DILLON — Thursday the news broke that the 2020 Frontier Conference football season was officially postponed to the spring of 2021. Montana Western head coach Ryan Nourse wasn't surprised.
“I can’t say that I was surprised, but disappointed,” Nourse said. “Disappointed for the kids. I truly believe we can live a year without football games. It’s going to be hard, it’s going to be different for what we do.”
Nourse feels bad for the seniors, not just in his program but throughout the nation.
“We have guys who poured four and five years into this,” he said. “This is really important to them, so (I’m) disappointed, but my heart goes out to all those kids across the country.”
For some seniors who graduate in the fall it could create quite the predicament, given that they will graduate but they will still have remaining eligibility.
“It's unfortunate there’s going to be a lot of guys out there who have to make a determination: Do I want to graduate? Do I want to do another a full fall of football? It’s a lot of weight on a 22- to 24-year-old," Nourse said.
As for moving the season to the spring, it will create some challenges.
“I think it will be very difficult to do in the state of Montana,” Nourse said. “We can’t get on our practice field normally in March because it’s frozen or there’s snow on it, the grass hasn’t grown back yet."
He’s also worried about the health of his players.
“I think the biggest issue for me is when does (spring season) end?" he said. "Do you have enough time for your student-athletes to recover after the season? Is four or five games worth it to take away someone’s eligibility? I would say no. Obviously, we will do whatever it takes to make things work but there’s a lot of things we need to consider.”
Despite the postponement, Nourse is happy his team gets to practice and be around each other.
“This game just builds such a brotherhood with those who play it together,” he said. “It’s an awesome experience to be a part of and we get to do that again, but like a lot of things, it’s just going to look a little different."