Coach Jarstfer and his staff address the team before the first practice.

Coach Jarstfer and his staff address the team before the first practice.

GLADWIN – New football coach Marc Jarstfer comes to Gladwin after 12 years on Kelly Luplow’s staff in Clare. Jarstfer said that his first three months on the job have gone well. Attendance in the weight room has been good with a lot of guys making solid gains. Attendance also stayed up through the camp season. The youth camps were well attended and the team camp saw numbers in the mid twenties. The team also traveled to Montrose for a Veer Camp with Tony Annese the head coach at Ferris State University. They were able to stay overnight at the camp, which Jarstfer feels was good for team chemistry. Overall, it was a good summer.

As it stands now the Flying G’s have a little over 40 players in fall camp. By the time games start, they will have about 20 players on each team. Jarstfer is hoping that those numbers will climb in the future. Just as it would be with any new coach there is an adjustment period for the players. They have had to get used to his way of doing things. There was a different setup in the weight room, different practice environment, and many new ideas. He has seen improvement in practices already with guys getting used to the new routine. The freshman class has been a pleasant surprise so far. Their attendance has been great. They have made it to all the camps and have hit the weight room hard. 

Gladwin returns seven guys that got significant playing time last year including: Linemen Jimbo Bailey, Keton Blackmer, and Brady Jewell,  along with Dillon Kroening at quarterback, and backs Kole Thurlow and Nick Robinette. Ethan Shea’s return will also add depth to the line.  The starters will be solid, but depth may turn out to be a problem. 

Gladwin will employ a spread option attack this year which is why the team attended the camp in Montrose. Their style will be similar to that of Ferris State University, one of the most successful Division 2 programs in the country.  Annese’s Bulldogs were the runners up in NCAA Division 2 last year and his quarterback Jayru Campbell won the Harlon Hill Award the Heisman Trophy of Division 2 football.

The Blue & White scrimmage had to be discontinued this year. The Michigan High School Athletic Association changed the practice schedule making it impractical to have it Saturday, one day after they are allowed to start full contact. Jarstfer does not want to put his players in an unsafe situation. Their first live action against an opposing team will be on Thursday, Aug. 22 when they travel to Kalkaska for a scrimmage, which will also include McBain and Frankfort.

Jarstfer said that the community has been very supportive of the new coaching staff. They have had a lot of help with fund raising and many people have reached out to offer support in the efforts. Along those lines, there will be a Cornhole Tournament, the G-Town Throw Down, on September 1 in the Piper’s Pub parking lot with the proceeds going to the football program. There will also be a band and DJ at the event.

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