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"The strength of the Wolf is the Pack
and the strength of the Pack is the Wolf "
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2013

"Together
We Rise"

Class AA 2013
State
Runner-Ups
11-2

wolfpack
2013 NEWS AND MEDIA FEATURES

Wolfpack follows blueprint to success
Posted Thursday, November 21st, 2013 by Joe Terry
It was hard to picture this seven years ago. A fledgling Glacier football team with just eight juniors and no seniors went 0-10 in its first year on the gridiron. In its closest contest, the Wolfpack lost by only 21 points — to a team that didn’t win another game all season. The Pack lost 63-0 to eventual state champion Helena Capital, 67-7 to CMR. Glacier scored its most points of the season in the crosstown game against Flathead, but lost 49-13. To imagine that team one win from the first state title for a Kalispell team since 1970 was difficult. Even for the architect. “You go through those first couple years and you think, ‘Oh geez,’” Glacier coach Grady Bennett said. “It was tough. You start doubting yourself. As a head coach thinking, ‘Can I ever be successful? Can I build this program’” The Wolfpack has come a long way since that miserable season. Glacier has built a solid program in Class AA, and has been one of the best teams in the state the past five seasons, making the playoffs each year. Only three teams have won more games over that stretch — Capital, Helena and Bozeman. Glacier won nine games each of the past two seasons and 11 this year, all records for a Kalispell team. “It’s been an incredible journey that I’m just privileged to be a part of,” Bennett said. “When (Flathead) did split, we wanted to take the same plan, that same blueprint (we established at Flathead) and see if we can do it from scratch with a brand new high school.” The blueprint has worked. It took just seven seasons to get to the championship game. Since 1930, when the class system was introduced in Montana high school football, only one new school has gotten to the championship game faster. Helena Capital, opened in 1973, parlayed its first trip to the playoffs to a 10-1 record and a state championship in 1978. After only six years as a school, coach Tim Dennison turned the Bruins into a program capable of beating CMR in the title game. The program has since won 10 more championships and has become a model for other teams to emulate. Glacier hopes it can follow that path of consistency.“It’s really cool to see it,” Bennett said.“A lot quicker than maybe I thought. I think our goal early on was a five-year plan. Hoping we could chip away and by five years hope we could make the playoffs and be the team that every year we’re going to be a top program. Years 5, 6 and 7 we have been. Pretty cool to see it come to fruition.” There were plenty of bumps along the way. The first class had twothirds of its juniors transfer to Flathead to finish school, led by future-NFL quarterback Brock Osweiler. Losses piled up the first two seasons. Coaches came and went like a revolving door. “There were some years where I was doing more work teaching, training and working with the coaches, getting us ready, than even the players,” Bennett said. “That is a really challenging thing. “You look at why Capital and CMR, some of those programs have had such sustained success, it’s because those staffs have been together for so long. They’ve established that consistency. Their programs know what to expect ... They just roll year after year.” The coaching staff finally established, and student base secure, the program, and the blueprint, have been able to flourish. This team, led by a small group of seniors, has taken it to the next level, and bought in to the belief that Glacier could be a top program for a long time to come. “This group, the expectations have been set, the standards have been set,” Bennett said. “We didn’t have to say anything. They felt this is who we are now as a program, they expected to be right back there. It’s pretty cool when you feel like your program is at that level where that’s what the kids expect.” It’s a place that would’ve been difficult to imagine seven years ago when the doors first opened on the northside of town. If you follow the blueprint, in another seven years that first year will be the one that’s hard to imagine.

Alpha Pack
Posted: Wednesday, November 6th, 2013 By Dillon Tabish / Flathead Beacon
Before the season kicked off, coaches from across the state predicted this Glacier football team would finish seventh out of 14 teams in the league standings. After all, the Wolfpack were depleted of all but six starters, including their standout quarterback and defensive MVP. The schedule was brutal and featured matchups against the league elite in the opening weeks, including road games against the defending state champions and runners-up. Read more...
Big 3
The WolfPack’s Noah James, Brady McChesney and Evan Epperly. - Greg Lindstrom | Flathead Beacon

Purdy kicks Pack into high gear
Posted: Friday, November 15th, 2013 By Joe Terry / Daily Inter Lake
When you name off the list of offensive weapons on the Glacier football team, Brandon Purdy’s name isn’t always the first to come to mind. The Wolfpack has averaged more than 43 points a game, largely on the legs of its skill players. Noah James, Evan Epperly, Brady McChesney and Logan Jones have torn opposing defenses to shreds, each among the best in the state at his postion this season. Read more...

Catching up with the past
Past Kalispell champions relive glory days, wish Glacier luck
Posted: Wednesday, November 20th, 2013 By Steve Hamel / Daily Inter Lake
The Glacier High School football team has a chance to make memories that will last a lifetime when it takes the field in Bozeman Friday in the Class AA state championship game. A Kalispell high school hasn’t won a state title since 1970 when Flathead clinched the championship with a 9-0-1 record. There was no playoff system that year, so the last time Kalispell won a title game was in 1959 when Flathead defeated Butte 39-0 on a frosty day in Butte’s Naranche Stadium. Read More...

Inter Lake Editorial Page
Thursday, November 21st, 2013
All roads for sports fans lead to Bozeman this weekend. All season long, the Montana college football season has pointed to Saturday’s climactic Cat-Griz game at Bobcat Stadium. For Kalispell football fans — whether of the Griz or Bobcat variety — there’s another attraction on the field in Bozeman the night before the collegiate cross-state clash. At 7 p.m. Friday, the Glacier Wolfpack tackle the undefeated Bozeman Hawks in the playoff finale for Class AA football. This is uncharted territory for the Wolfpack, who boast an 11-1 record and a nine-game winning streak going into the first-ever football championship game for the seven-year-old north Kalispell school. The lone blemish on the Wolf-pack’s record is a 27-12 loss to Bozeman in the early weeks of the season. Since then the Wolfpack has devoured a series of opponents to reach the championship game. The latest victims were Butte (a 62-55 Wolfpack win in a brutal quarterfinal game) and C.M. Russell (which Glacier mightily overpowered 52-7 in the semifinals a week ago). Now the high-powered Glacier offense — which had six touchdown plays of 40 yards or longer against CMR — takes on a similarly high-scoring team in the No. 1-ranked Bozeman Hawks. The Wolfpack will be trying to give Kalispell its first football championship trophy since the Flathead Braves won in 1970. We hope Montana State University and University of Montana fans from Kalispell who already were heading to Bozeman for Saturday’s game will help fill the stands at Bozeman High School to cheer on the Pack Friday night. Congratulations are due to the Glacier High team on a sterling season so far — let’s get one more win!

The Flathead Beacon's coverage of the WolfPack's pursuit of the 2013 class AA state championship

Wolfpack Clinch Bid to Football State Championship Game
By Dillon Tabish 11/20/13

Photos: Glacier Falls to Bozeman in Class AA Championship

Historic Season Ends Just Shy of Title
By Dillon Tabish 11/27/13