Tioga County Sports Report for Penn York Valley





COLLEGE FOOTBALL: GLADNEY SAYS 'TOGETHERNESS' KEY TO ITHACA COLLEGE SUCCESS (2019-09-07)

BY TIM TAYLOR
Tioga County Sports Report
ITHACA — Record-setting wide receiver Will Gladney has aspirations of playing beyond college. However, the Ithaca College senior is currently focused on helping the Bombers have a successful season. He believes IC has what it takes to reach the playoffs.

Togetherness is a key element with this year's Bombers, according to the former Owego standout. That aspect is part of the reason he has a good feeling about the 2019 season. 

"I haven't felt this way with any team the last three years and this team, we're just all together," he said. In spring ball, we just flew around in practice. It's never been like that. Coach Swan (head coach Dan Swanstrom) was calm, which was a shocker. The way we practiced, the way we were together and moved, and everybody wants to win. 

"I'm trying to preach we're a family. At the end of the day, if we're not together, we're not going to go win on Saturdays. 

The teams that are >not together end up breaking, so we've got to be together, be a family, be one team and see where it takes us."

Gladney said a postseason run is both a team and personal goal.

"As a team, obviously we want to make a playoff run. I feel like our team has worked really hard in the off-season. The three years I've been here, this team feels different, it looks different. Everybody wants to win.

"Personally, just like the team goal, I just want to help the team go as far as possible. I want to  play better competition because after this year I want to continue to play football and that's going to be better competition so it would be good for me to play that competition ahead of time.

The Bombers have a talented group of returnees to help them achieve their goals.

"We have a lot of people coming back," Gladney said. "We have like our whole offense coming back. Two of our offensive linemen are leaving, but we have linemen that are up next that are really good.

"Defensively, we're really strong. Last year we had a really strong defense. I think we're balanced this year. It's just a balanced team, so it's going to be fun.

The coaching staff is feeling is feeling confident bout the potential for success, according to Gladney.

"I can feel the energy with the coaches this year," he said. "Even Coach Swan. He built this team. This is his third year.

Gladney already has a couple records in hand. He's No. 1 in career receptions with 173, and tied for first for receptions in a single season (22) and TD catches in a single game (3).

"The records are cool, but I feel like in this moment, in this time, I don't really look at it, but in 20 years I'll be able to look back and be like, 'hey, I beat this record and I b eat this record,' but right now that's not really what I'm worried about. It will be cool to look back and see what I did."

The energy is in the air in Ithaca — and with the coaching staff as well.

"We take it week by week. I can feel the energy with the coaches this year. Coach Swan, he's built this program, this is his third year coaching. I think we're ready to just get after it."

Gladney is hoping the NFL or CFL will come calling, but right now it's all about his final season as a Bomber.

"It's been a fun three years and I'm ready to see what my senior year looks like," he said.>Ithaca opens the season today at St. Vincent College. 

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PHOTOS COURTESY OF ITHACA COLLEGE.


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