The Helena High Bengals and Capital High Bruins met on the gridiron for the 2018 edition of crosstown football on Friday, September 21st. Prior to broadcasting the game live, SWX Montana talked with the man in charge of keeping Vigilante Stadium beautiful.
Karl Kallin graduated from Helena High in the Class of 1970 and went to college at what is now MSU-Billings.
“After I left college I got married and I’ve been in Helena ever since. I worked for a dairy that shut down and then I went to work for the school district,” said Karl Kallin.
Karl started working as a maintenance handyman for Helena Public Schools in August 1996. He became the Vigilante Stadium coordinator in 2001.
“This secondary position came open so I grabbed it. I probably saw my first football game here in 1968 and then I was away for a while when I first got back to Helena I didn’t do much with football and then I went to work with the district and this came open and I jumped into football,” said Karl Kallin.
He watched the historic facility go through many changes over the years.
“There was no all-weather track then and they just kind of let you wander and mingle around the track. I’ve seen it go from cinder track to all-weather track. The lighting at one time was about where that runway is. This is the second scoreboard,” said Karl Kallin.
Karl is quick to point out that he’s not the only hand that guides game days along.
“Everything in football as well as education is a team effort, everything is drawn together to that center, and that center is the kid,” said Karl.
He retired from his “day job” with the district in May 2017 and admits even he is not sure how much longer he will be putting away pads and turning out the lights.
“I don’t know. It just happened. When I retired I wasn’t sure I was going to do it and then I did it last year and now I did it this year. I just keep coming back. Who knows what will happen next year? It’s too soon to tell,” said Karl Kallin.
For now, Karl will continue being the last one to leave Vigilante Stadium every Friday night.
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