go-ahead touchdown.

A botched kick off return and penalty, found the Pronghorns with their back against the wall once again. The Chief defense notched a tackle in the backfield that was nearly a safety. With a minute remaining on the clock and on their own one-yard-line, the flustered Pronghorns called a timeout to regroup. As it turned out, the timeout was just what the doctor ordered as Farson-Eden called a play resembling the combination of a draw and counter. Junior running back Kelton Broadhead found daylight at the line of scrimmage and outran the Wyoming Indian defense down the home sidelines for the winning 79-yard touchdown (the longest touchdown possible on a six-man gridiron).

With little time remaining, the Chiefs tried to find one more magical moment, but Williamson was tackled behind the line of scrimmage as time expired.

It was a roller-coaster ride of a game.

As the field emptied out, I recalled the official’s casual prediction of a track-meet-like score in the early stages of the first quarter—he was more accurate than I ever would have given him credit. 128 points were scored between the two teams with Farson-Eden coming away with the win of 67-61.

Finally, I’ll credit the kids from Wyoming Indian for keeping their heads up during the handshakes that followed the game. They were ambassadors of good sportsmanship in the end. They had nothing to be ashamed of in their comeback. Yet, a couple of them were shedding tears following the handshakes. I thought to myself, “Who says Native American kids only care about basketball games?” The players from Wyoming Indian had given it their all.

As for Farson-Eden… look out for the Pronghorns next year. They might not just make it into the playoffs, they may go deep as every starter is returning.

Postscript:  This victory for Farson-Eden resulted in their first earned playoff spot since their program started up in 2009.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

A Meeting in the Middle

Six-Man Mecca by mdt1960
Six-Man Mecca, a photo by mdt1960 on Flickr.
The MonDak Thunder is a six-man football co-op between the two schools of Westby, Montana and Grenora, North Dakota. Clark Fork is also a co-op between Alberton and St. Regis, Montana. The two programs played this past weekend in a six-man football game held at Reed Point. Nothing unusual here unless you start looking at a Montana road map.

It is 635 miles between Westby, Montana and Alberton, Montana. It’s a bit farther (665 miles) if you count the distance between the Grenora, North Dakota and St. Regis, Montana. As it turned out, it was only 434 miles from Westby to Reed Point and a mere 314 miles from Alberton to Reed Point.

One MonDak fan traveling from Grenora said he made the drive in about seven hours, but he also picked up a speeding ticket in Fairview on the way.
Nevertheless, it was only 121 miles for me—just a little over two hours which included a coffee and fuel stop in Red Lodge.

I was curious about this game not only because both teams brought stellar records to the contest, but I wanted to know how this game materialized in the first place when schedules were put together last spring. After asking a few questions to those in the know, I discovered the rationale wasn’t as mysterious as I had dreamed.

It really came down to filling a bye week and both teams were facing byes at the same time. In particular, Clark Fork hails from the understaffed Western Conference with only six teams. As a result, even with one out-of-conference, regular-season game, Western teams would end up with two byes in their schedule unless they were willing to consider some “creative scheduling” as Clark Fork engineered with MonDak.

Slashing Field by mdt1960
Slashing Field, a photo by mdt1960 on Flickr.
And so it came to be. Two football teams representing the extreme geographic regions of our country’s fourth largest land mass state met in Reed Point on a Saturday afternoon. As it turned out, MonDak was the victor in a well-played contest of East vs. West.

I wrote an earlier post about how teams from years and years ago may have met halfway and played football in a middle-of-nowhere wheat field. I’m not sure how much truth there is regarding such folklore since I’ve never been presented with any particulars. Nonetheless, the Clark Fork vs MonDak showdown might be a modern-day version of such meetings. Thanks to improvements in communications and transportation, it will never have to be as primitive either.

Postscript: In true rugby fashion, the twenty-eight members of the MonDak football team wear jerseys that are numbered one through twenty-eight. There’s no one playing center wearing number fifty-three, or a defensive tackle wearing number seventy-five.

