By Patrick Burr
The Courier 

Scottie Football's Red & White Scrimmage Ushers in New Season

Team Opens Play Saturday vs. Colstrip

 

Tanja Fransen / For the Courier

The Scottie Red team huddles up before a second-down play on Red & White Day. The squad hosts Colstrip Colts Saturday at 6 p.m.

As Saturday's late afternoon sun dipped lazily towards the western horizon, the Glasgow Scotties stormed onto the manicured sod of Scottie Field for the annual Red-White Scrimmage.

"It's what we call a zero-week game," says coach Greg Liebelt. "It gives us a quick snapshot of where we are with our offense, [and] allows us to look and see what some of the areas for improvement are leading up to game one."

The 43-man roster was split in two, and the teams, which together will face the Colstrip Colts Saturday night, waged battle for over an hour in front of myriad mothers, fathers, and peers.

Coach Liebelt returns just five seniors from the team which lost in last year's State Tournament Quarterfinals. Twenty-four members of the roster are freshmen or sophomores. Liebelt accepts the participatory turnover rate as part of the job, and spends his time culling his current players' strongest attributes rather than ruing what has been or could be.

"It's a nice mix of young and new kids," he says, "[and the scrimmage] was a valuable opportunity to evaluate them in a more competitive setting."

Among the young men who caught Liebelt's eye Saturday was junior Kasey Seyfert.

"He's new to the program," says Liebelt, "just picked up the game. He had a great scrimmage on the defensive side of the ball...[and] looks really comfortable in that outside backer position."

Liebelt also praised both his quarterbacks' showings, and said that those who were expected to step up, did.

Liebelt, a member of the 1986 Scotties State Champion team – the last Glasgow football squad to compete in the title game – understands what it takes to return his program to glory.

"It's a constant, consistent effort," he says. "Getting kids to come out for the sport, making it fun and rewarding for them, and keeping the staff together – that puts us on the right path."

Liebelt notes that such tenacity of purpose, mirrored in and perpetuated by both the players and coaches, is the necessary bedrock of a powerful program. "Once we establish the environment, encourage the kids, teach them the fundamentals," he says, "it all falls into place."


The program's record spanning the 2012-14 seasons is 26-6, and though 2015's embodiment is young, Liebelt sees no reason for regression.

The team plans to run out of a Base offense – I-Formation, Pro-Set, with a tight end, wide receiver, and split receiver – and work in the occasional pistol and shotgun sets as well.

"We need to spread the defense as much as we can," says Liebelt. "We've got some good speed."

Errors such as sloppy tackling and mental lapses evaporate with situational familiarity, and any shortcoming in this regard which reared its head in Saturday's skirmish is nothing Liebelt sees as unfixable.

"We just have to keep doing what we're doing," he says, "and we'll be great."

Saturday's showdown versus Colstrip kicks off at 6 p.m. Cache Younkin, a two-way Scotties starter at fullback and linebacker, was injured while riding his horse on Sunday and is doubtful for the game.

 

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