HELENA — Now six practices into their spring football schedule, Carroll College Fighting Saints coaches and players are slowly learning more and more about each other.
For new Carroll College defensive coordinator Jared Petrino, players are learning his style of defense is not all that different from former head coach Mike Van Diest.
“Guys are picking it up pretty fast,” said junior defensive back Isazah King.
This is thanks in part to a unique situation for Fighting Saints upperclass players. Due to Van Diest’s extensive tenure with Carroll College, the former coach not only mentored players on the roster today, but also Petrino when he was a linebacker for Carroll College from 2001-04.
Petrino noted that his style of play isn’t a carbon copy of Van Diest’s playbook, but for players in the secondary, like King, they can expect a similar look when lining up most plays.
“Up front it’s a little different with some things that we’re going to up front,” said Petrino. “At the same time, the back end, it’s almost very similar. It allows them to play fast and get calls and go execute.”
“It helps that coach Petrino played under coach Van Diest, so he takes a lot of his ideology and kind of implements his own stuff,” said King when asked if the similar style made it easier to learn the playbook. “For all of the guys who played for Van Diest in the past, we kind of now know what to expect.”