The community of Highwood in Chouteau County has about 200 residents. This week, it has gained 39 temporary new ones for the 6-Man All Star Football game. Thirty-one players and eight coaches from across the state are coming together to host the first All Star game since 2019. Players heard cows mooing and tractors puttering along the road, things they are certainly accustomed to hearing coming from other small Montana towns.
One sound they have not all heard yet is the voice of coach Tom Tranmer. Tranmer has been coaching 6-Man football in Montana since 1984 and is the head coach for Power-Dutton-Brady. He has coached in numerous All Star games over the years, including the inaugural All Star game 25 years ago.
He, along with a fellow coaches Mike Nelson, Rod Tweet, and Gary Scott, put a few teams together and now the All-Star game is a Montana staple. Tranmer and Tweet are old roommates and he has looked up to Tweet since then.
“I'm so grateful for Rod and everything he’s done for 6-Man. You couldn’t have asked for a better ambassador of the game,” Tranmer said.
As the old guard still overlooks the plains of Montana, not quite ready to hang the whistle up, the new guard is preparing to take the reins. Mitch Ward is getting his first All-Star coaching experience this year after leading White Sulphur Springs last fall.
He knows how valuable an experienced coaching staff is and he has just that this year. “These guys have been coaching 6-Man for a number of years and to be able to pick their brains and get their ideas has just been so much experience,” Ward said.
Tranmer is not sure when he is calling it a career but knows he still has gas in the tank to help coach some of Montana’s best.
Kickoff for the 6-Man All Star game is set for 7 pm Friday night in Highwood. We will full coverage and highlights of the game on our 10 pm newscast.