Harbor Beach LB Sloan Klaski has demonstrated a great amount of diligence and leadership on their journey to the State Finals. We had the opportunity to speak with Sloan about all the excitement surrounding the State Championships at Ford Field. In a one-on-one interview, he tells us how Harbor Beach made it to the Division 8 State Finals and what their plans are to taking down undefeated Beal City.
There's a lot of buzz in this small Michigan community about the big game. It's been over two decades since Harbor Beach has made it into the State Finals and high expectations, as well as anticipation, are definitely emotions everyone in town is feeling. The team is using that energy to come together for one purpose.
"We've been playing football together with the same group of guys since we were in 7th grade" explained Sloan. "We've been dreaming about this day since then and it has always been a goal of ours to make it into the State Finals. When you take the amount of talent we have in both senior and junior classes and combine it with our team's hard working ethics and determination, well, that's what makes us a good team."
And a good team they are, but are they good enough to win it all? It was 1991 when Harbor Beach last made it to the State Finals, but their efforts fell short when Muskegon Catholic Central defeated them. Sloan and his team dominated MCC last week, which probably made the alum of Harbor Beach beam with pride.
The game last week against the powerhouse program was loaded with unexpected interceptions and sacks which gave Harbor Beach the opportunity to play Beal City at Ford Field. "Beal City is a great team and by no means will the State Finals game be easy. To beat them we are really going to have to hunker down on defense and stop there run as well as force them to pass and allow our secondary to do what they do. We all know we have the potential to win, but we're going to have to play a flawless game because Beal City is a good team."
Like many football players, Sloan knows that any game is not a one man show and it takes a team effort to get to the goal. "Honestly, our whole team has taken a giant step as a unit and not one person would have been able to win these games, but the team as a whole. Eli Kraft our QB leads the offense and keeps the team going, while Aaron Ginther has stepped up big as receiver. Also, our defensive line Kyle Kramer, Josh Keys, Michael Lakowski, Jake Schumacher, and Brandon Oswald are the main reasons why we're able to hold teams to score a few points."
This just shows that Sloan really pays attention to everyone and every element of the game, and doesn't focus on his own agenda. This is one reason the team has had so much success. Now, Sloan is thinking about continuing his playing career, but it's often difficult to get noticed when playing at such a small school.
"You have to get yourself out there to become recruited by colleges, especially when they haven't heard of small schools like Harbor Beach. I plan on playing football in college, but still undecided as to what college I want to go to."
Hopefully the State Finals will be a stepping stone for Sloan and his teammates for bigger and better football opportunities after high school. For now one decision at a time, one game at a time, one win at a time. We'll keep you updated on what happens this weekend.