GREAT FALLS — There’s no doubt COVID-19 has made planning for college sports difficult. For instance, in June the Frontier Conference had approved an eight-game, conference-only schedule for football.
Then late last week, College of Idaho, Eastern Oregon University and Sourthern Oregon University announced they would push their football seasons to the spring, so the conference's five Montana schools have to figure it out again. But the constant change doesn’t mean the approach at MSU-Northern is any different.
"(MSUN players have) prepared and done a nice job through an interesting offseason. Our kids have taken it in stride. We have a saying, 'Hang loose and adjust,' and that's what we've done during this time," head coach Andrew Rolin said. "Just hang loose, see the situation as it is and then adjust accordingly."
More details will likely come next week, but Frontier Conference commissioner Kent Paulson told MTN Sports that an all-Montana schedule would likely include each school playing each other twice in a home-and-away format with someone getting a bye each week.
"Scheduling is going to be interesting. And again, those conversations have not taken place yet," Rolin said. "But from our standpoint, we've prepared to play for the fall."
The news is just another COVID-19 disruption to the sports world. But Rolin has been preaching preparedness to his program. To avoid potential travel restrictions, numerous Lights players stayed in Havre over the summer, and Rolin said he plans to have most of the team in town well ahead of Aug. 15, the start of fall camp.
"I think the motivation of getting a chance to compete this fall is the only really motivation you need and, and I told them even if we're playing in the spring, if that decision was made, that we were going to be prepared and they'd be excited to prepare for the spring as well," he said. "Just an opportunity to compete. That's why we do it. That's why we love football."