GREAT FALLS — The Denton-Geyser-Stanford co-op will join forces with the Grass Range-Winnett co-op to form the first ever five-town six-man football team in Montana.
After low participation numbers in the sport in prior years, the Montana High School Association (MHSA) approved the formation of the five-town co-op.
With this one-year agreement, the players and coaches will be able to field a full 12-13 person roster that allows the teams to have full practices and a competitive team for game days. Matt Neumann, who was previously head coach of DGS, will be head coach of the new co-op. He echoed the benefits and relief of a full roster.
“They are beyond themselves excited. We actually get to practice and do things with over 12 guys, so we can do a little six-on-six and break out into our skill positions and position work,” Neumann said. “We’re actually able to work with a handful of kids as coaches so when it comes down to the kids and them actually playing football, they’re ecstatic, they’re beside themselves.”
However, the downside will be the travel with everyone needing to commute to Lewistown for practice. For some, it will be a 90-minute drive multiple times a week.
“You know a lot of these kids are in single towns or a really close distance co-op you know they get to walk out the backdoor of their school and go to practice everyday. Our kids have to drive an hour, hour and a half everyday.”
Even with the logistical issues though, Neumann would rather the kids have the chance to play a full season again.
“Just the dedication and time our kids are going to put in is going to be immense," he said.