KINGSLEY – Gladwin ran into one of the best teams in Division 5 last Saturday when they traveled to Kingsley for the District Semi-finals. The Stags are 8-0 and ranked number two in the state by the Detroit Free Press. Kingsley didn’t disappoint their home crowd winning 63-16.
Kingsley scored on the first possession of the game when Will Whims raced 45 yards after taking a short pass from quarterback Evan Douglas. The Stags led 22-0 in the second quarter before the Gladwin scored. Nick Wheeler hit Aaron Kozlow for a ten-yard touchdown. Ben McLemore caught the two point conversion pass from Wheeler to make it 22-8 with almost ten minutes left in the second quarter.
The Stags were in front by a score of 36-8 when Logan Kokotovich scored from the one. Wheeler ran for the conversion to make the score 36-16 with less than two minutes remaining in the half. Kingsley scored again before halftime taking a 42-16 lead into the break.
While a loss is always disappointing the Flying G’s are headed in the right direction. Attendance at off-season training sessions was great before the COVID-19 outbreak last winter and Coach Marc Jartsfer expects more of the same this winter. “We are going to give the players a break through the end of the year then get started again after Christmas.”
If everything goes as planned Gladwin will be returning ten starters on offense and nine on defense. Most of the football team are multi sport athletes with about 80 percent of the guys participating in a winter sport which Jarstfer encourages. He feels that cross sport participation builds skills that can’t be replicated by offseason workouts. When the players do get back to work in January they will workout in the morning three days a week and hopefully will have a full summer this year. “Summer will be important for us to take the next step,” said Jartsfer.
Wheeler threw for 190 yards and a touchdown and rushed for 29 yards. Kokotovich rushed for 25 yards and a touchdown along with one catch for 23yards. Koslow had five receptions for 75 yards. Kaden McDonald had four catches for 44 yards. Hunter Huguelet led the defense with 12 tackles. Koslow and Kokotovich had nine and seven respectively.
“It’s a great time to be a Flying G, but at the same time kids are going to have to put in the work and continue to get better,” continued Jarstfer. “Overall we are in a good place, year three has the potential to be exciting and the best one yet. Everyone has to keep working hard.”