Football players start their weight-lifting sessions

BALDWIN — It’s beginning to look a lot like football around the Baldwin weight room.

That’s because summer football is here and the Panthers have already started weight-lifting and conditioning sessions.

Right now, the sessions are every Monday and Wednesday outside of the dead period next week.

Coach Doug Bolles said his team will be, for 7-on-7 passing camps, in Scottville-Mason County competition on July 10 and 15, and July 17 in Ludington. The starts for each camp are 6 p.m.

“It’s Montague, Mason County Central, Ludington, us and Shelby,” Bolles said. “It’s good competition.”

Bolles also hopes to set something up with Hesperia.

“Even though it’s eight-man for Crossroads, seeing how we’re not playing them (during the regular season), I’ll see if they want to do something,” Bolles said.

Crossroads, a former 11-man rival for Baldwin, now plays 8-man football.

“Two years ago, I took the month of June off, there’s so many kids playing basketball,” Bolles said. “I’m disappointed but I’m realistic. We’re Class D and I have to work with it. As long as they’re doing something, I’m OK.

“We go these next two weeks, but the week of June 30 where it goes until the Fourth of July, that’s our MHSAA down week. That’s the week we take. Most schools took that week. It’s the best week because most people are vacationing. Then we’ll come back, on Monday (July 7). Then we’ll go Monday through Thursday.”

Baldwin hasn’t had JV football in recent seasons but the numbers situation could change that this fall.

“I’d say 85 percent we will have some type of  (program),” Bolles said. “We’ll wait with eligibility. We lost two seniors and a few upperclassmen that haven’t played that will play. I’m projecting seven to eight freshmen.”

Lance Donald, a freshman, played middle school football in the past and attended weight-lifting sessions last week.

“I’ve been here before,” he said. “I do weight benches, push-up, sit-ups, help me get stronger. I like doing it because I want to be stronger in the next few years.”

Donald expects to be a lineman this season.

His brother La’kie Donald will be a sophomore lineman and was also in the weight room last week. He played last season. He likes the same weight-lifting routines taken by his brother. He usually plays in the interior line and realizes weight-lifting helps his stamina as he looks at playing a full consistent game.