Football players begin process of getting ready for season

BALDWIN — This has been a dead week, as mandated by the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA), for Baldwin sports.

But starting next Monday, the Panther football team will be getting at it in a major way.

Coach Doug Bolles said his team will be at Scottville-Mason County Central for a 7-on-7 passing scrimmage July 10 and July 15, and at Ludington on July 17.

Also starting next week, conditioning will be 5 to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday either in the weight room, at the football fieldhouse or on the field.

“Once we get into the summer more, we should have more guys showing up,” Bolles said prior to the dead week. “We just got out of school, the kids have basketball, some kids are at camp. I’ve had four or five at a camp in Grayling (last) week.”

Basketball camps also have been taking place and Bolles said it was a challenge in June to try to get other things done.

Among the active participants in weightlifting last week was sophomore Deondra McDonald. He played varsity last season at wide receiver and defensive end. He saw more action on offense.

“I’m working on my speed, on my vertical,” he said. “I’m working on getting bigger. Right now I’m kind of skinny.”

McDonald was on the JV basketball last season and has been working out this summer with the varsity team.

The basketball summer “has been going good,” he said. “We have a lot more (talent) than last year. We should go far, further than last year.”

It’s also a critical time to get ready for football, McDonald acknowledged.

“The longer you wait to get in shape, the harder it’s going to be for us,” he said. “Right now everybody is working besides Baldwin.”

The team opens with Reed City, Farwell and Vestaburg for the first three weeks of the 2014 season.

“We’ll never back down from a challenge,” McDonald said.