BILLINGS – College football is here.
Rocky Mountain College was among teams all over the country opening fall camp on Friday. Veterans reported for workouts at 1:40 p.m. with freshmen arriving at 3:30.
As head coach Jason Petrino jumpstarts his third campaign, the Battlin’ Bears are coming off their first winning season since 2013. League coaches have shown they’re well aware by picking Rocky to finish second in their preseason football poll released earlier this week.
RMC players and coaches appreciate the nod, but they know what preseason polls amount to.
“I’m happy for our players and coaching staff,” said Petrino. “They’ve put in the work and climbed up to where we want to be, but ultimately it doesn’t really mean anything until the end.”
“I think we’re just trying to go out and actually prove ourselves and show that we deserved to be ranked second,” receiver Casey Cole said before Friday’s practice. “We haven’t proved anything yet. We haven’t even played a game.”
Rocky’s defensive players know what to expect out of the Frontier Conferene: no free passes.
“In this conference, everyone is ranked second, everyone is ranked first,” said linebacker Chase Bertelsen. “You never know, everyone is beating everyone in this conference. Ranked second? Yes, it’s kind of in the back of our head, but on the other side we have to go out and show it.”
Rocky continues split workouts with freshmen and veterans Saturday and Sunday before combining all teammates starting Monday. RMC opens the season two weeks from Thursday on Aug. 23 at home against Carroll College.