By Jason Shoot
With his program climbing out of obscurity, Montana State University-Northern football coach Walt Currie is seeing improvement among his players.
"When we first started (the program in 1998) it was tough, but now kids have been there and are leaders," Currie said. "They all know the system, and they'll bring along the younger guys."
The Lights have 10 starters returning on both sides of the ball, and that will certainly help the Lights improve upon their 2-8 record this past fall.
Currie is using the spring to try to install an improved rushing game into the team's offense.
"That's an area we needed to improve upon," Currie said. "We'd like to be able to run as much as we throw. Last year we were throwing a little more, and I'd like to even that up.
"They're learning what we're trying to incorporate, and hopefully we can get it taught."
Currie said Scott Ramsey, last year's starting fullback, has been moved to wingback, joining Travis Crawford to form a potent two-pronged attack.
Currie said his defense has been tough during the spring.
"Our defense has been our strength, and it looks like its going to be our strength again this fall," he said. "Our defensive line is real solid and we have a good core of linebackers. In the secondary we got all returners, so we should be better in those areas."
Currie said the experience his players have compiled the past two years should make the team much improved.
"Before our kids have been freshmen and reshirt freshmen, and they've been competing against pretty mature athletes," Currie said. "Now we're getting to the point where maybe we can compete."