After five straight losing seasons the Flathead Braves are hopeful that their new coaching staff will turn things around in Kalispell. The program is now under the guidance of 1st year head coach Kyle Samson, who spent the past seven seasons as an assistant coach at MSU-Northern.
“There are definitely a lot of things to learn as far as being a head coach and not being an assistant coach,” said Samson. “Our kids are working their butts off and really working hard, we’re just excited to get to a game."
“This year with Coach Samson everything is really fast paced,” explained senior defensive end Aaron Siderius. “We’re just going and going with not a lot of in-between breaks. Samson really gets after us in a good way. He really motivates us, gets us on the right path and I’m really liking the change.”
A positive for Flathead this year is an experienced senior class that saw a lot of time on the field as varsity players last season. That starts with their quarterback Easton Johnson who as a junior led the team in rushing with 532 yards while also throwing for 1,000 yards through the air.
“The tempo I feel is a lot different,” said Johnson about the new Braves leadership. “I feel the coaches are a lot more energetic and jumping around with a lot more positive attitudes. They definitely tell you when you do something wrong but they’re the first ones to congratulate you when you’re doing something right.”
Flathead will open their season Friday, August 29 at home in Kalispell against the Great Falls Bison.
“Towards the end of two-a-days they kind of get tired of banging against each other and they want to hit somebody else,” said Samson. “I think they’re prepared and we’re just excited about Friday night.”
The Braves posted a 3-7 record last season and haven’t made the playoffs since 2011.