Are you ready for some football?

Editor's Note
Thursday, October 17, 2019
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I’ve been a football mom for seven years. No, I don’t coach, but I’ve run the chains a couple times. I’ve bought the cold gear. I’ve spent too long in Scheel’s wondering which mouth guard will protect my baby boy’s teeth better. I’ve had many sleepless nights wondering if their team bus would break down, and many times it has.

When my son first started playing football, I was very excited. But as a fifth grader, he didn’t get much time on the field, unless the teams agreed to fifth quarter for the younger players.

My son played for the Pretty Eagle Catholic Academy Eagles. Due to his size and ability to smash into people he has always played on both the defense and offense.

I noticed something strange happening when he was a 10-year-old player. He was timid. It was as if 10 years of me as a parent yelling at him to stop knocking down other kids had him trained to hold back.

I freely gave him permission to smash into other players on the field, but the programming has been hard to overcome. It wasn’t until his freshman year at St. Labre Catholic Academy in Ashland that he had a coach who was eager to utilize his size. At 6-feet, 250-pounds my tiny baby boy had the potential to be a powerhouse on the field, if he would only deprogram and actually hit people on the field.

When we moved back to Big Horn County earlier this year, my son started at Lodge Grass High School. He joined the track team and his coach saw a lot of potential in him. He pushed him to perform at a level he hadn’t previously and for that I am grateful.

You see, with the right coach, a student athlete will not only improve their performance on the field, they can improve their performance in the classroom. My son had a great track coach in Jerry Harris.

I’ve seen what can happen with a bad coach. A student athlete’s self-esteem can quickly become attached to their performance on the field and if they have the wrong coach that idea can be re-enforced and it can grow into an attitude that is unmanageable.

Managing my son’s attitude, injuries and school work can be stressful and sometimes, as a football mom, it takes all of my strength to deal with some of these games. There are games in subfreezing temperatures. Games against terrible officials, games in unwelcoming communities, and games where we were so outnumbered that our opponents could run two other full 8-man teams.

But this year, as a Lodge Grass Indian my son has found more playing time, more confidence and a stronger coaching staff headed up by his track coach Jerry Harris.

And for the first time in nearly 30 years LG has found themselves with a play off game. On Saturday, Oct. 19 at 1 p.m. we face off against the Forsyth Dogies on their home field for seventh place in the 11-team Montana Eastern 8-Man league standings.

Our boys are welcoming the rematch; Lodge Grass hosted Forsyth on Sept. 20 during the Indians homecoming game. LG took an early 8-0 lead and trailed 26-16 in the fourth quarter before falling 32-16.

According to the official Lodge Grass team statistician, the Indians outscored its last two opponents 96-16. They’ve outscored their last three opponents 108-30. And they’ve outscored their last four opponents 124-62.

They also held Powder River to a season-low 8 points in their match up last weekend.

Our guys are tough, the team has suited out fewer players than opposing teams in every game this season. We have a diversified skillset, seven different LG players have scored this season – Kendall Russell, Rope Three Irons, Gabe Pease, Austin Bloodman, Malachi Little Nest, Jaris Pretty Paint and my son Jacob Brien.

There are a lot of fans out there who will support basketball, and I love that about Big Horn County. But let’s take some of that energy and share it with our football players.

The Indians are requesting the support of the entire county to finish our their 2019 season. If you make the trip to Forsyth women are asked to wear orange and men are asked to wear black. Win or lose the Lodge Grass Indians will bring their best to Forsyth and despite the stress and the expense, the look on my son’s face when he comes off the field will make it all worth it.

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