‘Older’ Maroons hit the field

The learning curve has gotten flatter and the physical dimensions have gotten bigger. Such calculations bode well for Butte Central’s football fortunes and the boys looked sharp in their Maroon-and-White Scrimmage Saturday on the Torger Oaas Memorial Football Field.
Sophomore transfer Ben Holt and seniors Joe Joyce and Brady Tippett scored defensive touchdowns before the offense revved up its entertainment machinery. Joyce scored again on a long run from his running back spot on offense and Tippett, playing quarterback, flipped TD passes to juniors Connor McGree and Kale Guldseth, and to senior Northey Tretheway. Sophomore quarterback Danny Peoples pitched in with scoring throws to Guldseth and Chad Peterson. He also broke a long run on a keeper to the goal line. Junior running back Wyatt Kingston tallied the scrum’s other touchdown on a short-yardage plunge.
Danny Peoples returns as the team‘s placekicker and showed off a stronger leg Saturday, one that will threaten for field goals from midfield on into the red zone.
“We went from being the youngest team in school history to the second-youngest team in school history,” head coach Don Peoples Jr. said. “But it feels really good to be a year older.”
The Maroons’ 32-man roster shows five seniors, nine juniors 12 sophomores and six freshmen. Only two seniors were on last year’s squad and coach Peoples noted both Zach “Spook” Kasperick and Jake Simkins will be “missed a lot.” Still, the senior shortage of last year forced playing time onto the pads of a bunch of young BC players, including six freshmen who endured starting-level experience.
They took their lumps and looked Saturday that they are determined not to have that happen again this year. Coach Peoples said the returnees, especially in the line, except for one, came back from last season 15 to 20 30 pounds heavier due to weight training and dedicated conditioning efforts. The exception is lineman Brant Ahlborn, who weighed well more than 300 pounds before working off about 60 of it in hopes being a starter this year. The improved quickness coupled with a growth spurt that reportedly raised his height to about 6 feet, 3 inches to make for an imposing figure.
Some of the veteran linemen include senior Frank Joyce, junior Connor Schulte and sophomore Marcus Ferriter, as well as end Tyler Trudnowski.
Holt is a transfer from Seattle and packs a football pedigree along with a wallop. His dad, Nick Holt, is a veteran college coach with a list of stops that includes a stint as defensive coordinator at the University of Washington that ended after last season. The family moved to the Butte area and Nick Holt was recently named a recruiting coordinator at Arkansas, while the family remains here. The younger Holt has a nagging injury and the Butte Central staff wanted him to rest it some on Saturday. Coach Peoples finally had to order the player‘s helmet taken away to keep him off the field.
His experience and desire should fit in well with the Maroons‘ program.
“A year of experience is something you can’t replace (in preparation terms),” Don Peoples Jr. said. “We’ve got a long ways to go, but we’re excited about the season. We were disappointed with the way our last season got over and it’s been a good motivator.”
The Maroons missed the playoffs last year, rare in the Peoples era. They will open this campaign with a non-conference next Saturday against Belgrade at Bulldog Memorial Stadium.