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Sidney , Montana
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July 10, 2019     Sidney Herald
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July 10, 2019
 

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F A4 SIDNEY HERALD, WEDNESDAY, JULY I0, 2019 Rice leaving Rocky Mountain to play for Montana BY JOE I(USEK Ryder Rice is at his best when challenged. When he wants some- thing -- like an oppos- ing quarterback- he is relentless. Rice relishes being pushed to test himself. Disruptive on the field and quiet off, Rice's first football test was proving he could make the tran- sition from the 6-man game he played at Sav- age to the ll-man game at Rocky Mountain College. He was a three-year starter for the Bat- tlin' Bears, earning All-American honors last season at defensive end, helping Rocky win the Frontier Conference title and reach the NAIA playoffs. But deep down, Rice craved more. He needed another push, both men- tally and physically. Calling it "the hardest decision of my life," Rice has decided to leave the Battlin' Bears and play for the University of Montana this fall. He will not officially be a Grizzly until his acceptance to graduate school. Rice, who earned a degree in business at Rocky, will learn of the decision on July 2. His reason for leaving the Billings school was simple. "To prove to myself I can play at the next level," said Rice, who also harbors hopes of playing professionally someday. "I didn't want to have any regrets of never trying it." One of the most domi- nant defensive players in the Frontier Conference will be trying to do the same in the Big Sky Con- ference this fall. The 6-foot-6, 220-pound Rice finished with 56 total tackles in 2018. He had 17 tackles for loss, including 12.5 quarter- back sacks. He also had an interceptioA and fum- ble recovery. Rice ranked sixth na- tionally in the NAIA for total sacks and eighth for sacks per game. He was also 19th in the country for tackles for loss. "I've accomplished so much," said Rice of his Rocky career. "What . more is there to do?" The decision to leave Rocky actually came later than expected. "Honestly, the plan (coming out of Savage) was to go to Rocky for two years then transfer to Bozeman and play for Montana State," Rice acknowledged. But that changed with the arrival of head coach Jason Petrino and his brother Jared, the team's co-defensive coordinator. "With the Petrinos, I was having so much fun," Rice said. "With (Jason) Petrino, it was how he transformed the team into such a brotherhood." Jason Petrino left to become the defensive coordinator at Southern minois while Jared went to Carroll before joining his brother. Rice shared his feel- ings a!!d l lans with new head coach Chris Stutzriwp. "He was very support- ive. He knew it was noth- ing personal," Rice said. Rice's deep roots with Rocky made the deci- sion that much tougher. His father Park was an All-American linebacker for the Battlin' Bears in 1995 and his sister Bridg- er was playing for the women's basketball pro- gram when her brother arrived on campus in the fall of 2015. "And we have a ton of family in Billings," he added. Rice participated in winter conditioning and spring drills this year. "For some reason, I was getting stagnant," he admitted. "I was con- tent with my skills and not working as hard." Rice waited a few weeks after spring ball before informing Stutz- riem of making his deci- sion to leave final. "Oh, there were a lot of nights I stayed up think- ing about it," he said. "I'm leaving all my best friends for life. "I loved my time a Rocky. The best coach- es possible, made best friends for life. I got a great education and I loved the size of the classes. You knew al- most everybody on cam- pus. And the community was very supportive. "I'm going from a team where I know everybody to a team where I don't know anybody and hav- ing to learn a whole new defensive system." Rice moved to Mis- soula in June and has been pushing him- self through solitary workouts. "I'm not really ner- vous," he continued. "I'm excited for the chal- lenge. I'm excited to have to fight for a starting spot. I'm going in there with high expectations of myself. "I know challenge. This one moment can make me or break me." PHOTO SUBMITTED BY JANELLE JENSEN/ SidneyA and B Team go to national dual Sidney A and B teams traveled to Orlanda, Florida, in June for the Scholastic Duals. Wrestlers are, front left, Jordan Darby, Zander Dean, Mick Chagnon (Havre), Aden Graves, Everett Jensen, Zander Bumison and Noah Kovick (Helena). Middle row: Grady Nelson, Dylan Lutz, William Turcotte (Wolf Point), Brodey Skogen, Kolton Reid, Owen Lonski, Kaden Wise, Kaiden Cline, Keith Pretty Weasel (Hardin), Ben Carlsen and Cameron Mikesell (Malta). Back row: Dante Pallone (Hardin), Kade Graves, Riley Waters, Trey Schepens, Easton Hopes and Nathan Romo. e Team results 1. Scobey Stingrays 840 2. SidneyTiger Sharks -- 473 3. Glasgow Kiwanis Swim Team 224 4. Plentywood Dolphins --219 5. Lewistown Sea Lions -- 162 6. Glendive Wet Devils -- 108 7. Harlem Swim Team -- 47 8. Roundup Swim Team -- 36 9. Malta Swim Team 29 Girls 15-19 Hadley Garsjo-- 2nd place 50 Meter Free, Ist place 100 Meter Breast, 2nd place 400 Meter Free Josie Yockim Ist place 200 Meter IM Sidney Tiger Shark Corben stroke in Plentywood. PHOTO BY MELISSA MARKWORDT Holler competes in the back- Boys 15-19Free, 2nd place 100 Meter Seth Dodds 1st place Breast, 3rd place 200 Meter 200 Meter Free Relay, 6th Free, 2nd place 200 Meter place 100 Meter Breast, 3rd Medley Relay place 100 Meter Free, 3rd Trev Stewart-- 1st place 100 Meter Back, 2nd place 200 Meter Free Relay, place 200 Mete~" Medley 2rldp,!ace ,50 Meter Free, ~, Relay 3rd p!ace 50 Meter Fly, 2nd Mason Kindopp place'200 Meter Medley Ist place 200 Meter Free Relay, 2nd place 100 Meter Relay, 5th place 50 Meter Fly !r 724 E. Main Street Sidney, MT 59270 1 406-433-1015 Automotive Collision Repair Company Locally Owned and Operated i li A'nn nvnes ey and the surrounding communities " " on to IOta us tot' an up House BBQ at our new office location (east of the Sidney Red E Mix) The company will serve burgers, brats and hot dogs Monday, July 15, from 4:45 p.m. to 7 p.m. UTILITIES CO A Subsidiary of MDU Resources Group, Inc. In the Community to Serve |