Big Sky’s own football team

By Kaela Schommer cub reporter for the Big Sky Weekly and Abbie Digel | Photos by Taylor Anderson

Goal posts are up, bleachers have
risen, and practice has started all
in preparation for Lone Peak High
School’s first six-man football team.
Six-man football, a variation of 11-
man tackle football, tends to be faster
paced and have higher scores. As
head coach Tony Beardsley puts it,
“It’s like basketball on grass.”
A school must have less than 65
students in order to have a six-man
team, according to Loren Bough,
chair of the Ophir school board. Lone
Peak High School is considered a
Class C school.
Six-man football was created in
Chester, Nebraska by a high school
coach in 1934 as a way for small
high schools to have a football team.
In the spring of 1938 around 55
schools were playing and by 1939
that number doubled. Now six-man
football is played in other states
such as, Florida, Colorado, Montana,
Nebraska, New Mexico, Wyoming,
and Canada.
This new addition to Lone Peak High
School activities has got residents
excited. The school administration,
community members, and local businesses
helped make the team happen.
Joe Perry, head of the Booster Club,
says that in a town this size everyone is
putting in “time, money, (and) whatever
it takes.”
Bough and Perry formed the Quarterback
Club last school year as an arm of
the booster program in an effort to raise
funds for sports programs at the school.
“We didn’t want to impact the school’s
budget,” Bough said.
More than 150 donors gave the club
up to $500, and 11 volunteer callers
who inquired business and community
members, raised over a $100,000 in the
span of three weeks.

Perry said that 75 percent of QB Club funds went to other
school-related ventures such as a new activities bus, which
will transport students to outside events, the school weight
room and miscellaneous school activities. That way, “It
benefits the whole school,” Perry said. Perry, Ron Downer,
and Jerry House flew to North Dakota during press time to
select the new bus.
Six-man football brings exciting change to the Big Sky atmosphere.
Beardsley says that sports to give identity to a town
and school. He says it will create school pride, and more of a
sense of community for the students, teachers, parents and
fans.

It will be a rallying point, Bough says, and a place for the
community to “interact with the students, see how they preform,
how they win, and more importantly how they lose.”
The team consists of 20 of the 30 boys who attend LPHS,
and two more may join soon for the two-a-day preseason
practices.
“It’s gonna be big,” said Dave House, a parent of three players.
He and other parents watch practices as much as they
can, creating a buzz for the upcoming season. The boys have
“the athletic ability to play,” House said, and besides, “is
there a prettier place for a football stadium?”
Season tickets will be available through the Booster Club,
and the Big Horns will travel as far as the Flathead Valley for
games. Some parents are already talking about the possibility
of an eight-man team, which would mean closer games.
“But that all depends on the kids’ involvement,” House said.
Parents, players and coaches are looking forward to an intrasquad
scrimmage on Aug. 26, followed by the first regular season
home game on Sept. 3 against Fromberg. Games are at 1p.m.
The Booster Club is helping kick off the fall sports season and the
start of school by having a kick-off weekend starting Sept. 1.

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