Panthers staying in shape this summer

AT WORK: Dashawn Moore works out in the Baldwin weight room while La'Kie Donald watches. (Pioneer photo/John Raffel)
AT WORK: Dashawn Moore works out in the Baldwin weight room while La'Kie Donald watches. (Pioneer photo/John Raffel)

Conditioning, weight lifting a big part of summer plans for Baldwin football players

BALDWIN — Baldwin’s football team won the West Michigan D League championship 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 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.” Dashawn Moore, a sophomore running back and defensive back, has been among the faithful attendees during offseason workouts. Moore said he’s been coming every day to the sessions. “I’m lifting weights,” he said. “I’m trying to get my chest bulkier. This has been helpful quite a bit. Ever since I’ve been here, I’ve gotten stronger.” Moore said coming to the summer weight room sessions has been very hopeful. ‘”It gives me something to do when I get here,” he said. “We have other people on different days.” That includes La’Kie Donald, a freshman lineman. “This is good,” he said. “I feel much better.”