BALDWIN - Football is back.

Baldwin football coach Robert Watkins has been working with his team during informal conditioning practices as the Panthers and other squads try to take advantage of what they can do despite ongoing restrictions from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Watkins said the players have been meeting at the football field for an hour on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

"They were showing up on the hottest days of the year last week," Watkins said. 'We had 11 guys one day and nine the next."

The MHSAA has announced that it plans on going ahead with a fall sports season. But there have been no guarantees.

"Until the governor opens the buildings, we can't go inside," Watkins said. "It makes it kind of hard. We're still in the Grand Rapids region."

Schools north of Baldwin are in a region where they can be outside right now, leaving the Panthers in a quandry when it comes to weight lifting. They have to stay outside until they move up a phase.

Baldwin is set to have a nine-game schedule. Watkins said Merrill is on the schedule, replacing Crossroads, which dropped football. Baldwin will have five home games.

The practice season starts on Aug. 10, provided the date will still be allowed by the MHSAA, depending on restrictions.