HAVRE – The Montana State Northern football team held its first spring game under new head coach Andrew Rolin on Saturday. The day was dominated by the Lights’ offense. Very few penalties and no turnovers pleased the head coach.
“I think the execution was there, it was really fun to watch. Offensively we did a nice job up front. I could not be more proud of these guys up front,” said Rolin. “They played physical, they did their job, only one holding penalty. We played really fast and really physical. That’s what I asked of them. I said, ‘I want great effort, I want you guys to compete and I want you to execute today.’ … I’m just proud of this entire team. I’m excited where we’re at, we’re nowhere close to where we want to be, but I’m excited where we are right now.”
“It was great to see coach moving around today, he was jumping around like crazy,” said sophomore linebacker Jaren Maki. “Continuous effort and continuous improvement is what we preach from day one and that’s what we did today. I’m excited to go out there this fall for every game and play our tails off. It’s fun to see everybody getting better and it’s a really good change”
Coach Rolin brought the team’s energy and passion to another level for the spring game, and it was felt by all in attendance.
“The energy that Coach Rolin and the staff bring, we feed off of that,” said senior quarterback Tommy Wilson. “That just brings great energy for us. Every single day at practice, from inside in the weight room workouts to offseason winter conditioning, Rolin’s always fired up, he’s getting us fired up. Then it’s just natural for us to come out here and have that energy.”
“I can’t tell you how excited I am for Coach Rolin and everyone he’s brought in,” said senior wide receiver Sam Mix. “The energy today, you could just see it. This is the most fans, we haven’t seen this many fans at a home game, let alone a spring game, so the energy is where it needs to be. We’ve been working the hardest we ever have and we’re heading in the right direction.”
For the new coach, it appears the optimistic, fiery attitude for his Lights is just a small taste of what’s to come, the skipper can’t wait for more.
“Every chance we get to step up and play 11-on-11, heck I’d like to go live every single day. I know we can’t, but I think it’s just another opportunity to get better,” said Rolin. “I wish I could have more of it. I can’t wait until fall camp, it’s going to drive me crazy. Summer is great for getting bigger, stronger, faster, but I’ll tell you what, I can’t wait until August.”
New coach, new year, new team, new start, the vibe just feels different this year. The climb back for the MSU-Northern football program starts now.
“The vibe is totally different this year. The entire town is behind everything that we’re doing and everything that the staff is doing for us,” said Wilson. “We’re behind them 100 percent. We know everything Coach Rolin says and what he does for us is only going to get us better. We trust him 100 percent, we’re excited for everything this year.”