Daily Inter Lake, The (Newspaper) - September 8, 1977, Kalispell, Montana
C-2 Thursday, September 8, 1977 The Dally Inter Lake, Kalispell, Montana FLATHEAD BRAVES The 1977 edition of the Flathead Braves includes, from front row left: Gary Kinniburgh, Jim Morris, Brad Senner, Aaron Jordt, Brandon Owens, John Ladd, Kelly McDonald, Kim Hinkley, Scott Swenson; Second row Mike Mende, Dan Durado, Dwayne Strand, Sam Mid- dleton, Mark Hensley, Bill Newcomb, John Kouns, Don Elgin, Dwayne Franken; Third row Jack Hagel, Rob Vogt, Dave Slack, Dave Trucknerr Mark Mende, Gary Nichols, Tim Nielson, Charlie Freshman, Doug Haven; Fourth row Dave Stoick, Cub Schlatter, Brett Lindsay, Ron Krause, Dean Shanks, Kevin Brander, James Slack, KippTkachyk, Scott Sander; Fifth row Doug Mason, Bryan Shirtlifl, Rick Eckelberry, Mark Phillips, Dennis Post, Garth Hawkins, Mike Hensler, John Hedstrpm, Mark Oursland; Sixth row Dean Lacrpix, Dave Splum, Dale Hall, Justin Boylan, Keith Richmond, Rod Tinseth, Mike Anderson, Gordon Grissom, Dave Heine. Seventh raw Kevin Johnston, Bruce Brooks, Larry Bekkedahl, Mark Ruby, Todd Little, Matt Gebhardt, Clark Vogt, Tom Clark, Sean Wood, Brandy Ruby; Eighth row Colin Andrews, Craig Hawthorne, Scott Thompson, Dan Stafford, Brian Braunberger, Gary Pelton, Charlie Remington, Veen Boche, Joe Rehbein. Braves better, but so are foes Gene Boyle is confident his Flathead Braves will be a better football team in 1977 than they were in 1976, when they rebounded to post a 4-5 record. But the Braves' grid boss isn't sure his team will have a better record to show for the improvement in performance. The reason, of course, is the new align- ment of teams in Class AA. Flathead has been placed in the Lewis Division or simply the Big 8 and the level of com- petition will be significantly more dif- ficult this season. Gone from the league schedule are smaller schools like Libby, Anaconda and Bozeman all of which were beaten by the Braves a year ago. In their place will be opponents like Great Falls High, Great Falls Russell, and both Billings schools. "We won't be able to out-physical any teams this because most of our opponents will be bigger in both size and Boyle said. "We'll probably be a better football team, because we have much better depth, but we definitely face a tougher schedule." The Braves' strongest areas appear to be the offensive and defensive backfields, where Flathead has its greatest depth. Boyle lists five potential starters in the three-deep defensive secondary, in- cluding lettermen Mark Mende, Kelly McDonald and Kim Hinkley. The Braves have starters returning in slot back John Kouns and fullback Charlie Remington, plus a plethora of good I-backs for Boyle's I-formation of- fense. There probably isn't a Vince Hunter in the bunch, but between McDonald, Mike Mende and Rod Tinseth, Boyle feels the Braves will get just as much yardage out of the I-back spot. With Kouns and Scott Swenson improved at slotback, and Remington stronger at the fullback post, Boyle believes the Braves will once again be run-oriented. "However, we feel Stoick may be a better passer than K.C. Johnson, and with the schedule we have, we'll have to throw more because we won't run over Boyle said. The line won't be the same without All- Staters Keith Albright at tackle and guard Mike Riebe beside him, but it will be just as big and much deeper. The tight end will be letterman Rick Eckelberry, with the tackles either Dwayne "Strand, Dennis Peterson or Rob Vogt All are at least 185 pounds and between 6-0 and 6-2. The guards will be Mark Phillips at 180, and either Aaron Jordt (170) or Rob Vogt. Mike a 189-pound junior, or Phillips will center the ball. "We've got linemen who can play more than one position, so that will help our Boyle added. The defensive line has good size in tackles Remington Dave Heine Dean Shanks (210) and Rob Vogt The ends are active with Eckelberry sharing time with Greg Hawthorne and Mike Hensler. Backing the line will be Brad Senner, Mike Mende or Charlie Freshman inside, with Larry Bekkedahi, Kevin Brander or Mark Hensley on the outside. Boyle picks defending state champion CMR as the team to beat, followed by Missoula Hellgate and Butte. He feels that any of the eight schools have a good chance to make the playoffs. The top three finishers from the Big 8 join the No. 1 school from the Clark Division in the playoff format. VALLEY SPORTING 4VMSI.WM 755-71 HIM CtntM 32 Moin HEATING COTTAGE INK Rd. 9X7.1 232 ft. in Aw. 1M Aw.