Belding halfback McCully focusing on team, not self


By Chip Burch • Last Updated 9:42 am on Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Belding running back Neil McCully breaks through the line for a touchdown against Comstock Park this season. McCully has rushed for 755 yards this year.

BELDING — Belding’s football season hasn’t quite gone the way the Redskins would have liked under first-year head coach Joe Schwander.

But it hasn’t been the fault of Neil McCully. McCully is leading the Redskins in rushing so far this season.

But the individual stuff doesn’t matter to McCully.

“I don’t really focus on it much,” he said. “But the team, we haven’t done as well as we liked to. But we’re really coming together as a team, we’re really working hard together. It really depends on the team.”

As a rusher, McCully has 755 yards on 101 carries this season, scoring four touchdowns. Receiving he’s caught 24 balls for 347 yards and four more scores. He’s also second on the team in tackles with 40.

“Neil’s a very competitive young man,” Schwander said. “He works extremely hard. He has high expectations for himself and the team.”

Belding is 2-5 this season, and that’s been tough on the team. But McCully found a silver lining in those losses.

“It’s hard, but we’re getting better every day,” he said. “That’s all we’re focusing on, just getting better.”

McCully said he has improved on his work ethic.

Belding’s Neil McCully delivers a stiff arm to break a tackle during a home game against Comstock Park this year.

“Just going hard every day,” he said. “Anyone going hard makes everyone go hard. One person gets enthusiastic and everyone’s jumping around, going fast. Keeping a good attitude and going hard makes everyone better and me better.”

McCully isn’t one of the team captains, but “sometimes I think we need more team leaders,” he said.

“But I think the three we have are really good leaders,” he continued. “Jake (Jones), Brendan (Zuver) and Michael (Walker), they’ve stepped it up this year and it’s been pretty good.”

“All I know is he’s a very good player. If you ask other coaches in the conference they would say he’s a good player,” Schwander said.

McCully thought Belding has been close to having a vastly different record.

“We’ve had some really close games, but the opponents we’ve played have been really good,” he said. “Comstock (Park), Allendale, Hopkins, they’re all very good. But we were that close. A couple of plays and we win those games. We’re there.”

Schwander said McCully is a team player.

“Neil is a very hard-working individual and very athletic,” Schwander said. “Every guy has to do their job and Neil does that.”

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