Sunday, November 15, 2009

Underdogs ...

I'm finding that small-town football games are great excuses for long roadtrips ... and so yesterday I drove all the way out to Hysham to watch one of the semifinal games in the state 6-man tournament.

The Hysham Pirates were the host team ... they've been a powerhouse for years, and came into the game at 10-0, regarded by many as the best 6-man team in the state. This is a photo I took of their opponents, the Outlaws ... a co-op team of kids from the tiny high schools in Winifred and Roy. They came in second in their division but are a tough bunch, and managed to topple the previously-unbeaten Big Sandy Pioneers the week before. But the Outlaws had lost to Hysham back in September.

It was a beautiful but chilly day, and it seemed like a good chunk of small-town Montana was there. The little concession stand did a brisk business selling hot chocolate, and "lunches" that featured bowls of chili along with insanely-large homemade cinnamon rolls. The crowd was rowdy, and pirate flags waved proudly from the top of the tiny bleachers.

And the unthinkable happened, at least from Hysham's perspective. Winifred/Roy started out with two fast, unanswered touchdowns ... and they never looked back, cruising to an effortless 52-34 win. Next week the Outlaws play Denton for the state championship. The two teams are neighbors and long-time rivals, so it's likely to be a heck of an afternoon. I just might have to drive up.


  1. The Pirates were shackled?! Mercy! That was a stunner...
    I'm glad to see Winifred/Roy play Denton. What a coup for them! It would be a game worth driving to.
    I went to college with a kid from Roy who was the only one in his graduating Senior class. He got ALL the scholarships; he would've with a 2.0 GPA, because he was Valedictorian no matter what. After that, I've always had a soft spot for Roy.

  2. Yep, definitely a stunner! Going to these games this fall, I've mostly hung out on the side of the underdogs ... which meant that I've just been getting lots of photos of really depressed people. Not this time!

    Of course, when you're talking about the small-town schools, they're pretty much all worth rooting for. I have a soft spot for every one of them, and hope they're all able to keep going.

    Saw a couple of kids at the game wearing Garfield County letter jackets ... so it made me think about Cohagen. :)

    And yeah, the game next week is definitely going to be something! I'm thinking more and more that I'm going to have to go.

  3. Oh man... If we didn't have 'Cat-Griz tickets and associated houseguests for the weeknd I'd totally go with you!

  4. Oh, you guys should definitely make it to a couple of six-man games next year ... they're a blast! Totally rekindled my appreciation for football. :)