‘Clev’ will be adjustment for Kevin Oberweiser

Playing in Saturday’s 31st Bob Cleverley 8-Man All-Star Football Game will be a bit of an adjustment for Drummond star Kevin Oberweiser.

For one thing, Oberweiser will be playing in a rare football game in which he won’t be coached by his father.

“It will be the first time since middle school,” Oberweiser said after an afternoon practice on the Bob Green Field at Montana Tech. Pointing to the grandstands, Oberweiser added, “It will be a little different, but he’ll be up there.”

Oberweiser’s father is Jim Oberweiser, the long-time Drummond coach who led the Trojans to five state titles since 2003. Coach Oberweiser has typically been at least an assistant coach in “The Clev.” This season, though, the Drummond coach wasn’t selected based on his team’s finish in 2013.

“I think you have to finish in the top three in the division, and we ended up fourth,” Kevin Oberweiser said.

The Trojans posted six wins and three losses in 2013. The team lost in the first round of the Class C 8-man playoffs to eventual state champion Ennis. That is a good season for most schools, but not in the home of the 2003, 04, 05, 07 and 09 state champions.

“I guess we’re a little spoiled,” Kevin Oberweiser said. “We see first-round out as kind of an off season.”

The three-year starter for the Trojans, though, said his team never felt any extra weight on its shoulders because the players were following a collection of town legends.

“I think more than anything it helps us rise to the occasion,” he said.

Oberweiser will play quarterback and safety for the Red team Saturday night. Those are the same positions he played last season in Drummond.

The 6-foot, 160-pound Oberweiser passed for 1,407 yards while rushing for 384 more in Drummond’s playoff run. He started at receiver and safety as a sophomore and junior before taking over for Mac Bignell at quarterback as a senior.

Usually, players only play offense or defense in the Cleverley, with each team feature two offensive units and two defensive units.

The Red team, though, only got 26 players to show up, so the coaching staff had to improvise. Instead, the Red will feature three offensive units, and all the players will play defense, too.

Oberweiser, who could have played college football if he wanted to choose that road, welcomes the extra work in what will turn out to be his last football game.

“I got a couple of walk-on offers,” Oberweiser said of playing football at the next level. “The Griz said I could walk on, and Carroll had some interest in me.”

Instead, he chose hoops.  Last month, Oberweiser signed to play basketball at MSU-Northern in Havre.

“I thought about it a little bit,” Oberweiser said of suiting up in football pads one final time. “I’m going to try to enjoy it as much as I can. It will be fun. I’m having a good time over here.”

The players only checked into campus on Monday, but Oberweiser said he can already tell it is going to be a good week in the Mining City.

“It’s fun just to see the different styles of play,” he said. “There’s a lot of ground-and-pound teams from the east and spread from the west. It’s funny to mix the players all together and see what you get.”

As far as the Cleverley goes, Oberweiser knows what to expect as much as anybody.

“I think I’ve been to quite a few,” he said. “I think I might have been the ball boy for this one year. It was this or the Shrine Game. I’ve been to the banquet the last couple of years, so I’ve heard all the history of the game.”

It was different All-Star functions that shaped Oberwieser’s college future. He played in the Southwest Montana Basketball Classic in March before playing in several other All-Star hoops events, including a tournament in Havre.

That’s where he caught the eye of Northern coach Shawn Huse.

“On the court, he possesses the capability to shoot the ball extremely well, which of course is a main attribute we look for in our system,” Huse said when announcing the signing last month. “He also handles and passes the ball very well, and we look forward to watching his development within our program over the years to come.”

Oberweiser averaged 19.5 points, 7.2 rebounds 4.6 assists and 3.4 steals per game on the basketball court as a senior. He also recorded six double-doubles while leading the Trojans to the Class C State tournament in Butte.

Still, it wasn’t until Huse saw him play in person that he started talking about bring the Drummond star to the Hi-Line.

“I signed pretty late,” Oberweiser said. “I hadn’t ever really thought about Northern until I went up there for the All-Star tournament and coach Huse got a chance to see me play live multiple times. It definitely did help quite a bit.”

Oberweiser said the plan is him to redshirt his freshman season at Northern, where he will major in health and human performance.

He’ll spend the summer working on his game before reporting to school in the fall.

First, though, there’s the matter of one last football game.

“I think I’ll miss it more than I really understand right now,” Oberweiser said of playing football. “This game will be cool experience.”

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