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Savage Heat return to 6-Man game


August 23, 2018

Six-Man football is back in Hot Springs, and the coach and his players could not be happier.

“We’re back,” long time head coach Jim Lawson said of his Savage Heat returning to the 6-Man game, where Hot Springs has won two State C titles in the past several years. “We are happy to be back in a place where we feel like we can be competitive again.”

Hot Springs was forced into 8-Man football last year based on the school’s enrollment, but not many of those extra bodies they had in high school wanted to play football. As a result, the Savage Heat played an abbreviated JV-only schedule which was cut short by a few injuries to Hot Springs players late in the season.

Hot Springs again petitioned to be allowed to return to 6-Man and the Montana High School Association finally relented last spring and announced that Hot Springs would be allowed to go back to 6-Man game this fall.

The Heat will open the season Friday with an interesting contest with a team from Canada called JC Charyk Hannah out of Hannah, Alberta.

“They were calling around down here trying to get some games,” Lawson said, “and it worked out pretty good. We needed a game too, so we ended up getting one with them.”

Lawson said that the 6-Man game is gaining popularity in Canada, and that the league that JC Charyk is in has been playing 6-Man for six or seven years north of the U.S. border. How they play and what they will bring to Hot Springs is still kind of a mystery.

“I’m not sure how big their school is but they have about 20 players,” he said. “They are going to have fun with it, though, plan on coming down and staying overnight in Bigfork. They seem to be really looking forward to it, as are we.”

Lawson said the Heat will be without two of their best players this week as brothers Brandon and Tyler Knudsen were out of town for the first week of practice and still have some catching up to do in that regard.

Outside of those two, senior Tyler Carr, now 6-1 and 180 pounds, should be a force on the line and has been a vocal team leader, Luke Waterbury is looking to have a breakout season at running back, and transfer student Nick Costas from Italy, is about 6-4 and 190, and showing lots of potential in practice so far. Bert DeTienne has packed on muscle, too, and should also help out on the line from his center position.

Lawson said freshmen Jack McAllister and his son Kyle Lawson will also be in the mix. McAllister is looking to split time at quarterback with Brandon Knudsen early on coach Lawson said, and Kyle Lawson will be used primarily as a wingback or receiver.

Coach Lawson said there is a renewed enthusiasm with the football team.

“We are eager to see how we compete after being out of it for a year,” he said, “and it’s exciting getting this latest crew together. We’re looking for a fun season.”


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