Glacier Peak coaches, players getting a head start on season | Football

By David Pan | Jul 21, 2017
Photo by: David Pan Glacier Peak’s Nic Hines stiff-arms the bag during a recent practice session at the high school.

The Glacier Peak football team got a head start on few changes in the program.

The Grizzlies overhauled some of their offensive terminology and also brought eight new coaches. Glacier Peak also saw the graduation of 30 seniors, many of whom were starters on both offensive and defense.

After having practices in the early part of June , second-year coach Nick Bender, his staff and players wrapped up the offseason with team camp the last week of the month at Central Washington University.

Glacier Peak fans don’t have to worry about a new offensive philosophy. What’s different is more on the internal end.

“It’s more on how we call plays and the verbiage,” Bender said. “We tried to simplify it and make it easier to plug in players.”

Bender and his staff focused on how they used certain words.

“It’s more work on the coaches than on the players,” Bender said. “We had to change how we originally called stuff or what we refer to.”

The offensive system and the way the coaches called plays and communicated had not changed for nine years, so it’s been an adjustment for the coaches.

“We started to do some of it last year,” Bender said. “Now we’re full bore into it.”

The departure of eight coaches and the arrival of their replacements wasn’t necessarily a surprise for Bender. The staff had largely been intact for nine years. Most of the coaching staff does not teach at the high school or in general, which means that career or schedule changes can have an impact on a person’s availability to coach.

Former defensive coordinator Steve Hannan was named the new head coach at Inglemoor High School, his alma mater.

Glacier Peak’s 18-member coaching staff is one of the larger in the area and it’s by design.

The goal, Bender said, is to have coaches “coach on one side of the football and master their craft.”

While the Grizzlies are dealing with some on-and-off the field changes, there are no changes at quarterback with the return of junior Ayden Ziomas, a second-team, all-Wesco 4A selection.

“He’s better than ever,” Bender said of the 5-foot-11, 175-pound signal caller. “He has more zip on the ball. In the offseason, he’s put on some weight.”

Ziomas was voted as the first-ever junior captain, a testament to his maturity.

Glacier Peak lost a pair of all-league wide receivers in Colton Bunt (first team) and Seiver Southard (second team) but Bender was impressed by the replacements he saw in the spring and summer.

“No team is ever the same. I think we’re going to have a lot of height,” he said. “We’ll have good route runners and a lot of guys who are hand catchers as opposed to body catchers. It’s pretty exciting.”

Seniors Bo Burns and Evan Mannes are two standout receivers.

“The two inside positions are still up for grabs,” Bender said.

The line will have some new faces and be younger than last season.

“It could end up be another positive,” Bender said.

Mannes also expected to be a key defensive returner at inside linebacker. He’ll be joined by a number of newcomers.

“I think we might lack size in some spots and make up for it in speed,” Bender said.

Glacier Peak’s overall numbers remain healthy. The Grizzlies have 157 players out, just one short of last year’s 158.

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