HELENA — Spring is a time for new beginnings.
Especially for Carroll College football coach Troy Purcell.
As the final preparations begin for his team’s final spring scrimmage on Saturday morning, Purcell is still evaluating his roster so he can make a depth chart when the team returns to fall camp.
He said no final decisions will be made afterward the scrimmage. Instead, he will sit down with his coaches and lay out their options.
“We are evaluating a kid every time we see them, whether it is in the classroom or on the field,” Purcell said. “You have to see who is a step above the others and how they are working being on a depth chart. Their character and toughness say a lot.”
And that changes every single day.
“One kid could be a two right now, but then during the next spring practice he could really step up,” Purcell said. “I love the competition. That always brings out the best in (players).”
But that also means the competition will be more difficult to evaluate.
“I try to keep my mind wide open,” Purcell said. “You have certain guys who don’t really look that athletic, but you get them out on the football field and wow! They play fast with some hunger and some energy.”
The scrimmage will feature the players competing against one another, where the first team will take on each other but will also see time against the second team in different game scenarios.
Purcell said there will also be a period where the defense is allowed to blitz and put pressure on the quarterback, and then time dedicated to working on special teams.
He didn’t waste any time implementing changes both on the field and in the locker room when he came home to Helena.
He installed a new option-style offense fit to whomever he decides his quarterback might be. He also hired defensive coordinator Jared Petrino, who has transformed the defense from a 3-4 look to a 4-3 look.
A new culture or brand, C4, is posted prominently in the locker room, and the players have embraced the creed of choosing their characters, controlling their attitudes, being confident in their decision making and loving their teammates.
“It brings together the family aspect we have going on,” Saints quarterback Hunter Bledsoe said. “We have to look out for one another.”
The spring game concludes the spring practices, but there will be plenty of time for more evaluations when the team meets back up in August.
“Once we get to fall camp, it’s a whole new ball game,” Purcell said. “It’s about who worked the hardest, and then we have to evaluate them all again.”