Lights set for first fall camp under Jerome Souers

Lights set for first fall camp under Jerome Souers

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As the calendar turns to fall, college football gets set to make its return. On the Hi-Line, the Montana State University-Northern football team is looking to get on the field for the first time under new head coach Jerome Souers.

But before the Lights kick off the season Aug. 27 on the road against the College of Idaho, they will need to take part in their fall camp through this month. As the Lights begin their fall camp today, they will get their recruits on campus. After working with low numbers on the roster through the spring and summer, Souers looks forward to finally working with his full roster.

“We’re excited to see better numbers than what we’ve had in the spring,” Souers said. “(We’re) looking forward to just getting a better look at who we are and what we have and how much improvement we have ahead of us.”

Since many players will be on campus for the first time this week, the Lights will be working from behind. Early on, the Lights will work to get themselves in contact condition with the full set of pads on. And while they get themselves in shape, Souers looks forward to discovering the mentality of his team and what they can give to this program.

“It’s just really getting to know what kind of personality we’re going to have as a team,” Souers said. “We’re going to have to have everybody contribute at some level.”

The Lights will need their young recruits to step up as they begin camp this fall. This past spring, the Lights signed 18 players out of high school as well as two college transfers. It normally takes six to eight weeks for young players to adjust to college ball, but they do not have that much time with fall camp.

Thankfully, the Lights do return some veteran leadership in returning players such as linebacker Dylan Wampler and defensive lineman Colter Szymoniak. Through the spring and the summer, the Lights’ returning players have been working with Souers to help set the foundations for the program. As they head into camp, Souers appreciates the work of the returning players.

“It is going to be tremendously helpful. I think the players have bought in and have been outstanding leaders and role models for the new guys,” Souers said.

As the Lights try to get up to speed this fall, they have many challenges ahead. As Souers and his coaching staff navigate these obstacles, they have to avoid the mistake of rushing any of their players.

“We just can’t become too attached to a vision that isn’t going to happen,” Souers said. “As coaches, we have to make great decisions in regards to who is ready and who needs a little more time and try not to force any issue.”

With a full roster on campus, the Lights can start running 11-on-11 drills that they could not do in the spring and summer. They will practice in the mornings before meeting and conditioning through the rest of the day.

Souers takes over an MSU-N football program that has seen more than its fair share of lows over the past few years. While the Lights won their first Frontier Conference game in five years, the Lights still went 1-9 in conference play and 1-10 overall to finish last in the conference. As his players make their way through fall camp over the next few weeks, Souers hopes to see them set the standard for what will eventually lead to them becoming a successful program.

“We (have to) stay focused on our improvements and stay focused on coming together as a team,” Souers said. “Eventually what we’ll see is a more consistent performance and give ourselves as many opportunities as we possibly can to be competitive in a very competitive conference.”

Lights set for first fall camp under Jerome Souers

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