Braves football looking for bounce back year

GLADSTONE – Changing the philosophy and the culture at a football program takes time. Just ask the Gladstone Braves about that. Cody Kangas took over the football program at Gladstone last year. The Braves experienced growing pains in 2013 to the tune of a winless campaign. They hope to change that this season.

Kangas is back for his second season at Gladstone. The Braves are one of the younger teams in the U.P., but they have plenty of returning talent. Rebuilding a program from scratch is never easy. The main thing Kangas said he learned about himself last season was that the rebuilding process isn’t easy, and it requires a lot of patience.

“Patience. Patience is a big thing, especially from year one to year two. The guys get it a little bit more, they understand the concepts of what we’re trying to do here at Gladstone. Patience, especially with the new guys, is really, really key from year one to year two. Our kids get it. We’ve been working at it for two weeks now. Our kids are getting concepts and philosophies behind our offense and defense. They get it and understand it even more than last year, so I think come game time, we’ll be able to play faster and better,” said head coach Cody Kangas.

Kangas says he expects a lot out of his playmakers. Quarterback Tyler Wells and tailback Justin Jurek will take care of things offensively. Cole Tardiff is the Braves defensive leader at middle linebacker.

“The guys that have returned are really excelling,” said Kangas. I think it’s going to be a different team this year. I don’t want to put a number on it (number of wins). I’m not a big numbers guy. If we keep progressing each and every week, we’ll do what we’re supposed to here and hopefully pull out a winning record.”

The Braves begin the season at home against Gwinn on Friday, Aug. 29.