BOULDER — Dalton Noble made the 24.3-mile move from Montana City to Boulder early in his childhood.
His next move will take the Jefferson High senior a bit farther. Noble recently signed with Army to play football at the prestigious Military Academy in West Point, New York — 2,283.9 miles from Boulder.
“I think it’ll be tough to go that far," he said. "But you’re in college. You aren’t gonna see your folks a ton anyway, and, I mean, you got to experience new stuff."
After his junior season, the 6-foot-4, 245-pound lineman had plenty of options, receiving multiple NCAA Division I offers. He ultimately chose West Point last month.
Noble and his Jefferson teammates have reached the Class B state football playoffs each of the past two years, losing to eventual champion Florence in the semifinal round both seasons (40-23 last year and 51-7 in 2021).
This season, Jefferson is 3-3 overall. All three losses have come against teams ranked in the MontanaSports.com power rankings: No. 1 Florence, No. 4 Columbus and No. 7 Three Forks.
“This year we’ve dealt with a little adversity, a couple heart-breaking losses, and we were a little shorthanded in two games," said Jefferson coach Clint Layng, who has led the program for more than a decade. "But we feel like if we get healthy here for the stretch run and get into the playoffs, no matter what our seed is, we feel like we can play with anybody.”
“Our freshman year, we were small, had a lot of young guys, and then this year we’re pretty senior heavy, a lot of guys that have experience," Noble added. "It’s been fun to just grow with these guys and see how much we’ve all developed. ... (We want to) get over the hump that we’ve been stuck on."
Noble is a multi-sport athlete accustomed to seeing success on the field, track and basketball court, but he's only worried about one thing right now.
"Just looking forward to finishing off where everyone wants to finish," he said.
No. 9 Jefferson, which has lost two consecutive games, looks to get back on track this week against Big Timber. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday.