HELENA — Following Saturday’s annual spring football game, countless Carroll College Fighting Saints football players stood up in front of teammates, coaches, recruits and media members to echo the new creed of Carroll College football.
“I choose character. I control my effort, attitude and toughness. I am confident in my decision making, and I love my teammates,” they said.
That new creed is only one of a handful of additions new head coach Troy Purcell has made over the past five months.
“Be a man of character and live the creed,” Purcell said.
“We take pride in what we do, we make good decisions, so that, on and off the field, we’re men of good standing,” quarterback Zach Leahy said.
With “C4” embroidered on the side of hats and emblazoned on shirts, it’s hard to miss the statement Carroll College football is trying to make, a statement which is ensuring its players are “comfortable being uncomfortable.”
When players were put on the spot following Carroll’s spring football practice, players were not only asked to recite the creed, but in some cases they were asked to share a way they or a teammate were a man of character and lived by the creed.
In some cases, the displays were small.
“When I’m on the field, not swearing,” kicker Stephen Powell said.
“I was driving around up in the backwoods and I picked up a beer can that was on the side of the road,” defensive lineman Seamus Tully said, as coaches and teammates roared.
Others were bigger.
“I threw a surprise birthday party for Brandon Ahlgren,” said offensive lineman Jacob Clark.
No matter how big or small, Purcell calling players up to speak was a way to get them comfortable being uncomfortable. And it seems to be working as many players appeared to show their true colors when addressing their constituents. According to senior Isazah King, Saturday’s display was a far cry from where Carroll started during winter workouts.
“Coaches have been pushing ever since winter ball started this year, getting players out of their comfort zones. That’s like speaking, being uncomfortable on the football field. So that, that took a lot from where we initially were, to do what we just did now,” King said.
But the time spent being uncomfortable in the presence of one another ultimately is creating connections between the Fighting Saints.
“We’re just slowly building that love, that real bond that you can feel with your teammates,” King said.
Carroll College opens its 2019 season under Purcell on Saturday, Sept. 7 at Montana Western in Dillon. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. Season tickets for Fighting Saints home games are also available through the Carroll athletics website by clicking here.