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The high school football game is the center of life for small towns in much of rural America. And one town, in western North Dakota, is celebrating the return of that ritual for the first time in over a quarter century.
The Alexander Comets are a six-man football team (the school is still too small to host the 11-man game). On the day before their home opener, against a small town in eastern Montana, they’re going over plays and their warm-up routine.
Morgan is new to football, and new to Alexander. His mom came out here from Bakersfield, Calif., to work in one of the new truck stops built in the Bakken oilfield, and last April he came, too. New kids like Morgan are the reason why Alexander could bring football back, says coach Kevin Clausen, an oil worker himself.
“Because of the oil boom, we now have a football team,” he says.