And twenty-eight is a formidable roster for a six-man football team.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Broadus: Smaller Now, But Prouder

Shutting Down Run by mdt1960
Shutting Down Run, a photo by mdt1960 on Flickr.
Maybe you’ve been to the Grand Canyon, but there’s a good chance you haven’t been to the bottom of the Grand Canyon. Likewise, there’s a good chance that any reader out there has been to Montana (maybe even living there now), but they haven’t been to Broadus (pop. 468).

Few would dispute that Broadus is a true off-the-beaten-track town. I once passed through Broadus by way of Biddle, Montana (pop. 61) on a tremendously hot, summer day excursion covering that little corner of Montana, Wyoming and South Dakota. Because of the oppressive heat, I didn’t explore much that day, yet Broadus has been on my radar since. And when I learned last spring that they would start playing Class C eight-man, a game in Broadus became a priority as I mapped out another season of small town high school football in Wyoming and Montana. My eyes really lit up when I learned that their homecoming game would be played on a Saturday afternoon instead of a Friday night—and as I’ve stated before in other posts here—afternoon games always make for better images when it comes to photography despite the popularity and mystique of “Friday night lights.”

KinzersAddress by mdt1960
KinzersAddress, a photo by mdt1960 on Flickr.
Even though sports classes in Montana are based on enrollment numbers rather than a community’s population, Broadus is a classic eight-man town with 468 residents. Despite such population numbers, it has only been this year that they came down to Class C eight-man play. Up until last year, they were playing Class B eleven-man schools/towns like Baker (pop. 1,741), Forsyth (pop. 1,886), and Colstrip (2,248). “We were getting smeared” as Cody Kinzer, the wife of Broadus head coach Russ Kinzer put it so bluntly. Broadus would often line up against these other teams that possessed three times as many players on their rosters.

Further, according to his wife, Coach Kinzer has really put in the extra time this year. She thinks it’s a combination of more information about the other teams and strategies at his finger tips while he has had to adjust his coaching to learn the nuances of eight-man play. Kinzer’s job won’t be getting that much easier either as his Hawks are situated in the same conference as perennial powerhouse Wibaux.

And now, with several wins under their wings and not even half way through the season, the Hawks of Broadus have been lifted by something they haven’t experienced in a long time—pride and confidence.

It’s a good stretch from anywhere to Broadus… that is anywhere with a Walmart such as Miles City (Montana), Gillette (Wyoming), or Belle Fourche (South Dakota). Miles City is slightly the closest of the three “big cities” at 78 miles—Gillette is 88 miles, and Bell Fourche is 95 miles. One Broadus fan commented that she prefers to go to Gillette because it has a Home Depot. And if it’s health care you’re picky about, Belle Fourche/Spearfish seems to be the preference for many Broadus residents.

Homecoming Spirit by mdt1960
Homecoming Spirit, a photo by mdt1960 on Flickr.
Fifty years ago when transportation was less developed (both cars and roads), this isolated community was probably even more isolated. But today, people in rural communities are less inhibited to take off from such places. Eighty or one-hundred miles in one direction is simply a way of life in today’s remote towns of America—all the more reason for fans like us to attend an eight-man game in places like Broadus (and if you do, check out Seabeck’s Pizza and Subs).

Before the game with Froid-Medicine Lake, I told Coach Kinzer that I could easily see an eight-man championship game in Broadus someday (based on my years of travel to small town high school football venues). Everything has been in place for years, and now they are finally playing in a class where they can honestly compete.

I’m looking forward to that day when I’m following a string of cars over one of the few roads leading to Broadus—on our way to the state title game.

Postscript: The high school in Broadus is officially named Powder River County High School, but everyone says “BHS”—as in Broadus High School.

Monday, September 16, 2013

A Football Phenomena: The Answer Is In The Stars

End-Game Handshakes by mdt1960
End-Game Handshakes, a photo by mdt1960 on Flickr.
If you have ever been to West Yellowstone, Montana, you know it hardly feels like a small town. Located on the border of Yellowstone National Park, this community is a tourist magnet, and it shows—restaurants, motels, museums, fly shops, snowmobile rentals… you name it. But, when it comes to education, West Yellowstone High School is considered a small school—specifically when it comes to football, it is considered a Class C Six-Man program.

Further, given most “six-man-towns,” I never struggle in finding the community/school football field—even if I’ve never visited before. Driving into “West,” I was flummoxed by the continued growth of that community, and as a result, finding the school wasn’t automatic, even though I have attended several games there since 1999.

