BILLINGS — It doesn’t matter where you are in the stadium when Billings Central plays, you can hear Junior Brackenridge.
“He definitely has fun out there," Central head coach Jim Stanton said. "We want our kids to have fun, that’s the name of the game. It should be enjoyable, especially this year.”
“I love it. Love it," Junior echoed. "I’m just raised that way. My little brother’s like that, my dad’s like that, we’re all like that. We’re just vocal guys.”
This year, Junior has help from younger brother Cameron, better known as Bam.
“When he was little, he always ran into everything," Junior said, "so the noise it made was ‘Bam.’”
“My dad, Jaquwan Brackenridge, he played for the Billings Outlaws. When I was 2 and my brother was 4, we’d have fun on the pads at Metra," Bam said. "And I think one day, my brother pushed me off the wall and the sound effects gave me the nickname Bam. It was a crazy experience, but I love the name.”
It fits him. Just a sophomore, Bam is Central’s starting middle linebacker and second on the team in tackles this season.
“Tough little kid, hard-nosed," Stanton said. "You look at him, a little undersized, but he gets to the football. He’s all over the place and he’s got high energy.”
His success is no surprise. Bam’s been proving those who doubted his small size wrong his whole life.
“That’s probably one of my main traits, is confidence, because I’ve always been a little guy, always been the underdog," Bam said. "But being able to come out here and the coaches putting a lot into me, it really gives me a boost of confidence and that want to play.”
That, plus the immediate trust from teammates, no more than from older brother.
“There’s no better feeling. When he makes a play, I think I get more excited than when I make a play," said Junior.
“I love playing with my teammates, they’re just amazing. They make sure my head stays on straight," Bam said. "It humbles me. It really does. I know there’s people faster, bigger, better than me, but they guide me through everything.”
The road has guided the Rams to the State A championship. Now it’s on the brothers to help lead them to the title.
Central will host longtime rival Laurel on Saturday in Lockwood, with kickoff set for 1 p.m. It is the first time the two Yellowstone County teams have ever met in the State A football championship game.