HELENA -- Carroll College's men's soccer team got practice rolling on Aug. 9 with a morning scrimmage. For many players this will be their first season in the purple and gold with 10 incoming freshmen making an appearance on the roster.
For Fighting Saints head coach Doug Mello? He enters his fourth season at Carroll but his 44th season as a coach, overall. Mello understands that he's been in the game a long time and hopes there never comes a day where he's not as excited as his players for the first day of practice.
"I hope it's not that way. If it goes to that point, I think it's time for me to pack up and do more spectating than coaching," Mello said with a chuckle. "Every year I'm excited; this year, especially. We have a very talented group of incoming players along with returnees. I think we had a nice year last year, we got to the semifinals of the Cascade Conference (tournament) and now we're looking to improve upon that, and this group is talented enough to do that."
The first match of the season is approaching rapidly. The Saints started practices just six days before their first contest, but junior forward Derek Stuercke isn't worried about the time frame the Saints were given.
"It is a tight window, but I think we'll be pretty prepared," said Stuercke. "We have pretty good chemistry going on with the guys, we've got some technical things to fix, which we'll do with our two-a-day practices going on, but I think this is going to be a really good first game."
The Saints are set to host the University of Lethbridge on Aug. 14 at 4 p.m.