The NAIA National Game of the Week takes place tomorrow in Billings, MT.  7th Ranked Carroll College visits 5th ranked Rocky Mountain College.  I’ll be handling the play by play duties on local TV.

Carroll is coached by Mike VanDiest, a coaching legend who’s won 6 national titles and holds the record for most coaching wins ever at Carroll.  He and I spoke the other day.  He provided some interesting insight on what he thinks more high school athletes should be doing to prepare for college.  That tip will be just one of many on the soon to be available Tip of the Week.

Carroll and Rocky Mountain both play in the Frontier Conference, one of the best in the NAIA.  There are a fascinating amount of connections between coaches, players and administrators in the conference.  For instance, in this game alone: the Carroll offensive coordinator and Rocky head coach were teammates at another Frontier Conference school back in the 90’s.  I could go on all night.

One of the best descriptions of Montana goes like this: Montana is really a small town with really long roads.  I’ve got one for the Frontier Conference: I was in Montana one Saturday for a family reunion and a Frontier Conference football game broke out!

All the connections and associations among rival teams in the Frontier Conference do point to one more element of sports I find rewarding.  When you’ve been a teammate with someone for years, you often end up with a high level of trust for that person.  You both worked hard, sacrificed, won and lost.  Teammates can become brothers.  It’s no wonder that, later in life, you’ll trust those old teammates when it comes time to hire assistants.  Many teammates stay a teammate for life.  What a wonderful thing to have.

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