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Dickinson State's Montana brigade motivated against Frontier Conference teams

Pete Stanton
Posted at 4:42 PM, Aug 29, 2023

BILLINGS — When Baker native Pete Stanton led his Dickinson State football team into battle against Rocky Mountain College this past weekend, it was a homecoming of sorts for a large chunk of his players.

“The players really enjoy it the most. A lot of their families are here," Stanton said. "They travel to Dickinson well, but now that it's in the Billings area we get a lot of the extended family. Grandmas, grandpas and high school friends and stuff like that."

“It's kind of nice to be back and be able to play in front of everyone. It's been a long time since people have been able to see me play because we're over in North Dakota. None of the teams in our conference are in Montana, so it's good to get the one Frontier game a year and have friends and family come watch. It's special and makes the game mean a little more," said Billings Skyview graduate Jackson Willems, a Blue Hawks linebacker.

For some of those Montanans on Dickinson’s roster, games like Saturday’s are an opportunity to prove something to the in-state Frontier Conference schools that may not have recruited them.

“Being from Montana, you never get to play the Montana schools. Some of the kids you played in high school play here, and it's nice to get that competition struck up again," said defensive back Cooper McGlothlin of Sidney.

“A lot of people it seems like kind of look down on our conference," Willems said. "It's good to come to Montana, especially being from Montana. I didn't get much recruitment out of Montana, so it's good to come back and have the chip on the shoulder type of thing."

As far as the atmosphere for the season opener, it felt like a postseason game. Dickinson has long ruled its conference, the North Star Athletic Association, but has struggled against the Frontier.

"We want to keep playing these good teams to see where we're at. It shows where we're at and what we need to do and gets us ready for the rest of the season," Stanton said.

With its recent pedigree, don’t be surprised to see Dickinson and its crew of Montanans playing in the postseason this fall.