Sunday, May 31, 2009

Elk country ...

Nope ... this isn't a post about hunting, nor is it one about fraternal organizations. The Elks are the high school football team in Augusta, Montana.

High school football is big in Montana, of course ... especially in the smallest towns and schools. Over two-thirds of the state's high schools have fewer than 200 students, though, and nearly half enroll fewer than 100 -- so it can be tough to assemble a football squad. The small schools deal with this by fielding six-man football teams. They play on fields that are only 80 yards long, and it's exciting stuff.

Augusta High is one of the little schools ... it had an enrollment of 36 last winter. Their six-man football team has been a powerhouse in recent years, and in 2008 they got as far as the state semi-finals. I took this shot just outside of Augusta in the fall of 2007, the year the Augusta Elks made it to the state six-man championship game. (They ended up losing to the Hysham Pirates, who managed an undefeated season.)

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