KALISPELL — The Kalispell Glacier Wolfpack have been one of the top Class AA teams so far this season. Despite being a senior-heavy group, they're being led by sophomore quarterback Jackson Presley.
"I've been feeling pretty good. It helps when you have a team around you that supports you," said Presley. "When it comes to coaches (and) players, we have them all, and not only are they ballers on the field, but they're also ballers just in the classroom and off the field, just helping you get ready for everything you need to get ready for."
In his first year at Glacier High School and being the team's quarterback, Presley is joining a winning culture, as the Wolfpack have made the playoffs 13 of the past 14 seasons.
"It kind of just brings back the fun and joy about football," Presley said with a smile. "Football is a team game and you come out here to not only to compete, but to have fun. And when you get out here with these guys, it just brings out all that joy."
Head coach Grady Bennett is in his 17th year with the Wolfpack and has seen his fair share of players and talent. He knows Presley has something not many players do.
"He's one of those special young men who in a quarterback you always have to have the tangibles, and then you've got to have the intangibles," said Bennett. "And there are some gifted athletes out there, a lot of them don't have the intangible skills to play quarterback. Jackson just has the perfect set, the perfect match, of both those tangible athletic gifts, but also the intangible leadership. He's very calm, very poised."
Even though Presley has been tasked with leading a team of 22 seniors, he’s been unfazed and has let his play speak for itself with more than 1,600 passing yards, a 66% completion rate and 18 touchdowns so far this year.
"He's just such a natural leader, he has such a natural way with people," said Bennett. "He's just a real magnetic person that people want to be around, so it didn't take long at all for all those seniors to say, 'Yeah, man, we're gonna hand this to you, and we're going to trust you to run the show for us.'"
Although only a sophomore, Presley has already received college offers from big programs such as Florida State and Texas A&M, but he’s focused on the now.
"It's been something ... that's really cool, but when it comes to right now, it's just focusing on the season," said Presley. "My goal is to lead this team to a state championship and just get all of our guys ready."
No. 4-ranked Glacier (6-1 overall, 4-1 Western AA) next plays at Missoula Big Sky (3-4, 2-3) at 7 p.m. Thursday.