By George Ferguson
For the second straight year, former National Football League stars are descending upon Havre for the Legends for Lights Pheasant Jamboree.
The Jamboree is now an annual fund-raiser sponsored by the Montana State University-Northern Foundation and will be held Saturday through Wednesday.
The event is held in large part to raise money for MSU-Northern scholarships as well as the Lights football program and other sports programs in Havre.
The event is held in conjunction with Northern's homecoming and alumni weekend.
The Legends for Lights Jamboree began last year and, according to event coordinator Joyce Katzer of the MSU-Northern Foundation, was a very big success.
"Last year we were able to raise about $15,000 for our scholarship program and for the Lights football program," Katzer said. "We were also able to raise around $1,000 for Havre Youth Hockey and about $2,000 for various other sports programs."
The pheasant hunt includes a hunting contest. Monday is scheduled for an open hunt while Tuesday and Wednesday are reserved for the contested pheasant hunt.
There are 19 teams for this year's team hunt, a number Katzer says is pretty close to last year. Each team will have a team host as well as three team hunters and a legend as well. There are four levels of sponsorship with various donation amounts ranging from $2,000 to $10,000. Hunters come from all over to be a part of it, according to Katzer.
"We have two teams coming from Canada and a couple of teams coming from Washington, as well as several corporate teams," Katzer said.
The NFL legends who will be making the trip this year include Nick Bebout of Riverton, Wyo. Bebout was a standout player from the University of Wyoming who spent several season playing with the L.A. Rams, Minnesota Vikings, Seattle Seahawks, and Atlanta Falcons.
"Mr. Falcon," Tommy Nobis was considered one of the greatest collegiate linebackers of all time at the University of Texas, and was an NFL rookie of the year and a five-time Pro Bowl selection.
Don Tolbert was a 12-year veteran at offensive tackle, and a member of the 1971 World Champion Dallas Cowboys.
Roy Winston, a native of Baton Rouge, La., played 15 seasons with the Minnesota Vikings as a standout linebacker. He played in four Super Bowls and in 1985 was named to the Vikings silver anniversary team.
Former Notre Dame offensive tackle George Kunz was drafted No. 1 by the Falcons in 1969 and played in eight Pro Bowls during his career. In 1976-77 Kunz was named NFL offensive lineman of the year.
Montana native Rick Ogle, who now resides in Bozeman, was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in 1971, and played in 10 games for the Cardinals and Lions.
Diron Talbert of Rosenberg, Texas, played defensive end for the Rams from 1967-1970 and for the Washington Redskins from 1971-1980.
Doug Atkins had a brilliant 17-year, 205-game career as a defensive lineman for the Bears and Saints. In 1982 Atkins' career culminated with an induction to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Mike Donahoe of Deerfield, Ill., played tight end for the Packers, Falcons and Vikings, beginning in 1968.
The group includes Barry Dean, who is currently a scout for the NHL's Vancouver Canucks. He spent several seasons with the Philadelphia Flyers, after playing for Medicine Hat of the Western Hockey League.
Keith Delong of the University of Tennessee was a top draft pick of the San Francisco 49ers in 1989. He spent five seasons as a linebacker in San Francisco.
Jerry Sturm was an offensive tackle who played with the Broncos, Saints, Oilers, Raiders, and Calgary Stampeders of the CFL. Sturm now resides in Littleton, Colo.
Montana native Shane Collins, who attended Bozeman High and then Arizona State University, played professional football for the Washington Redskins. Collins also won the NCAA shot put championship and is a member of the MHSA Hall of Fame.
Mike Tilleman of Havre spent 12 years as a defensive lineman with the Vikings, Saints, Oilers and Falcons. Tilleman won the Brian Piccolo award in 1972 for his comeback from a knee injury. He is a graduate of Chinook High School and a strong supporter of MSU-Northern football.
Also joining the Legends will be former PGA star Tom Weiskoff, as well as NFL greats Bill Kilmer, Wally Hilgenberg, Peter Lazetich, and Bob Berry.
The Legends for Lights Jamboree officially begins Saturday morning with a host of activities including the Lights homecoming game with Southern Oregon and the official Jamboree kickoff at 7 p.m. at the east lawn on the Northern campus. Sunday also has a host of activities before the hunting begins on Monday. Also on Monday, all of the legends will be in attendance at the Taste of Havre from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Holiday Village Shopping Center. The activities will then continue through Wednesday afternoon. A full schedule of events can obtained at Donaldson Hall on the campus of MSU-Northern.