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'We have to develop championship habits': New-look MSU-Northern ready for 2023 season

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Posted at 12:04 PM, Aug 16, 2023

HAVRE — It’s been a long couple of years for MSU-Northern football and it’s fans, but a roster full of depth is hoping to turn things around as they enter the 2023 season. Third-year head coach Jerome Souers says the team has added approximately 40 new players to the roster, essentially doubling their numbers from the previous year.

“We’re a year more experienced than we were last year, we have more numbers than we had last year, and half of our team has been here at least a year and trained in the offseason,” said Souers. “We are stronger than a year ago and the new guys that we brought in, I think have added depth and talent. We just need to develop it.”

The race for QB1 is between three signal callers, all who were not at Northern during last season. The battle is between true freshman Ashton Platt, junior transfer Dante Maiuri, and senior transfer Oakley Kopp. Platt is fresh out of Great Falls High School while Maiuri and Kopp bring some college experience. Maiuri is a transfer from Culver-Stockton College in Missouri. Kopp may sound familiar to some Lights fans because he began his collegiate career at Northern right after graduating from West Jordan High school in Utah.

“We’re still inserting the scheme which means you’re not ready to see who knows the scheme best,” said Souers. “While we’re still teaching the scheme and tactics of what we’re doing, everybody is on equal footing.”

The first two years under Souers hasn’t gone as expected, but is in the process of rebuilding in attempt to bring the program back up to what it used to be. The coaching staff is working on changing the culture of the program and having the team approach the game with a different mentality.

“We have to develop championship habits first and we have to think like a championship team. That goal may be as far away from us as there is anybody in the country but in reality champions begin by thinking like champions," Souers said. "That’s a component of our program like everybody else.”

The Lights will begin their season at home on Aug. 26 against Mayville State University. Kickoff is scheduled to be at 11 a.m.