Dantic carries family legacy

By 
Joe Kusek
Thursday, October 21, 2021
From the left Hal Dantic (grandfather), Brad Dantic (great uncle), Beau, Bryan Dantic (father), Bob Dantic (great grandfather) and Matt Dantic (great uncle). Photo courtesy of the Dantic family

From the left Hal Dantic (grandfather), Brad Dantic (great uncle), Beau, Bryan Dantic (father), Bob Dantic (great grandfather) and Matt Dantic (great uncle). Photo courtesy of the Dantic family

Every time Beau Dantic crosses the goal line, he is carrying more than the football.

The senior running back is continuing a family legacy than runs four generations through Laurel High School football.

Dantic’s lineage goes straight back to his great-grandfather Bob who played for the Locomotives in the early 1950s. Bob Dantic would go on to serve as the Laurel High School principal.

Grandfather Hal played for Laurel in the 1970s followed by Bryan Dantic – Beau’s father – in the 1990s.

The family connection also includes a handful of greatuncles – Brad, Mike and Matt -- who played for Laurel.

The most recent football player is surrounded by family support.

“They give me advice all the time,” said Beau Dantic working up a small smile. “My uncles give me advice on everything. They give me advice on football, life … mostly football.”

The young Dantic understands the family name brings a certain reaction in Yellowstone County.

“People give you a look when they hear your name,” he said. “They ask, ‘Which one are you from?’ “

Folks have been hearing Beau Dantic’s name plenty this season.

The solidly-built 5-11, 175- pound Dantic has emerged as the primary running back for the undefeated Locomotives.

He had a break-out game of a career-high 198 yards on 28 carries in a win against Billings Central and followed it with 26 carries for 129 hard-earned yards in a physical victory over Miles City.

So dominant was the front line, Laurel attempted one pass against the Rams. Dantic’s yardage included a pretty 57-yard touchdown run around the left side.

“The offensive line blocked really well,” he said of the Billings Central game.

“The offensive line blocked really well,” Dantic repeated for emphasis.

Dantic, who also plays linebacker, has been part of the varsity for three seasons.

“Beau has worked awfully hard the last four years to get faster and stronger,” said Laurel head coach Mike Ludwig who played with Scott Stingley, another Dantic relation, in the 1980s. “He has a great work ethic.

“Beau is very coachable. He always wants to get better. He always works hard in every practice. That is something I appreciate about him. He always shows up and works hard. He is a good role model.”

That work ethic extends beyond the practice field. Dantic was the top member of Laurel’s Iron Club, accumulating the most points in the program’s offseason weightlifting program.

“I wanted to keep both, speed and strength,” he said of his goals. Another goal is to play at the collegiate level.

Dantic was bothered by a hamstring injury last spring but was able to return and run a leg on the Locomotives schoolrecord 400 relay team during the Class A state track and field meet on his home track.

Now he’s translated those talents to the nearby turf.

“In my mind, I just think about what I need to do to help the team,” Dantic said. “The objective is to do my job to the best of my ability to help the team win.

“Block or run the ball, whatever it takes.”

Dantic said his improvement has come with reading opposing defenses and reigning in pregame nervousness.

“I hit the pile and move my feet when the hole opens up,” he said. “I just try to read the block and follow the big guys.”

But the controlled Dantic carrying the football is different from Dantic, the ball-seeking linebacker.

“It’s like I’m two different people. One on offense and one on defense,” he said. “I’ve always liked defense. Offense has been pretty fun, too.”

That transformation also comes during pre-game preparation.

“When I get my elbows taped, something changes in me, I’m ready to go,” Dantic continued.

He paused and held up his right elbow, showing a turf burn from the previous game.

“Not helping much,” he said with another grin.

His younger sister Kaitlyn is a starter for the Laurel girls soccer team which has advanced to the Class A state tournament semifinals. The sibling rivalry run white-hot.

“You name it, there is something competitive between her and I,” said Dantic.

Returning from the hamstring injury in the spring, Dantic teased his sister he would post a better time in the sprints. He managed to edge his sister by three-tenths of a second.

This fall, Dantic has noticed a slight shift of topic at family gatherings.

“With my sister playing, soccer comes up more in the conversation,” he said.

But with Beau Dantic carrying the ball, there is still plenty of family football to discuss.

Poll

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