DILLON -- Ryan Nourse and the Montana Western football team took the Frontier Conference by storm in 2018, winning six of the team's first seven games, including two over ranked opponents. The Bulldogs were likely staring down a playoff berth before dropping the final three games, finishing the season with a 6-4 record.
Expectations remain high at Western, despite the program boasting only nine seniors entering this fall. In fact, the majority of the Bulldogs' online roster consists of freshmen and sophomores, but Nourse is worried less about age and experience, and more about one vital attribute.
“We want to find out who has competitive fire. The competitive fire is going to be able to do this in college," said Nourse. "It takes two to three days, really, to get a sense if these guys do or not because it’s a complete flip from what they’ve done in high school, and it’s supposed to be. It’s really part of the awesome experience kids have being college football players."
Nourse and the staff also stressed the importance of limiting mistakes, specifically after the first few practices. As Western inches closer to kickoff, errors become more significant and less acceptable.
"We’re trying to get them to know enough things to go fast. One of the things that’s challenging for young people is being able to listen, to process and then be able to do what you just processed. We’re working hard every day with all of our players on that, but particularly the new guys coming in. It’s a challenge,” Nourse said.
Western kicks off the 2019 season at home, welcoming Carroll College to Vigilante Field on Saturday, Sept. 7 for a 1 p.m. kickoff.