HELENA — For the first time in this century, the man running Carroll College’s spring football game was not Mike Van Diest. Rather, first-year head coach Troy Purcell was calling plays with Van Diest as a spectator.
In Purcell’s first spring football game, he noted that there was a sweeping improvement from winter workouts to spring practices to the actual spring game.
“Just a lot of improvement from Day 1 til where we’re at right now, and, again, it’s attributed to the coaches and the coaching staff and the players, their dedication and wanting to improve and wanting to get better and loving the game and wanting to be around each other and the brotherhood that has developed and the family that’s coming tighter together,” Purcell said.
Following the game, Purcell held his cards relatively close to his chest when asked about his thoughts on individual players.
“There were some bright spots here and there, all over there was a few,” he said. “I’m not going to give names right now. I’ll watch the film.”
Purcell did say that preliminary starters could be chosen following his review of the film, but, with 133 days until the Saints kick off their season against Montana Western, he’s in no hurry.
“It’s never as good or bad as you think it is, but we’ll watch the film and evaluate and see where they are at,” he said. “And after watching this, we’ll have our two-deep (depth chart), I guess, kind of ready. Then whoever works the hardest in the summer and whoever works the hardest in fall camp and steps up, they always have an opportunity to get out there and compete.”
Until then, the Fighting Saints’ football team will get an opportunity to rest before putting the pads back on for summer practices in August.