HELENA – As the spring football portion of the year begins, Carroll College begins a fresh start to right all the wrongs. The Saints are coming off a dismal year, finishing fifth in the Frontier Conference with a 4-6 record.

“The thing we need to get back on track is the mental and physical toughness within the football team. These guys are talented, but everybody in the Frontier Conference is talented,” said head coach Mike Van Diest. “So what’s going to set them apart is their effort and their football IQ with what they do in the offseason. … Each player needs to be a leader within themselves. I don’t think we’ve done that these past couple years, so I expect all these guys to be leaders at one point in time.”

Carroll was a young team last year, but that has its advantages, like bringing core players back for this season.

“Having a young team is nice. Everyone’s coming back, so the camaraderie is definitely there. (There are) seven starters returning on offense, a lot returning on defense, as well,” said running back Major Ali. “It’s fun to have a young group and build up as a team. With last year ending at 4-6, I’m excited to see where we go this year with everyone coming back and the future as well going (into) next season.”