Previewing the Top 10 high school football teams in Montana: No. 6 Glacier Wolfpack

SBLive Montana is previewing the Top 10 high school football teams in the state ahead of the 2021 season. Here’s an inside look at the Glacier Wolfpack of the ‘AA’ West Region – No. 6 in our countdown.

2020 IN REVIEW

6-4 (third place in ‘AA’ West Region); lost in ‘AA’ quarterfinals.

COACH’S RESUME

  • Grady Bennett, 15th season.
  • Overall record: 97-61.
  • Quick fact: Only coach the school, which opened in 2007, has ever known. His name is currently on the “Wall of Fame” at home Legends Stadium (used to be Rawson Field).

OUTLOOK

A big, athletic front line coupled with arguably the state’s best running back makes the 2021 game plan simple for the Wolfpack.

“We have to run the ball,” Glacier coach Grady Bennett said. “Why wouldn’t we with a guy like that?”

The “guy like that” is Jake Rendina, an all-state selection as a junior who brings 2,377 career yards of rushing offense in tow for his senior campaign.

Of course, what is an obvious strength also commands close attention.

“Last year, people really loaded the box on us,” Bennett said.

Which will put at least some onus on the Glacier passing game to relieve that in-the-box pressure. And the Wolfpack turns to a new core of receivers and a new quarterback to get that done.

The quarterback is junior Gage Sliter, a kid Bennett describes as cerebral and a hard worker.

“He’s got what it takes to manage the system,” Bennett said.

One pass-catcher who will not be new resides at the tight end position. Luke Bilau provides Sliter a big target with good hands, in addition to being a good extra blocker for Rendina.

Bilau had 30 catches and was a second-team all-state pick as a sophomore. His receiving numbers fell as a junior as the Wolfpack struggled to get him the ball.

Bennett thinks with Sliter, Bilau’s numbers should rebound. The Wolfpack will look for the passing game to do just enough to make the 30-35 touches a game they’d like to get for Rendina as effective as possible.

No matter what, every new season brings new challenges, Bennett said.

“That’s the fun part about high school football,” Bennett said.

2021 SCHEDULE

Aug. 27 vs. Belgrade

Sept. 3 at Russell

Sept. 10 vs. Big Sky

Sept. 17 at Sentinel

Sept. 24 vs. Capital

Oct. 1 at Helena

Oct. 8 at Butte

Oct. 15 at Flathead

Oct. 22 vs. Hellgate

Doug Drowley

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