Things will be a bit different for the Gladbrook-Reinbeck Rebels in 2018. The team that won two of the last three state championships in class A is making the transition to 8-Man football this season.
It won’t be new for everyone, however, as the Rebels junior varsity and junior high teams made the transition a year ago. What will be new for most, however, is playing under the bright lights in varsity games. Sophomore Keagan Giesking is the only returning starter, and even his status is in question after he suffered a broken leg during soccer season. Despite that, the Rebels enter 2018 with confidence.
“We’ve been on these teams that have gone far in to the playoffs and we’ve been practicing with them,” says senior Jackson Kiburis, “So we’re ready to step in and kind of live up to the expectation, live up to the G-R reputation.”
“We’re in practice 7 or 8 right now. We’re so much better than we were in the first practice,” says head coach Jon Olson, “We’re already better right now than we were yesterday, and the day before that, so our growth from the beginning of practice to the end of practice is just crazy.”
The Rebels step in to the fire right away against Don Bosco, the two-time defending 8-man state champions. Olson, however, says one positive is the fact the Dons won’t have a chance to scout his team.
“They don’t know what we have, they don’t know what we’re going to do, because he don’t know what we’re going to do,” says Olson jokingly, “and we don’t know what we have. We’re not hiding anything from them or anything like that, it’s just it’s going to be a lot of fun. It’s a huge challenge for us to play them.”
“I’m excited,” says Kiburis, “The only place we can go is up from our first game, so I’m ready to show them what we’ve got.”