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Lights buying in this spring


Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson

A Montana State University-Northern receiver hauls in a pass while being covered during Thursday's spring practice at the Northern practice field. The Lights went full pads and contact in practices Tuesday and Thursday. Northern will continue spring drills with another full practice Saturday afternoon.

The Montana State University-Northern football team is still a long way away from playing games this fall, but in the second week of spring practice, the Lights are continuing to take strides under first-year head coach Andrew Rolin.

The Lights have been practicing a few times per week and hit the practice field on the campus of MSU-Northern both Tuesday and Thursday of this week for a couple of hours each time. Northern will be on the practice field for another workout Saturday, which will take place at noon and will last for around two hours.

The Lights are thin on players, with just 51 participating in spring football. But up to this point, Rolin said, he is pleased with the progress.

"Things are going great," Rolin said. "I am excited about where we are at and I think we are taking strides. I think that everyone is starting to laugh at me, but continuous improvement. And that's what these guys are doing. They are putting out a continuous effort. Our execution is improving and our effort is always there and that is what we are looking for."

During the two-hour practices, the Lights are still divvying up their time between fundamental drills and live team periods. While the Lights wore shorts and shoulder pads during the first week of spring ball, they changed it up this week with pants and pads, as well as shoulder pads and helmets.

Following a pattern of spring practice, there was a lot of intensity on the field and there were big plays being made on both sides of the ball. Yet, two players that have continually stood out for the Lights on offense are running back Jett Robertson, who is returning from a back injury and wide receiver Fotios Jordanoglou. Both players have consistently made big plays throughout the two weeks of spring practice.

"I think Jett is doing a nice job at tailback for us," Rolin said. "I think Fotios is doing a great job at wide receiver for us. He has made some big plays for us. He needs to continue to improve some of his technical things but he is a great competitor. He goes up and makes big plays there is no doubt about it."

Rolin also said he was encouraged by the play of his offensive line and his quarterbacks. Signal callers Tommy Wilson, Dylan Cook and Bryce Missey have all continued to split reps.

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson

The Lights practice Thursday in Havre.

"I am just proud of the five guys up front," Rolin said. "They are doing a great job. The quarterbacks need to just execute the offense and that is the name of the game honestly. That is what I was telling them today. Great offenses execute and that is the most important thing to a great offense. That is what it comes down to."

Rolin said he was excited by the things that he was seeing on the field, but the most important step so far, is establishing the winning culture the new staff wants to instill. And on that front, Rolin said things were going well.

"There is no doubt that they have bought in to what we are doing," Rolin said. "There is definitely a culture grooming among this group. There are some guys that are no longer with us, but the guys that are with us are bought in and it's starting to show on the field, but off the field, too, in class and in the community. It's showing up day in and day out. We are grinding away."

The Lights will be back on the practice field Saturday at 12 p.m.


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