In short, West Yellowstone feels like Cody, Wyoming, but the Broncs of Cody play in one of the Cowboy State’s larger classes of eleven-man football.

And so, I was running late in getting to the West Yellowstone-Box Elder six-man football game. Coming from Red Lodge, Montana, I had anticipated a little over four hours of driving by way of the Park. However, it turned out to be nearly a five-and-a-half-hour trip thanks to the “bison jams” and road construction near Mammoth—not to mention the 45-mph speed limit.

This contest was of particular interest to me because Box Elder is somewhat of a resurrected program—fluctuating between a varsity and junior varsity schedule since 2005, including several years in the eight-man ranks before that.

Despite my tardiness, somehow I managed to arrive before the first half had expired and expected to find a game that already possessed a running clock due to a lopsided score in favor of the Wolverines of West Yellowstone. The score was lopsided alright, but surprisingly in favor of the Bears from Box Elder to the tune of 28-0. Looking over the program rosters, I was also a bit taken back by West Yellowstone’s low numbers—only eleven athletes on this year’s team.

For the remainder of the one-sided game, it puzzled me: how could a rural school like Box Elder field a football team that was so dominating over what appears to be a richer and more-developed school like West? Not that I’ve seen these things before, but it always baffles me. On top of that, Box Elder has struggled to field a team year after year, not to mention its roster is composed mostly of Native American kids—typically not known for being over-achievers when it comes to football, unlike their basketball accomplishments (a topic I’ve touched on before).

Coach Simpson & Ketchum by mdt1960
Coach Simpson & Ketchum, a photo by mdt1960 on Flickr.
Since then, I’ve been kicking around all kinds of answers to my question. I’ve even considered consulting an astrologist.

Perhaps it’s simply an enrollment thing. West Yellowstone may have more residents than Box Elder: 1,298 vs. 794, but Box Elder wins in the K-12 enrollment contest: 313 vs. 221.

Also, maybe football is finally becoming more accepted, supported, and is catching on in the Native American communities. After all, not every kid in any culture or society is talented in the same areas. Surely there are Kenyans who can’t run a marathon very fast or Norwegians who can’t stay upright on a pair of skis.

It could also be that there’s just more distractions or options for high school kids in West Yellowstone, while autumn in Box Elder, maybe it’s football or nothing else.

Finally, perhaps Box Elder just has some kids this year that are above average in athletic achievement. I was also told the squad has a pretty good connection to their coach, Ronnie Simpson, and good coaching goes a long way too.

It’s likely that the answer to my bewilderment on the Box Elder-West Yellowstone outcome is a combination of some or all of the above.

Well, if anyone out there has some concrete, fact-based evidence on such small town football phenomena, feel free to share it here—even if it’s in the stars.

Postscript: Here's another Native American football story with a Wyoming spin on it from my friend and journalist Ron Feemster at WyoFile.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Small Town Football Moms Wanted

Hornet Mom Directs by mdt1960
Hornet Mom Directs, a photo by mdt1960 on Flickr.
When my father played high school football in the early 1940s, his mother (my grandmother) would attend his games, but she never watched; rather, she remained inside the car out in the parking lot until the game was over.

High school football moms and their sons… I need to talk to you.

I am working on a story this upcoming season for a popular women’s magazine. This requires an interview and photography of those who fit this description. The assignment would include attending a game where I could interview mothers (perhaps along with their sons/daughters if possible) and photograph their child in action as well as the mother during the game. I think some kind of portrait of the two would be a nice touch as well.

As one would expect, I'm hoping to hear from those who come from those small towns of Montana and Wyoming.

If you (or know of someone) fit this description and are interested in participating, contact me: mdt1960@yahoo.com

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Image Selection

Trojan Helmets by mdt1960
Trojan Helmets, a photo by mdt1960 on Flickr.
This image (and another) were recently selected for the Rayko Juried Plastic Camera Photo Exhibit held in San Francisco from March 6 through April 22, 2013.

From 2005, this is the Drummond Trojans photographed from the Interstate 90 bridge that separates the school from the gridiron as they prepare to take their home field during the playoffs.