By Anthony Nachreiner
The Nach on Sports Show
With summer almost here, college football fans are beginning to count down the days until fall camps get underway. After last season for the Montana football team, the Griz faithful are extremely curious what the 2017 season will look like. During the Grizzly Scholarship Association’s spring golf tour, I spoke to Griz head coach Bob Stitt.
Nach on Sports: What did you take away from spring practice?
Bob Stitt: Spring practice wasn’t just the way that our guys approached everything every single day — and the competition was intense — but how they treated each other after the whistle or how they treated the other person when they might make them look bad. They might catch a ball over them and the (defensive back) pats them on the back, or vice versa, and we really worked on a lot of adversity. How do you handle something that goes wrong and the body language, all those kinds of things? Everybody really came together in understanding where we wanted to go in spring ball. We felt like we got way better and I felt like in all my years of coaching a team never progressed more than this team did this spring.
NOS: In your years of experience, do you see growth in spring ball in the individual or in the team scheme?
BS: A little bit of everything. But, what we wanted to accomplish was the mental side of it. A lot of kids don’t handle the adversity, the body language is a natural thing when something bad happens — you drop a ball, make a bad throw or miss a tackle — the negative body language just automatically happens and we wanted to get mentally tougher in those situations. When adversity strikes for real, because we can only manufacture it this spring, when it happens for real in the fall, we want our kids to punch it in the face.
NOS: What kind of spring did former Bigfork standout Josh Sandry have?
BS: Unbelievable, and Josh is exactly the type of player we want to recruit and the guy that you totally trust. He is a leader, he is a great teammate and he is fun to be around. He’s got a lot of energy but is very competitive. He had a great spring game with a bunch of interceptions. He is very humble, all he wants to do is win, do his job, help the defense do well and the team.
NOS: All three of your quarterbacks had great moments in the spring is that a good problem to have as a coaching staff?
BS: It was that way this spring where every scrimmage it seemed like a different QB had a great day and it’s good for competition at the QB position. You don’t want anyone to relax. We brought Reese Phillips in a year ago to be the guy, be the understudy for Brady Gustafson and we needed help in between Gresch Jensen being a freshman and Reese being a senior. You wanted somebody in between, and that was Caleb Hill. The job is open but Reese is a guy that needs to be prepared, he needs to have a great summer and fall camp and we anticipate him being the guy, but it’s by no means you know a deal where he is set in stone.
Anthony Nachreiner is the host of The Nach on Sports Show, Northwest Montana’s only sports talk show, which airs every weekday from 3-5 p.m. on 600 AM KGEZ and 96.5 FM.