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Spring football gone digital: Rocky Mountain College adapting to cancellations

Stutzriem RMC.jpg
Posted at 4:53 PM, Mar 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-21 15:43:50-04

BILLINGS — Rocky Mountain College was supposed to open spring football camp Friday. Instead, head coach Chris Stutzriem and his staff will spend the foreseeable future away from their players, hoping everything is back to normal by fall camp. The problem is, nobody can say if it will be.

"It's the unknown that scares everybody right now," Stutzriem said.

Spring drills are one of a football coach's favorite pastimes - back outside, no pressure, just ball. So after the Frontier Conference canceled all practices Wednesday, Stutzriem haD to figure out what to do.

"Oh man. I was at my house and it was getting pretty stir crazy," the second-year coach joked. "As coaches, we have our set jobs that we can do. The biggest part is that we're not around our guys. You know, that's the best part of coaching is being around the guys."

Social distancing means spring football has now gone digital.

"The biggest thing is with technology nowadays, you can still be active with guys. We did a great job this off-season, the coaches did a great job of communicating with players of what we want, our expectations, getting playbooks out, getting drills that they can do on their own. Not for this reason," Stutzriem laughed, "but when guys are alone, when they're on spring break, when they have downtime."

The limitations might be worse on the physical side.

"Our strength coaches are putting together a workout now because kids may only have their body. They may not have a weight room."

But the biggest hurdle Stutzriem and staff face has nothing to do with football.

"The biggest thing is making sure they're focused on their academics, because all these guys are going online now, and some are really good at that and some aren't," he said. "So our focus now turns to making sure they're getting things done academically because you don't want a bad three weeks to turn into a bad semester. Then you deal with eligibility and things like that."

It's a problem they'd likely be happy to deal with, since it would mean there would be a season to be eligible for.