(Editor’s note: RMC Athletics release)
BILLINGS – Rocky Mountain College’s football team will return to Herb Klindt Field Saturday to host the annual Spring Game. The action will kick off at 10:30 a.m.
The 2018 Frontier Conference champions will look to further their success from last season. The Battlin’ Bears earned a trip to the NAIA postseason for only the fourth time in program history and the first since 2013. They lost to the eventual NAIA national champion, Morningside College, 49-20, in the opening round.
For many, it will be the first opportunity to see the new coaching staff of the Battlin’ Bears. Coach Chris Stutzriem was announced as the 18th head coach of Rocky Mountain College’s football team in December 2018. Stutzriem quickly went to work to put together a coaching staff comprised of fresh and familiar faces.
Drew Korf and Nathan Dick return to the Battlin’ Bears this spring looking to replace senior quarterback Jacob Bakken. Bakken, a honorable mention All-American, ranked No. 2 in the NAIA for total offense and total passing. Only Morningside’s Trent Solsma, the 2018 NAIA National Football Player of the Year, threw for more yards last season. Korf and Dick are familiar to the position that they find themselves in as both were considered potential starters last preseason.
Other key offensive returners include running back Sam Sparks, wide receiver Lucas Overton, and offensive lineman Tanner Bloom. Averaging 4.5 yards per carry, Sparks rushed for 481 yards and five touchdowns last season. Overton pulled in 53 receptions for 806 yards and six touchdowns last season. The sophomore led the Battlin’ Bears in receiving his freshman season with 621 yards and six touchdowns. Bloom was a key component of an offensive line that produced the No. 2 ranked total pass offense last season.
Ryder Rice, Denton Wetherell, and Fili Church highlight a strong returning presence to Rocky’s defensive line. Rice was named second-team All-American and ranked No. 6 in the NAIA in sacks. His 12.5 sacks counts as most by a Rocky player during the 15 years of available records. Wetherell recorded 41 total tackles last season while Church recorded 19 tackles and four sacks.
Other key defensive returners include linebacker Dallas Mack and cornerbacks Jimmy Henderson and Devonte Woods. Mack was selected second-team all-conference after securing 63 tackles last season. Devonte Woods recorded 41 tackles and Henderson recorded 26 tackles and two interceptions.
The Spring Game will take place between the Green Team and the Gold Team Saturday. The teams were drafted by captains earlier this week. Team Green will be led by Rice, Dick, and Overton. Team Gold will be led by Korf, Wetherell, and Mack.
The Battlin’ Bears will begin the 2019 season against regional rival Dickinson State on August 29 in Dickinson, N.D.