BALDWIN — Baldwin’s football team won the West Michigan D League last season and went to the playoffs. But a loss in the postseason to Fowler reminded the Panthers of how much work needs to be done before Baldwin football can attain various goals.

That’s why coach Doug Bolles likes it when the numbers are high at this summer’s weight-lifting sessions. The weight room is now open during the week for athletes to use.

Panther football players are getting ready for a season that starts Aug. 12 with preseason practices, followed by the first game Aug. 29.

Bolles said he’s hopeful of a 7-on-7 passing scrimmage with Hesperia sometime next week.

The conditioning workouts started in June, prior to the dead week. Then the weight room opened again on July 8. There have been conflicts with other activities and not all players can attend every day.

“The kids that are here are working,” Bolles said. “We can only do this until the 31st. Until the first week of practice is like the dead period again.”

The goal behind summer lifting is for players to be in shape by Aug. 12 so that they’re ready to go.

“We found out last year that we can compete in our conference,” Bolles said. “But if we’re going to get to the next level, we saw against Fowler what it takes, You have to get stronger. We have to be more dedicated.”

That doesn’t only apply to linemen.

“For running backs, you get stronger legs for your driving when you’re getting tackled,” Bolles said. “It also can prevent injuries.”