Despite missing playoffs for 1st time in 27 years, Gladiators have the same high expectations
TRAVERSE CITY — A 4-5 record in 2012 that kept Traverse City St. Francis out of the postseason for the first time in more than two decades was both shocking and disappointing for the Gladiators.
But that hasn’t lowered expectations for 2013 in any way.
St. Francis doesn’t just see getting back to the postseason as the ultimate goal, it wants to be a serious contender to win a state title when it gets there.
“Our standard every year, unlike some, is to win a state championship,” said head coach Greg Vaughan. “Especially when we were taken out of the conference we were in. Your goals have to change a little bit. So we look at it a little different in that our goal is getting to a state championship. Our kids sit down and say ‘O.K., how do I get there then?’ and they look at the process of getting there. You can’t go to a scrimmage and win (a state title) in a scrimmage. So you better get better in the scrimmage. First game, you can’t go (to the finals) just winning one game, so they understand you’ve got to win games along the way and get better. We’re able to talk about that in-goal and not lose sight of the process it takes to get there. They buy into that. For many years we’ve done well and sometimes it seems like anything less than (a title) and the kids didn’t have a great year. That’s just something they’re bred with. That’s the goal every single year.”
Coming off the uncharacteristic 2012 campaign has been fuel for this season, though the Gladiators maintain it’s been put in the past.