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Lights putting 2015 season behind them during spring drills - KXLH.com | Helena, Montana

Lights putting 2015 season behind them during spring drills

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The 2015 season was one the MSU-Northern football team would like to forget. Under first year head coach Aaron Christensen, the Lights were winless – finishing 0-11 and losing by an average of nearly 40 points.

But this spring, the winds of change are in the air in Havre.

Seriously. It was windy in Havre.

But despite precipitation and gusty conditions, the Lights are back to work on the Hi-Line ready to put last season’s disappointment behind them.

“It was a tough season,” said Christensen. “The kind of season you don’t want to go through again. But I think we’re better off for going through it.”

The 2nd year Lights mentor has had the benefit of going through his first full offseason in Havre, and hit the recruiting trail hard bringing in 33 players and adding depth to the Northern roster.

“The further we got away from the football the more depth we needed,” said Christensen. “Wide receiver was something we were thin at so I feel we got a little bit better there. Defensive back was something we felt we needed to get better at and I think we have.”

Despite Northern’s struggles away from the football a year ago, one area that was strong all year long was the running game. Tailback Zach McKinley returns for his senior after breaking MSU-Northern’s all time career rushing mark as a junior. McKinley is a captain this season and will assume a large leadership role.

“I’m a lot more comfortable and a lot more confident,” said the CMR product. “Even I was walking on egg shells last spring because I didn’t know the new system. But now that us older guys have kind of settled in to the new system we can bring the young guys along.”

McKinley is not the only former Rustler leading the Lights this year. All-Conference defensive lineman Tyler Craig returns as a senior after leading Northern in tackles for loss and sacks in 2015. He will anchor a Defensive Line that also features Billings native Jordan Brusio.

Despite the setbacks of 2015, the team stuck together never losing sight of their goals and never giving up on a lost season. And now the Lights hope that the hard work put in the spring will pay big dividends in the fall. 

“The best part about football is each year is a new year,” McKinley said. “Everyone has a clean slate. The good thing is we have a lot of guys back who had baptism by fire last year and we put it behind us and are working toward a new goal. It will be good. I’m excited to see what happens.”

MSU-Northern will hold their annual spring game on April 27th in Havre. 

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