ROUNDUP -- Roundup is coming off an Eastern B title last season and a run to the quarterfinals of the Class B state football playoffs. New head coach Chris Bourn takes over after assisting on last year’s staff. Bourn has made several stops in his coaching career, including assistant jobs at Bozeman and Billings West.
With several returning players and assistant coaches, Bourn is looking to keep things fairly similar on both sides of the ball.
“We’ve really stuck with a lot of what we were doing last year in terms of blocking schemes, terminology. Very little is going to change on the defense," Bourn said. "I’m very, very lucky in that I have an exceptional staff -- a great group of guys that are very proactive, intuitive and insightful guys. Practice has been fantastic because we’ve managed to stay on the same page.”
“For the most part he has. He is a new coach, he has his own offensive stuff, but we’ve all been around this offense since we were in junior high. This is what we know. This is what we grew up doing. He doesn’t want to make too many changes and confuse us," senior quarterback Tanner Rae said.
One change? Bourn wants the Panthers to pick up the pace offensively and keep opposing defenses on their heels throughout the season.
“Go, go, go, go, go. Ran stuff real up-tempo. Real up-tempo practices," Bourn said. "Feeling really good about the season right now based on the last couple practices.”
“We would like to move all the stuff we’ve done at practice with up-tempo to make us better in it at games,” Roundup senior offensive and defensive lineman Ryder Klein said.
Speaking of the offense, Roundup lost quite the weapon when Brody Grebe graduated. So who is going to pick up the slack for the Panthers?
“Right now, the first name that really comes to mind is Tanner Rae," Bourn said. "Tanner was a wingback-type running back for us last year. He was backup quarterback. We moved him into the quarterback position. Got him a fair number of reps within the scheme from last year.”
Playing running back could translate well for Rae, as the shotgun Wing-T offense is tailored to his skill set.
“We have a lot of quarterback runs. That’s what half of (Grebe) scored on last year, I’m just hoping to do the same," Rae said.