Butte Central’s first football practice was missing some major pieces this morning.
The Maroons, though, still opened camp with their sights set on some major accomplishments as the team worked out at the Torger Oaas Maroons Field next to the Maroon Activities Center.
“You’re going for the state championship every year,” said senior captain Kale Guldseth. “That’s our goal. That’s what we come here for. That’s what we’re working for in the offseason, and it would just be a great accomplishment for myself and for my teammates and the school to get a championship.”
The Maroons first day of workouts was unlike any in more than a quarter of a century. The team was without head coach Don Peoples Jr., who moved from offensive coordinator to head coach of the Maroons in 1989.
Peoples, who is taking over offensive play-calling duties again this year after Renzy Kelly retired, had to make an unplanned trip to Seattle to be with his daughter Mairissa, who is battling cancer.
Kelly filled in for Peoples in instructing the offense this morning. Longtime assistant Doug Peoples took over for the head coach, who is also his brother.
The Maroons have a new defensive coordinator as well. Tom Peterson takes over for departed Lee LaBreche. Peterson was the DC at BC before stints as head coach in Anaconda and as a defensive assistant at Montana Tech.
“You’ve got to embrace the change and move forward,” Doug Peoples said, adding that the offensive and defensive systems have not changed. “We’ve got guys who are coming in who coached at the college level and played at the college level.”
Also, how much longtime assistant coach Mike Hogart, the team’s special teams coordinator, will be able to contribute is still in question. Hogart is recovering from a stroke and a bypass surgery during the summer.
Hogart plans to attend the evening practice tonight.
Peoples said he was pleased with the team’s first practice, which began at 8 a.m. and lasted about an hour and a half.
“We’ve got to work on our tempo at practice and get in and out of our drills a little quicker,” Peoples said. “For the first day they were pretty sharp.”
The Maroons will work out on Montana Tech’s Bob Green Field at 5:15 p.m. That is where BC will play its home games starting this season.
Doug Peoples said Don Peoples Jr. could be back with the team as early as Saturday.
The Maroons open the season at home against Belgrade on Aug. 30.