DILLON — Montana Western quarterback Jon Jund had a memorable 2019 campaign followed by a shuttered 2020 season.
Despite chilly air and gusting winds at a spring practice this week, he and the rest of the Bulldogs were just happy to be suited up again.
"I think everyone's just ready to get on the field and play again," said Jund, who tossed 31 touchdowns and rushed for eight more scores as he garnered second-team all-conference honors in 2019 as a redshirt sophomore. "I'm excited, I think everyone's excited."
After what's been a stop-start-stop past year as Western has attempted to get back to football, that excitement is understandable.
It's been exactly two months since both Montana Western and Montana Tech announced that they would be opting out of the Frontier Conference's four-game spring football season, forcing the Bulldogs to reschedule their spring practices.
But the NAIA gave schools an extended window to conduct its spring camps. The Bulldogs adapted and, as Western head coach Ryan Nourse said, "really got right back to business."
Western has been waiting nearly two years to continue what it started during a promising 2019 campaign, in which the Bulldogs finished at 7-3 including an unblemished 5-0 record at home.
"I have really high expectations," said redshirt junior offensive lineman Noah Danielson, a Great Falls CMR product. "I'm just working every day, really fine-tuning those small little technical details."
"We had a really directed plan of the goals and objectives that we wanted to reach this spring," Nourse said. "We've gotten the things done that we needed to each day."
The Bulldogs also return redshirt senior wide receiver Nate Simkins who set a school record in 2019 with 13 receiving touchdowns and was granted an extra year of eligibility due to COVID.
"I didn't want to go out with a bad taste in my mouth like we did last year," Simkins said. "Getting one more year to put it all out there and try to win a conference championship really means a lot to me."