A heavy August rain couldn’t dampen the show Friday evening at Naranche Stadium, as Butte High’s football team bulled its way through the rainfall in the annual Purple and White scrimmage.
A good crowd was on hand despite the inclement weather, many huddling under umbrellas, and even more simply enduring the downpour.
Ever the optimist, Butte High head coach Arie Grey took a glass-is-half-full (of rain) approach in his appraisal of the night’s action.
“It was great,” Grey said afterward, rain dripping from his purple visor. “This was a good warmup. We tried to make it as game-like as we could, and you know we’re going to have to play in the rain sooner or later. That lets our players and coaching staff know what we need to do.”
The scrimmage capped Butte High’s first week of practice, as the Bulldogs have only been in full pads since Tuesday. The first three days of practice saw just helmets. Butte High has just one week remaining before the season opener, set for 7:30 next Friday at Daylis Stadium in Bullings, where the Bulldogs take on the Billings Senior Broncs.
“We get a lot done in the summer, so we’re OK,” Grey said earlier in the week. “I’m happy with how much we’ve already gotten in, but that’s a credit to our kids and coaches and how hard they’ve worked.”
Some of that effort was visible in Friday’s play, which was a bit sloppy, mostly due to the soaked conditions.
Junior Dylan Cook looked solid behind center, and had a few nice, smooth passes downfield, one of which was caught in stride by sophomore Kiley Caprara for a touchdown. Caprara made up for a dropped pass moments earlier, and then went on to register a touchdown on defense with a pick-six.
“Kiley had a nice night,” Grey observed. “And Dylan did some good things. He showed a good command of the offense.”
Sophomre quarterback Evan Anderson saw plenty of time as well, and while he had trouble passing the slippery ball, he seemed very adept at running it. He did connect on a nice touchdown pass to junior Jake Salmonsen as well.
As is often the case this time of the year, the defense seemed to play past the offense.
“Our defense did a very good job stopping the run,” Grey noted. “I thought (senior linebacker) Lee Cannon stepped up and played tough. He’s really had a great camp so far.”
“We’ve still got a ways to go,” Grey said, “but I think the kids are working hard at getting better every day.”