BALDWIN – The West Michigan D League announced its all-conference 8-player football team earlier this week and four Baldwin athletes were recognized.

Ian Lemieux was first-team all-conference defense. Dylan Hibma made the second-team all-conference defense.

Quarterback Carmelo Lindsey and Leonard McNeely made first-team all-league.

Lindsey was a sophomore in his second year on the varsity.

“I thought if we would have been able to finish out the season, he would have been a lot better than what he ended up,” coach Bob Watkins said. “He had matured another year. We were excited about it.

“When (former Baldwin All-Stater) Brandon (Childress) came aboard (as an assistant coach), he added more to the offensive scheme as far as receivers were concerned. They were starting to click with that as well. Basically, it was missed opportunity not finishing those last three games. I’m sure we would have had a better outcome and I’m almost certain we would have made the playoffs.”

Because of not enough eligible players, the Panthers were only able to play three of their six regular-season games.

“Things happen for a reason,” Watkins said. “As we prepare for next year, we kind of learned a lot as far as preparation. Although we don’t know what the season will look like next year, we can’t wait to get started in preparing. We’re working with the kids on their grades and are making sure they stay on top of them.

“This virtual learning threw everybody a curveball. I think what’s happening is the teaching methods are the same as if they’re in school. But they’re not picking it up with the virtual learning aspect of it. But it is what it is. I think we’ll have seasoned people in our skill positions but will be new in our front line. We’ll only returning two as far as our line is concerned.”