KALISPELL — Flathead High School's head football coach Alex Cummings resigned after one season with the Braves. So Flathead started looking for their fourth head coach in just five seasons, entering a new head coach, Caleb Aland.
"He's not from around here. And that's one of the things that I think is neat is that he's from Florida, coached in Alabama at Troy University," said Flathead athletic director Bryce Wilson." "He brings something a little different; he will bring a little different flair. I think that he sees some things that he saw last year of, and wants to get everybody involved a little bit more. How are we going to engage the kids in the process? And then how do we hold them accountable and still have a lot of fun?"
One of the other most important things Aland brings is consistency to a very inconsistent program.
"Yeah, that's going to be huge that have some consistency," said Wilson. "One of the things that Caleb brings is that he was a part of the program last year, and even though, you know, we didn't have a lot of success on the field, the kids had fun, and they worked hard, and they competed."
So while he may be new to the position, he is not new to the team, and the Braves hope that helps make this adjustment a little easier after a tough winless season.
"He has one great motto already. Trust the climb is what Caleb's talking about," said Wilson. "So that's a nice visual, and especially with our kids, he's not going to tell them something they want to hear. He's going to be very truthful to them and he's going to say, Hey, we're starting, and you know we didn't win any games last year. We got to trust the climb. We got to work with each other, and we got to work hard."
It wasn't long ago, though, when Flathead High school was a football powerhouse making the state championship in 2018 under head Coach Kyle Samson. According to Bryce Wilson, Aland resembles many of the qualities Samson had.
"You know, I think, it's a process, and like I told the kids when Coach Sampson came here, it was a process too, but a lot of things that he brought are similar things that Caleb is bringing," said Wilson. " Coach Sampson was at the college level before he came here, and he also had his motto of, Flathead, family and count on me. So I think there are some similarities. There is some vision there."