Standing at 6-foot-1, JJ Montgomery, 12, lines at center against a 6-3, 290-pound sixth-grade defensive lineman.
In the Texas heat, Montgomery battles on the line throughout the entire game, giving up just one tackle and no sacks.
On top of that, Montgomery plays defensive end, constantly harassing the Texan quarterback.
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Montgomery, a student at Seymour Middle School, recently attended the 2015 Diamond versus Texas All-Star Game in Houston.
The event included games for Grades 5 through 8.
Montgomery was the only member of the sixth-grade team from Indiana. Members of the sixth-grade team included players from 27 states.
“I got invited to a combine at Indiana University, and after that I got to go to the All-Star game,” Montgomery said. “We did some basic position stuff; for me, I was offensive and defensive lineman. They had us go over our stance and work on some of the techniques we use in games. There were strength and agility drills.”
While he played center at the game, Montgomery typically plays as an offensive tackle. Montgomery said he hadn’t played center in three or four years prior to going to Texas.
Neither JJ nor his father, John, expected to see the sixth-grader play both sides of the ball.
“You take 30 of the best kids from across the nation, you don’t expect them to play both ends,” John said. “He was one of about three kids to play both ways. He was wore out.”
Playing with some of the best young talent in the country, JJ Montgomery enjoyed making new friends and competing with top-notch football players.
“It was very hot,” Montgomery said. “Everyone was very energetic, and they (welcomed) us with open arms. It really didn’t change much; it was a normal football game. I was nervous at first, but then I met some kids who I became friends. It got to where everyone on the team were friends.
“It was a great challenge; it taught me what I’m going to be going up against as I get older. It shows me what my competition is going to be, what I need to still achieve.”
Since Montgomery has always been one of the bigger kids on the field, he was elected to play on the lines when he started playing football at 6 years old.
“It’s probably the roughest part of the whole football field,” Montgomery said. “Every single play you’re hitting somebody. If you’re a wide receiver you might not touch anyone a whole play.”
Montgomery enjoys playing football with his friends in the backyard. He said that he plans on playing football for the Owls middle school program in the fall.
“This year I really just want to make myself better and push others to want to be better,” Montgomery said. “I want to keep working and get some other people to experience some of the same things I have.”
Montgomery said that one day he would like to play college football while studying sports medicine to become a doctor.