CMR Rustlers and Great Falls High Bison Open Fall Camp - News, Sports and Weather

CMR Rustlers and Great Falls High Bison Open Fall Camp

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High school football is back.

And like a lot of other teams from around Montana, the CMR Rustlers are happy to strap the helmets back on.

"We came out here fired up, ready to go, ready to have a good practice. We've been working all summer for this and the season is here now so we got to get after it," said CMR senior defensive player Jed Engebretsen.

The Rustlers still have star running back Andrew Grinde in the back-field and some other key parts from last years state semifinal team, but are looking to fill the loss of key starters like Quarterback Jayse Mclean and linebacker Alex Thomas. And of course, on the sideline, legendary head coach Jack Johnson.

"It was different for sure, you know. The past 3 years to have Coach J here all the time but it's not as bad because you can't focus on what the coaching staff is. We've all known Coach Low (Lowry) all the time we've been in high school and he's been great too. We just come out here and we put our work in the weight room in the summer and now we're just going to work on the field, said CMR senior defensive player Jed Engebretsen.

Low is longtime assistant coach Gary Lowry who's now running the program, and he knows the expectation at CMR is to compete for state championships but wants his team to prepare for week one and go from there.

"We got to take it week by week. You can't look forward to playing these guys or playing those guys and who you're going to play in the playoffs. We just have to take each week one at a time and do the best we can to get ready for our next opponent," said CMR Rustler head coach Gary Lowry.

While the Rustlers battled back from an 0-4 start to make the playoffs last season… the Great Falls High beat Hellgate  in their opener… then lost the rest.  But say they've been working hard in the summer so they can be successful this fall.

"Feels really good. The kids are excited to be back on the turf. We had a great offseason as far as the weight room working hard trying to get that team mentality developed and I'm really happy with what we've accomplished over the summer and so far in camp it's been great," said GHFS Bison head coach Matt Krahe.

"It's a new beginning. We're ready to compete. We were anxious to play and our coaches had to kind of stop us from going overboard with all the time that we put in," said senior Bison player Randy Keesler.

The Bison enter the season with plenty of position battles but say they'll have a strong offensive line. Head Coach Matt Krahe says the Bison will lean on the guys up front and hopes the rest of his team plays hard.

"The kids are going to have a chance to compete. All the positions are open but the good news is that we have a good group of mature offensive linemen that are back about 8 deep so we're excited about. We want to put together a good product and want our boys to compete and strive to represent Great Falls High in a good light," said Krahe.

Two weeks from tonight, both the Bison and the Rustlers will play their first games under the lights, kicking off the season on August 29th.

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