KALISPELL — The Kalispell Glacier football team has seen injuries from some of its key positions, including running back and wide receiver. But head coach Grady Bennett said one of the things he’s most proud of is how players have stepped up to fill those roles, starting with wide receiver Connor Sullivan.
The saying is “next man up” and Sullivan has taken on that responsibility in all three phases, taking on a starring role on offense, defense and special teams.
"He is already having a really big year, but three or four, maybe five games ago we had a lot of injuries we just talked about when when that happens, other players have to step up and take up the slack for those guys that are missing and make big plays and kind of get exactly that," Bennett said.
"My mindset is when Jake gets healthy, I am excited to see him play again but I just got to take the work load for all his receivers and Gage Slider is doing a great job with really distributing the ball," Sullivan said.
Last year Sullivan finished the season with 200 receiving yards. This season so far he has over 800 after taking the leap his coaches were hoping for.
“We ask the juniors do what we call “take the leap,” even if they are a good player. Connor was all-conference but he has taken such a big leap as a senior,” Bennett said.
And there is no greater time for this senior and his entire team to step up. The Wolfpack will play in the quarterfinals of the State AA playoffs on Friday and Sullivan hopes to set the tone.
"I told them this morning in a meeting in fact, I expect you guys to come in way ahead because you have gotten to watch Connor all year long," Bennett said. "They should be that much further along in their development as a receiver, just because being around Connor as a person as a football player as a wide receiver.”
"I want to be that heads on, next man up. When it is time to go I want the ball in my hands," added Sullivan.