Belding gets ready for football

By Chip Burch • Last Updated 10:04 am on Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Belding coach Joe Schwander, standing, speaks to football players in the camp he ran Monday. The camp runs until Thursday.

BELDING — Even though baseball season is still underway in the major leagues, 38 Belding boys were thinking about football.

Those boys were at the football camp being hosted by coach Joe Schwander, which takes place until Thursday (5 to 9 p.m. each day).

“They’re working really hard,” Schwander said during a break in Monday’s camp. “I have really good kids. That’s the beauty of it, just like last year. I have 38 kids who want to get after it. So that’s fine.”

The camp is basically a start in teaching the boys about how things are done at Belding, Schwander noted.

“Every school has some form of a camp,” he said. “We’re just trying to get them better. So we implement some of our schemes at a team level. We just try to get them acclimated to what we’re doing schematically so that come two-a-days they’re not lost and they’re a little faster and ready to go.”

Brady Phelps does a “flying fish” drill onto a pad during Belding’s football camp Monday.

In fact, being ready to go when the first day of practice hits Aug. 11 is one of the goals of the camp.

“And have fun,” Schwander said. “I think baseball and sometimes basketball controls summer. So you have some football camps and kids have fun at football and it’s not football season that way. They love it, they love being around each other and it’s a different sport than the other two. The camaraderie you get out here is part of the reason you have camps and seven-on-sevens. So they meet their teammates and grow as a team.”

Last year’s varsity football team went 8-3, including 1-1 in the playoffs. But that doesn’t mean the bar is being raised at the camp, according to Schwander.

“I think that’s a media thing,” he said. “I think our expectations internally, and if you ask every coach in the district, every year is the same. Every year you want to compete every single game. You can’t control the outcome of the game. You can influence it by what you’re doing right now. That’s all we’re trying to do. Just get our kids ready so they can go out, have fun and compete.”

Belding’s regular season starts Aug. 28 with the traditional matchup against Greenville. This year’s game is at Legacy Field in Greenville.

2014 Belding Football schedule

8/28 at Greenville

9/5 vs. Lakewood

9/12 at Cedar Springs

9/19 vs. Holland Christian

9/26 vs. Sparta*

10/3 at Comstock Park*

10/10 vs. Coopersville*

10/17 at West Catholic*

10/24 at Allendale*

Notes: All games start at 7 p.m. * O-K Blue Conference game.

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