By Tiffany L. Rehbein
Most of the 40 veteran players of the MSU-Northern Lights football program came back to practice bigger, faster and stronger, said head coach Walt Currie. And that pleased him.
Its nice to have young kids that come back a little quicker each time, Currie said.
The Lights are ending their second week of two-a-day practices as they prepare for the season opener against Montana Tech at Butte, Aug. 28.
In its first season as a full member of the Frontier Conference, the Lights look to compete with each team they meet.
Id like to be able to compete this year right away, Currie said. In a pre-season poll, the Frontier Conference coaches chose MSU-Northern to finish fifth in the conference.
Currie said defense will be the greatest team strength.
Weve got some kids who can play some defense, Currie said, and the experienced eyes of defensive line coach Mickey Williams will help lead that side of the ball. But were definitely young on the offensive side, he added.
The Lights have 96 players on this years roster 30 of whom played last year, 10 who signed on last Christmas and 56 new signees. There are only six juniors and zero seniors on the roster.
Currie and staff Williams, Jeff Currie, Jeff Alexander and Mike Steussie will have the opportunity Saturday to see all the players in action. The Lights will host a scrimmage against the Bozeman Kodiaks, a club team that Northern defeated twice last year during the regular season. The Lights finished 3-3 last fall.
Well get a good look at as many kids as possible on Saturday, Currie said.
Although some players have secured a starting position, all spots are up for grabs on both sides of the ball, Currie said.
The quarterbacks are pushing each other, everyone is pushing for a position, he said.
The public is encouraged to attend the scrimmage at Blue Pony Stadium Saturday at 2 p.m., Currie said.