CollegeFrontier Conference


Time to emerge: In spring drills, MSU-Northern striving for a competitive season

MSU Northern Football
Posted at 5:16 PM, Apr 11, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-11 19:35:32-04

HAVRE — It’s been more than eight years since MSU-Northern has finished a football season with two or more wins, but the Lights are feeling that the 2024 campaign will end that drought.

“Our story is going to be how good can we be this year, and we are going to push that,” said head coach Jerome Souers.

The Lights are taking wins where they can during this offseason. A quick overview of their current roster will show the lack of experience due to 46-52 players being freshmen or sophomores, but they take a victory in the fact that most of their players are in the program for a second straight year.

“The retention of players used to be we’d lose about half the team every year. This is the biggest we’ve ever had a spring team. Their first year here it was maybe 20 of us on the team still from the old coaching staff,” said assistant coach Dylan Wampler.

“This is going to be a lot of our second year together. The team retention, we’ve obviously struggled with that in the past. We’ve had kids coming in then leaving. So with us being able to keep everyone here we have a lot of confidence built up,” said junior linebacker Lucas Thacker.

Despite having a young team, with the addition of a recruiting class of nearly 50 players, Souers believes his squad will be ready to have a more competitive season.

“It’s time to emerge. As much as we wanted to be in the first two years of this program, we were not ready to compete at this level and we need to push that ceiling now. We finally have numbers, we got a little more depth, we have an opportunity to develop,” said Souers. “We have some guys that have been here their second year now and really have a chance to improve.”

Souers is entering his third season at the helm of Northern’s football program and deemed this season as a pivotal year. After going a combined 1-19 in his first two seasons, he told MTN Sports that he has had time to evaluate the rights and wrongs of those years and has changed the expectations of his program.

According to Souers, the Lights have made changes in ways that will better fit their personnel and create a sustainable personality for the culture of the program.

Players have stood by their coach in saying this year will be different from seasons prior. Thacker mentioned that the team has “something cooking up” and anyone following the them will “be surprised.”

Northern is midway through spring drills and isn't oblivious to the fact that it has more improvement to be made, but the goal is to be ready to be in a position to be more competitive by the start of the season. The first game will be on the road against Mayville State on Aug. 31.