Polson High School football coach Kaden Glinsmann has only had a week of scheduled practices with his team and already has expressed his excitement for his team’s prospects.
Entering the start of the season, Glinsmann admits he wasn’t sure what type of roster the Pirates had, but with several senior leaders who provide not only leadership but field experience, he is optimistic about the prospects of his team being able to compete.
“I really got the feeling from the team that they were just happy to be playing football,” Glinsmann said. “I wouldn’t use the word ‘complacent,’ but they became kind of ramped up for some competition drills. I think they are starting to embrace the competitive spirit, and that is what we are looking forward to in our football team.”
One area that has improved from last year, according to Glinsmann, is the team’s depth.
“Our depth is starting to grow fast, and we have some kids playing multiple positions,” Glinsmann said. “We have kids that are playing multiple roles, and we like to build our depth as much as possible. We are excited for our staff to grow our players in both the offensive, and defensive schemes. It’s a matter of getting better at what we do. We have that depth, especially with the younger players, and that will be an asset moving forward (in the season).”
Building a competitive edge
For the past couple of seasons, Pirates quarterback Bo Kelley has slowly become the leader of the Pirates football team.
Even after suffering a season-ending knee injury, which forced him to sit out the 2018 season, Bo remained a constant presence for his team.
Kelley’s presence allows the team to be versatile in their offense’s attacking style.
“Bo has been the leader of this team really from day one, he’s a vocal guy who sets the tempo offensively and our coaching staff knows what to expect from him,” Glinsmann said. “The defense has to score a ton of points, or we can possess the football, slow things down and try to keep our defense off the field.”
The Pirates, led by Kelley, developed a competitive spirit in the practices of the season, Glinsmann assessed.
“I think the biggest thing on our team is our competitive spirit, and we are starting to be able to compete because they are putting themselves in situations on the field doing what we want as far as playing offensively and defensively,” Glinsmann said. “We are starting to piece together things scheme-wise, and that is no longer an issue. We hope to play fast and not think about the offensive or defensive scheme. Our team is just going out there, playing hard and having fun.”
Glinsmann, who now enters his first-ever season as a Pirates’ football coach, is starting to buy into to his and the coaching staff’s philosophical approach towards football.
Last season, Glinsmann, who was a member of the 2018 Carroll College football staff and a member of Mike Van Diest’s football camp, has noticed the early-season enthusiasm as the Pirates prepare for their first game of the year. “I would have to say we’ve been tackling every day in practice, (our team) is buying into our philosophy and playing with confidence in space,” Glinsmann said. “We have emphasized tackling, and I think the kids are buying into it.”
One player who has emphasized the ability to practice is Ryker Wenderoth.
“I think Ryker is one of the best open-field tacklers I’ve ever seen in high school,” Glinsmann said. “I’ve been in high school for nine or ten years, and he is one of the best open-field tacklers I’ve seen at this level.”
The optimism centered around the team continued this weekend when members of the Pirates were signing autographs.
“There is a ton of optimism right now, and our players just had a senior signing at a booth downtown where they had pictures taken with the kids,” Glinsman said. “There is a lot of optimism surrounding the outcome of this football team, and I hear a lot of good things that our football program is headed into the right direction. It’s tough taking over a program and not knowing what the kids expect. I feel like the staff is meeting those expectations, and everyone is excited.”