KALISPELL – The Kalispell Glacier football team have suffered injuries in some of their 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 the players have stepped up to fill those roles, starting with wide receiver Connor Sullivan.
The saying goes ‘the next man in place’ and Sullivan has taken on that responsibility in all three phases, taking a leading role in attack, defense and special teams.
“He’s already having a really big year, but three or four, maybe five games ago, we’ve had a lot of injuries that we just talked about when that happens, other players need to step up and take over for those guys who are missing out and making big plays and getting just that, ”Bennett said.
“My mindset is that when Jake is healthy I’m happy to see him play again, but I just have to take on the workload for all of his receivers and Gage Slider does a great job really handing the ball away. “Sullivan said.
Last year, Sullivan finished the season with 200 receiving yards. This season, he has so far more than 800 after taking the step his coaches were hoping for.
“We ask the juniors to do what we call ‘take the plunge’, even if they are good players. Connor was all-conference, but he’s made such a big leap as a senior, ”Bennett said.
And there is no greater time for this senior and his whole team to step up. The Wolfpack will play the State AA playoff quarterfinals on Friday and Sullivan is hoping to set the tone.
“I told them this morning at a meeting actually, I expect you to come early because you’ve been able to watch Connor all year,” Bennett said. “They should be a lot further along in their development as a receiver, just because they’re with Connor as a person as a football player as a wide receiver.”
“I want to be the next top player. When it’s time to go, I want the ball in my hands,” Sullivan added.