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For many of you, it's been a tough 2020. It'll be a tough Christmas. It's been an especially tough year on the Crow Reservation here in Montana.

Ever since he retired from the NFL just a few years ago, former University of Montana Grizzly football standout Tuff Harris has been giving back to the community he grew up in. Tuff grew up in Lodge Grass and graduated high school in Colstrip, Montana. He's of both Crow and Northern Cheyenne Tribal descent, and is now the director of a program called "One Heart Warriors." 

I ran into Tuff a few times this Fall, and we'd talk about everything happening this year- the impacts of COVID-19, the impacts of the lockdowns and the restrictions, and the impacts on school kids. He told me about some of the challenges- schools not opening initially, chrome books not working, and the challenges of the lack of broadband in parts of Montana.

He also told me some of the good news. He told me about the remarkable work being done by the new high school basketball coach in Lodge Grass- Coach Josh Stewart.

We sat down with Tuff Harris and Coach Stewart for a special show that will air on Christmas Eve. It was an incredible conversation all around, and something you will not want to miss.

You remember last Spring when the state high school basketball tournaments were taking place all across Montana? It was in March, before we knew of any confirmed COVID-19 cases in Montana. Then, just before the state championship games could be played- word came down that Montana had a confirmed COVID-19 case, and the tournaments were shut down. The kids were sent home without having the opportunity to earn the trophy they had fought so hard for all year long.

Add to that, the fact that Lodge Grass hadn't had a team this good since the days of Elvis Old Bull nearly 30 years ago. They were finally poised to bring home a state championship for Lodge Grass, and then it all got shut down. But they held their heads high, and had some incredible stories and insight that came about. You gotta hear about it in Coach Stewart's own words.

Our "Tuff Christmas" special will air on Christmas Eve, statewide, on Montana Talks. You can listen in on the following stations December 24th shortly after 9 a.m.:

Billings: Newstalk 95.5 and 95.1 FM, 970 AM KBUL

Bozeman: 1450 KMMS

Livingston: 1340 KPRK

Missoula: AM930 and 99.7 FM KMPT

Kalispell: 880AM and 107.9 FM KJJR

Glendive: 1400AM and 103.1FM KXGN

ForsythKIKC 1250 AM, 94.5FM

Lewistown: 1230AM and 106.9FM

Wolf Point: 92.7FM KVCK

Fort Peck: 107.1FM KVCK

Shelby: 1150AM KSEN

Great Falls102.7FM KINX

Helena: 95.9FM KCAP

Butte: 1370 AM and 94.7 FM KXTL

Scobey: 95.7FM KCGM

Plentywood: 100.1FM KATQ

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