Grand Rapids Football Looking for Wins and the Belt
From 2011-2014, the Grand Rapids football team won just six games. In the three years since, that number has risen to 17. But they’re not satisfied with the level of success they’ve had.
There will be a lot of new faces on the field this year, as a large graduating class gives Grand Rapids just eight seniors this year, but that includes returning senior quarterback Brendin Morlan.
“I’ve seen already a lot of growth from him from last year to this year, and since he’s been in the program. It’s just tremendous,” says head coach Greg Spahn.
Morlan will have an entirely new offensive line this season after graduating all five of its players last season.
“It’s coming along good, I think they’re doing alright, doing a good job,” says Morlan. “They’ll get better, too. Always room for improvements.”
The Thunderhawks say you can attribute their recent turnaround to their coach instilling a new culture both on the field and in the weight room.
“Coach Spahn really gets in our heads that we have to go all out and do our best every game,” says junior wide receiver Dawson Broberg.
“He’s really helped our program with the weight room, and Coach [Chad] Anderson, he’s a huge weight room guy, so that really helped our program,” says sophomore running back Caden Hofstad.
That attitude now has a reward: a championship wrestling-style belt that is awarded to the person who puts in the most work that week and exemplifies what the team wants its players to be.
“That’s what we’re trying to get these kids to understand about life,” says Spahn. “It takes accountability, it takes ownership, it takes being all-in and able to understand that the only arbiter of your fate is you.”
Even with a younger team, Grand Rapids is confident it can put in the work to improve off of last year’s season.