A Field of Traditions

October 14, 2018 10:10 PM

(ABC 6 News)- For more than two decades the Grand Meadow Superlarks football team has been led by head coach Gary Sloan.

“He knows what he’s talking about, as you can see he’s won some games for the program,” Superlarks Junior Running Back Nolan Skifter said.


Sloan hit his 200th career win in this year’s season opener and currently holds a 5-1 record this year.

“This is my 26th year as the head coach 34th year overall I’ve been at this for a long time,” Sloan said.

“(He) pushes me every day making me better at what I do,” Skifter said.

For Sloan, it’s been more than just a roster full of guys.

“I think Grand Meadow more so than a lot of other towns I think there is just a lot more tradition,” Sloan said.

A football program with a lot of family ties.

“We get a lot of second generation guys and we have ten kid on the team that I actually coached their father’s, sometimes as the head coach, sometimes as the assistant coach,” Sloan said.

That’s more than just a coach and player relationship.

“You really develop quite a bond with them and I think we have that here,” Sloan said.

Especially for the two relatives on the team, quarterback Evan Oehlke and wide receiver Tom Oehlke.

“Evan and I are first cousins and I feel like we’ve been brothers my whole life,” Tom Oehlke said.

They are very close (Evan and Tom) both their dads who are guys that I coached, their dads were very close,” Sloan said.  “The dads are together a lot, (so) their sons are together a lot; it’s just a very tight group.”

A team that Sloan enjoys.

“I think it’s kind of neat for kids to hear stories about when their dad played or when their uncle played or their brother played and they (can) kind of relate to those things,” Sloan said.

“It’s in the genes, we’ve had family members (on the team) before,” Tom Oehlke said.  “I was on the same team as my brother when I was a freshman he was a senior our two other cousins Kyle and Michael they were both on the team for a while together.”

“Anytime you go into battle with people you feel close to each guy is going to give a little more and try and not let the other person down and teams like that,” Sloan said.  “That kind of stuff is very important.  You’re going to face a lot of adversity and you got to be able to fight through it,” Sloan added.

Sloan and the Superlarks return to the gridiron on Friday when they host the Spring Grove Lions.  Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.


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