BALDWIN — This will be a very important offseason for the Baldwin football program. Coach Bob Watkins is hopeful his returning players will invest plenty of offseason times to weight-lifting and conditioning.

Watkins noted his program lost three players early in the season who transferred to Scottville Mason County Central.

“Three of those guys came back,” Watkins said. “Next year, they’ll be seniors. Our sophomores this year will be juniors. It will put us back in the realm of having juniors and seniors playing juniors and seniors.

“We have four eighth-graders coming up and four freshmen. Our numbers don’t look bad on paper.”

It’s Watkins ultimate goal to have a JV team so freshmen and sophomores get playing time without having to compete on the varsity level.

“We didn’t have an offseason program,” Watkins said. “That will be one of the issues we look at. We want to have regular weight-lifting during the winter for non-basketball athletes as well as having something in place for the guys playing basketball.

“We knew it was going to be a tough year. Last year, we only had one senior and one junior. When we look down the road, I think we have prospects next year of being competitive.”

It’s also hoped, with a new administration, coaches will know several months ahead of time they are hired for a spot and can proceed with necessary activities to be more ready for the upcoming season.

Basketball coaches for boys and girls are expected to be hired soon. The boys basketball practice season starts on Nov. 5. Girls basketball practice starts on Nov. 12