KALISPELL — Kalispell Glacier is getting ready for its first game of the year. The Wolfpack are coming off of a 6-4 season and they’ll be kicking off this season against Belgrade, who’s coming off a winless season.
But head coach Grady Bennett isn’t looking at last year’s records -- of his team or anybody else’s -- saying their preparation stays the same no matter who the opponent is.
“I don’t ever care about the opponent; I don’t care what their colors are, what their mascot is, what their record is, history, it does not matter. We have to play well,” Bennett said.
Twenty-four seniors return to the Wolfpack, but Bennett says their biggest question going into this season is having a young but talented front on both sides of the ball, and that will take some patience from stand-out running back and outside linebacker Jake Rendina.
"Our perimeter is really good, obviously led by Jake Rendina. But up front we are going to be really young. They’re talented but they're young. So there is going to be some growing pains, and we are going to have to do a good job as coaches, putting those kids in a good situation," said Bennett.
“ I am just trying to do my best, to bring the younger guys along and just do my job and not try and do anything bigger than that,” quarterback Gage Sliter said.
Since Glacier High School opened in 2008, the Pack have made the playoffs eleven times, with six semifinal appearances and a state championship in 2014. And with this year's group of seniors desire to win, Bennett believes there is more to success to come.
“They love to play the sport, they love to be around it, all day everyday. You can not keep them away," Bennett said. "I think that makes for better teams because they cannot get enough of it, watching film and being at practice and doing whatever we ask them to do.”
“We are all pretty cool calm and collected. I think the coaches selected us fifth right now in the state," Rendina said. "So we are extremely excited to be ranked that high. Expectations are just expectations, face this opponent, you know.”