HELENA – “There are still a few piles that are frozen over there, we’ve got to get those removed over there,” laughed Carroll head football coach Mike Van Diest. “Otherwise it’s going to look like arena football slamming into that ice on the side.”
Spring football in Montana can always be a tricky thing. But the weather couldn’t keep the Saints indoors any longer, as they hit the field for the first practice of spring ball on Tuesday.
“It’s good to get out of the weight room and the gym,” said defensive back McBride Galt. “We’ve been in there since late January doing running drills, footwork drills and up in the weight room three, four times a week lifting. So it’s good to get out and be a football player again.”
“We’ve been inside for a long time and made a lot of adjustments, the coaching staff (and) players,” added running back Major Ali. “Change what we needed to this off-season and hopefully have a better spring and a better season. So a lot of guys are excited who put a lot of work into this, so this is kind of the first test run you could say. So it’s very exciting, I’m very excited.”
And with a few off-season coaching and player changes, these first couple of days will be about getting everyone on the same page.
“I just hope we can have 11 guys that can line up right on offense and 11 guys who can line up right on defense, and communication,” added Van Diest. “I know on the defensive side, thats what we’re going to talk about. We’re going to do a (skeleton) group we got a team group. I want our guys to communicate.”
One of those areas where communication will be key is on the offensive line which saw a lot of turn over in the off-season, including bringing over former tight ends Alex Hoffman and Connor McGree to the unit.
“It’s pretty similar to the tight end role that I played where I blocked a lot,” said McGree, the new center. “Coach has told me a lot that this moves faster than tight end, so it will be interesting to see. But other than that, I’ve noticed a lot of the same things. Obviously staying on the offense helped a lot. You understand point and those things, the schemes and all those characteristics of it.”
It will take some time for this year’s team to fall into place, but for now they are all just happy to be back playing football again.
For Carroll’s full spring practice schedule check out the link here.