Last weekend it was volleyball, now the first Frontier Conference football games are about to be played.
Two Frontier teams will battle a pair of future Frontier foes this weekend to officially open the 2011 NAIA football season. And both games should be intriguing matchups.
Saturday in Billings, the Rocky Mountain College Battlin’ Bears will host the No. 7 Dickinson State Blue Hawks at Herb Klindt Field in the season opener for both teams. DSU comes in as a projected playoff team in its final year before joining the Frontier Conference. Meanwhile, RMC also comes into 2011 with high expectations despite the Bears losing three-time all-american quarterback Kasey Peters.
RMC and DSU have been playing a season opener for five years now. The Blue Hawks did have a series going with Montana State University-Northern prior to starting the series with the Bears.
Saturday will also see Montana Tech open its season against Southern Oregon University in Butte. The game will also be a future Frontier rivalry game as SOU is set to join the league is a football-only member next fall.
Meanwhile, the Orediggers will make their season debut under a new head coach after the legendary Bob Green retired last spring.
The rest of the Frontier Conference will kick off next weekend, and teams are hard at working preparing for the season. Northern is in its final week of fall drills and will hold its second scrimmage on Thursday at 6 p.m. The Lights will then turn their attention to preparing for their season-opening home game against the UM-Western Bulldogs on Sept. 3.
This week will mark the second week of the Frontier Conference volleyball season. Teams around the league are playing in nonconference tournaments and are already looking good. Two teams are off to a perfect start this season as Carroll College went 5-0 in its own tournament last weekend. Nationally-ranked Rocky Mountain College also went 4-0, and the Bears will combine with Montana Tech to host the RMC/Tech Tournament in Billings and Butte this weekend.
The MSU-Northern Skylights got off to a strong start at last weekend’s UGF/Carroll Tournament in Great Falls. The Skylights went 2-2 in their season debut and got strong performances from several of their new faces. Northern had a strong hitting weekend and played well against 21st-ranked Indiana Wesleyn. The Skylights will be in Billings for this weekend’s RMC/Tech tourney.
For some schools, the Frontier’s fall golf season is beginning, but the MSU-N men’s and women’s golf teams won’t play until Sept. 19-20 at the Carroll College Invitational in Helena. The Lights and Skylights will begin practicing next week, and it’s an exciting time for golf at MSU-N as this fall marks the debut of men’s golf at MSU-N.