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Montana Grizzlies ready for first Spring Game since 2019

Bobby Hauck and Lucas Johnson.jpg
Posted at 3:22 PM, Apr 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-07 18:33:44-04

MISSOULA — Griz spring football has just about wound to a close after beginning back at the start of March, and it will all conclude on Friday with the annual Spring Game scrimmage which will be played for the first time since 2019.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Grizzlies haven't had a Spring Game scrimmage since 2019 in Kalispell, but on Friday they'll pack up and head south to the Bitterroot Valley for this year's scrimmage which will take place at Hamilton High School. Sophomore linebacker Carson Rostad and his brother, incoming freshman Tyson Rostad, are the lone Hamilton natives on the Griz roster.

In the final week of spring ball, Griz coach Bobby Hauck said it's about sharpening things up as they get set to head into the summer and fall.

"Spring ball, we're trying to get better technically and we're trying to get a better understanding of the scheme and I think that growth is occurring," Hauck said. "It's a daily process, especially for our young guys because for a lot of them this is really new. But I'm seeing progress. We need a lot more before we get to September that's for sure."

As for the game itself, kickoff in Hamilton will be at 6 p.m. on Friday and it'll be the first time ever that UM's Spring Game has made its way to Hamilton as the Grizzlies get set to the hit road and show fans what they've been working on this spring. The game was initially supposed to be played in Hamilton in 2020 before the COVID-19 pandemic canceled that. Then in 2021, in lieu of a spring scrimmage, UM played Central Washington and Portland State last April in a pair of spring games after the 2020 fall season was postponed to the spring, which UM ultimately opted out of.

But as far as that annual tradition of the spring scrimmage, it'll be back on Friday night under the lights.

"For us it's just a practice but I think our fans like it," Hauck said. "We love to be able to go to places like Kalispell or Butte or Great Falls or Hamilton or Polson or Billings or Lewistown. All of the different places we've gone over the years. I think it's a lot of fun for everybody and we like getting out there, our fans are the best and it'll be fun for everybody."