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First-year coach Shane Larson to continue building culture at Lockwood

Shane Larson lockwood.png
Posted at 3:04 PM, Aug 24, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-24 17:17:03-04

BILLINGS — The 2023 campaign will mark just the second for Lockwood as a varsity football program.

Make it two coaches in two years, too. Shane Larson takes over for Rob DiGiallonardo and carries some familiarity having served on the staff the past few seasons.

Larson has seen the growth of the Lockwood program from its infancy, and while there’s still a long ways to go, the Lions are moving in the right direction.

“One thing that I'm really trying to harp on is that culture aspect," Larson said. "We've been doing a lot of leadership stuff trying to teach kids how to be leaders and teach kids how to build that culture and own that culture. We've changed things here and there on the offense and defense, but luckily for them there's not a whole lot of new faces, so the buy-in is a lot easier on their part."

Larson, a Conrad native, played his college ball just down the road at Rocky Mountain College. During his time there, he had three different head coaches to pick the brains of.

"Coach (Brian) Armstrong, then coach (Jason) Petrino really was huge on culture and making it big where you're at. Learning the terminology and learning the defense — he's such a smart guy. I learned so much from him," Larson said. "Coach Stutz (Chris Stutzriem) coming in and kind of learning and seeing how a younger coach can get guys to buy in and get guys to be on the same page with him being there helped a lot, too."

It certainly will help Larson that his quarterback returns. Tyce Casterline was lined up out wide to begin last season but took snaps out of necessity after injuries. It’s kind of been a blessing in disguise.

“It helps me because I kind of know what I'm doing and know the playbook a little bit. I feel comfortable with the guys around me that have been here three years, too," Casterline said.

“Luckily he's an athletic kid. He wasn't the quarterback, but now he's got a year under his belt," Larson said. "Obviously he's just an athletic kid. A big, strong kid that can make plays happen. It's nice to have experience — across the board even — everyone having at least a year under their belt is definitely going to help coming into this year."

Larson and the Lions will get their season started at home on Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. against Miles City.