Friday Night Lights No More

Mckee Muralt, Contributor

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Senior football player Josh Malone lines up in the twenty-two receiver package. The Big Sky Eagles are taking on the Glacier High Wolfpack. He explodes as the ball is snapped. He fakes out his defender and is streaking down the right sideline wide open and receives a perfect pass from junior quarterback Levi Janacaro. He turns on the jets as he is headed for the end zone. But, a flag is thrown. A holding call on center Jake Riekena. “I re watched that film and am still looking for that call” says Eagles head coach Matt Johnson.

It is football players Tyler Glenn and Josh Malone’s senior year, as it is for many other athletes around the United States. These two is that they will not be going on to play football at the collegiate level. Malone Varsity starter at wide receiver and at outside linebacker. Glenn was Varsity starter at safety and at wide receiver. Malone has played football since 3rd grade and played Little Grizzly from 5th grade all the way up until 8th then started his career as an eagle. Glenn on the other hand has been playing since 5th grade and played Little Grizzly as well.

Josh lived for Friday nights and he doesn’t know what to do now that they are over. “It actually sucks pretty bad. You know, after our last game you just sit in the locker room and think back about all the great things that you have experienced and all the memories that you have. And that you won’t get to experience that again, and it’s pretty hard,” says Malone.

Glenn, on the other hand played for the adrenaline and the comradery that football brought him. “Crackin’ skulls is the main reason I played and I just love hitting people and playing with my friends.” says Glenn.

But he also is going to miss those Friday night lights. “It’s really sad because I’ve been playing for seven years with my boys and stuff and now I won’t be able to strap on those shoulder pads,” says Glenn

Not many football players do get the chance to play college football. According to the NCAA 6.7% of high school football players play college football. With on 2.6% of them playing division one, 1.8% playing division two, and 2.4% playing division three. So Malone and Glenn are not alone.

Both of these seniors had people that influenced them to play football. “My brother influenced me a lot. Growing up I watched him play football and he just really inspired me to get involved in the sport,” says Malone. Malone’s brother attends Carroll college in Helena and Josh plans on going there as well for track and field.

Glenn was inspired by his family as well to play football “My parents really. They’re the ones that wanted me to play and my brother too. He played football and I wanted to follow in his footsteps.” Glenn does not want to play football at the next level. “I don’t know if I would want to because I just want to focus on my career in physical therapy and football might get in the way of that.”

Both Malone and Glenn said they had a great time playing football at Big Sky, and that they made some great memories too. But what Malone will miss most about Big Sky is the atmosphere. “This season, getting to play with some pretty amazing seniors and some incredible juniors. It’s just an incredible atmosphere and we got the opportunity to go to the playoffs. It didn’t end the way we wanted, but playing football was just a great opportunity and I really enjoyed it,” says Malone.

What Glenn will miss most about playing football is the big rivalry of Big Sky versus Sentinel. “Beating Sentinel in the crosstown game this year. It was a really close game and we pulled it out.” Big Sky has been won 42 out of the last 51 city Championships and this year’s team was city champs.

One lucky senior for Big Sky, Bo Hann, will be playing football at Carroll college in Helena. “It’s pretty nice. I’m excited about it.” says Hann. But there is another factor that limits many athletes and that is grades. “I have to keep my academics in order for the rest of the year. But, that’s going to keep me focused for the rest of my senior year.”

Hann is also looking forward to this summer at Carroll. “I’m really excited to start working out this summer with them.” says Hann.

Hann is very grateful about getting a scholarship as well as being able to play at that next level. “It’s a lot of money to go to college and go to Carroll specifically. It’s a private college so it costs about forty-seven thousand dollars a year so me getting any type of athletic scholarship will help out immensely to lower my student loans, debt, and future.”

Even though Malone and Glenn did not get football scholarships they both will be attending college. Malone is going to Carroll college on a track and field scholarship and he plans on being a decathlete. Glenn is undecided on where he is going but will be chasing a career in physical therapy.

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Friday Night Lights No More