BRIDGER — As high school football practices ramp up, perennial 6-Man power Bridger will have a new man in charge. Longtime coach Mike Mathis stepped down this summer, opening open the door for his assistant Jim Goltz to call the shots for the Scouts in 2021.
“About three years I’ve been the assistant, and then I’ve done the HUDL video with the program since I’ve been here. Just a way to be a part of it. I’ve stepped down as the (athletic director) here and I’ve taken the head football job," said Goltz.
Bridger has an extremely experienced roster this season, returning four all-conference selections from last year’s team that bowed out in the quarterfinals. That marked consecutive seasons the Scouts lost in the second round of the playoffs, but there’s big expectations for Goltz and Bridger this season.
“Taking over a Mercedes and just putting the keys in it," Goltz said. "We learned a lot in that Big Sandy loss. The kids needed to get in the weight room and they’ve done that. Hopefully that production will benefit them on the football field this year.”
“I like the added pressure. It just adds that much more to the game. It’s special to work with my dad. Having him with his experience, it helps me and helps everyone else around me," senior quarterback Chance Goltz said.
Chance will be a big catalyst for what the Scouts do on both sides of the ball, just as he has in the past couple of seasons. This year’s offense, though, will have a bit of a different look with Jim at the helm.
“The offense is definitely going to be a little more explosive this year with a little more variety. Less passing, more running. It will definitely give teams more to look at with a new playbook," Chance said.
“Offensively we’re going to switch some things up. Obviously, the teams that do well in the playoffs have to run the football. I wouldn’t say we’ve been a finesse team, but our culture is going to change a little bit," Jim said. "We’re going to run the ball some more. When you want to make a deep playoff run or go for a championship, you’ve got to be able to run the football. The weather is unpredictable in October and November in Montana, so you’ve got to be able to run the football. We’re going to focus on blocking and running this year a little bit more than we have in the past.”
Bridger will open up its season on Friday, Aug. 27 at home against Meeteetsee, Wyoming.