Future Cowboys get their start in Little Guy Football

Abe Winter
Star Staff Writer

That other Super Bowl isn’t scheduled until February in Minneapolis.

The early one matches the two top teams from Miles City’s Little Guy Football program for fifth- and sixth-graders, and this years contest was an instant classic, with the Vikings holding off the Steelers 28-27 on Super Bowl Saturday, Oct. 21, at Bender Park. (See page 7 for details.)

All six teams in the league were on the field for three games on five consecutive Thursdays from Sept. 21 through Oct. 19 for the popular league’s 43rd season.

It’s fun, but fun with a purpose, as the future Custer County District High School Cowboys learn how to play the game.

“To me, Little Guy Football is not about winning, losing or your record, but about becoming fundamentally prepared to be future Cowboy football players and teammates,” said Ben Holmen, coach of the Steelers.

Mission accomplished, at least as far as Drew Senger in concerned.

Senger, a 2012 graduate of Custer County District High School, also played LGF in 2005-06. He’s now a huge lineman playing at Dickinson State. He’s thankful for what he learned in the program.

“The Little Guy program is great,” Senger said. “The program is amazing and the community support and all the volunteers. … What joy I had playing as a kid and everything it taught me and instilled in me.”

The LGF, which started in 1975, had co-champions its first two years. Super Bowl I was played in 1977 and this year’s game was Super Bowl XLI.

A 44-page program (not including the cover) tells the history of the league, which had seven coaches in its inaugural season. They were Ralph Dukart, Dennis Corbin, Kelly Reid, Al Homme, Dick Brown, Joe Ugrin and Butch Grenz.

Reid, Dukart, Jochim, Russ Rebson, Bill Norsby and Dick Graham were honored this year for their distinctive service by being named to the Miles City Little Guy Football Hall of Fame as selected by the league’s board of governors.

The LGF dinner is scheduled Nov. 10 at the Miles City Town and Country Club. The event provides a good way to support the program.

The LGF experience is good for the adults as well as the children.

Holmen has served in the Little Guy program for nine years, but this was his first year of coaching.

“As a first-year coach, the thing I’ve enjoyed the most is the attitudes of the kids and the willingness of the kids to be coached,” Holmen said. “We have a great group of kids.”

Holmen said he’s grateful for the many volunteers and sponsors. A glance at the ads in the Little Guy program shows the interest and support from around the area.

The support is necessary, because operating the league is an expensive proposition.

Each uniform costs costs more than $235, but the registration fee for athletes is just $25.

“I’d like to thank all of our LGF sponsors for supporting our program and allowing me the opportunity to coach,” he said.

(Contact Abe Winter at starcity@midrivers.com or 406-234-0450.)

(EDITOR'S NOTE: Please see the the photo gallery Little Guy Football for more photos)