CUSTER — Lane Lerum isn’t the boastful type. OK, maybe just a little. But only around certain people.
Such as former Sunburst teammate Treyton Pickering, who is now a tight end for Montana State. Or, perhaps, Lerum will amuse future family members about his football exploits.
“When he talks about being a Division I tight end, I’m like, ‘Oh, yeah? Well, have you thrown this many touchdowns?’ “ Lerum said of Pickering, who caught several touchdown passes from Lerum while they were teammates. “I don’t like to brag about it. But that’s something I can tell my kids … ‘Well, I used to be pretty good back in the day,’ " Lerum added with a smile.
Lerum still has one more day to be pretty good. He and 31 other players will line up Saturday night in Custer for the annual 6-Man All-Star game. Kick-off is scheduled for 7:10 p.m.
Players from Richey-Lambert, Westby-Grenora, Valley Christian, Noxon, White Sulphur Springs, Bainville, Ekalaka, Hot Springs and Wibaux comprise the Blue All-Stars. Red All-Stars feature players from Grass Range-Winnett, Roy-Winifred, Geraldine-Highwood, Denton-Geyser-Stanford, Sunburst, Power-Dutton-Brady and Bridger.
Lerum, who will share quarterback duties for the Red team with Brady Duvall of Geraldine-Highwood, quietly put together an impressive resume. Not many people know, Lerum said, that he finished with 119 touchdown passes, which ranks him behind only Westby-Grenora’s Jeremiah Paine (153) and just ahead of Westby-Grenora’s Cooper Olson (118) on the 6-Man all-time list. He also passed for nearly 7,800 yards.
According to records on the Montana High School Association web site, Lerum, who stands 6-foot-4, also holds the 6-Man record for single-game passing yards (572). Those came in 2016 in a playoff game against Bridger, won by the Scouts 78-47. Lerum threw seven touchdown passes in the loss.
He finished with 45 TDs through the air that year, his sophomore season. Lerum threw 35 scoring strikes as a junior and finished his senior season with 39 touchdown passes, his father and coach, Dean, said.
“There’s definitely a few touchdowns that stick out, but it never gets old,” said Lerum, who credited his receivers with making him look good. “You always run down (the field), slap your guy up and say, ‘great catch.’ It never gets old.”
Lerum became interested in football at a young age when he would follow Dean, who broadcast games for KSEN in Shelby for several years. Dean eventually became an assistant coach at Sunburst, and has been the head coach for the past five years.
Saturday’s game will be the last for both son and father, who is an assistant for the Red team. Lane plans to attend Montana State to study agricultural business and economics. Dean said he wants to return to his farming and ranching life.
“You get to turn around 16 (years old) again every day at practice,” said Dean, who is 52 and took Sunburst to the playoffs in each of his five seasons. “I’m looking forward to being my own age now.”
Shortly after Saturday, Lane will pack his bags for a trip to Belize, where he and other students from Sunburst and Big Sandy will study turtles and dolphins as part of an ecology project. He probably spoke for most football players when he talked about his career ending.
“After we lost in the playoffs (to West Yellowstone) I ended up going to a Shelby playoff game and it sunk in. I was like, ‘I don’t get to come back and do this next fall,’ “ Lane said. “I’m going to miss the brotherhood part of it … that adrenaline before games, I’m going to miss. Just the whole Friday night experience. It’s going to be awful sitting on the outside part of it now.”
Yeah, but he’ll always have his glory days to talk about.