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FORT WAYNE—There were over 35 schools present at the sixth annual Northeast Indiana Football Media Day held at North Side High School on Friday afternoon including all three Adams County representatives.
Gathered in the school's cafeteria along side media members of the region, each team was assigned a table. Bellmont's representation was so large that the Carroll Chargers were forced to grab a few straggling chairs from another table to make room.
That's all part of the plan for coach Larry Getts.
"Everything is up in the air this season," the third-year Braves coach noted at the event Friday. "We do things as a team like we win as a team. Singling out individuals is not something we like to do on this team."
Coaches were asked to bring seven or eight players to represent the team but for the Braves, a dozen players graced the media stage. The idea was not a ploy to intimidate, but it did send a message. The team mentality can be personified by the most important position on the football field: the quarterback.
"We have six or seven guys who could be there this year for us," exclaimed coach Getts. "We are going to have a lot of different looks on offense and these guys are all fighting for the right to be on that field. It's all up in the air at the moment, especially at QB."
The players and coaches had the chance to discuss their upcoming season with the media gathered including a few television stations from around the area. There was a particularly more lively feel in the conversation about conference play for most of the schools from the NHC and ACAC as both will be dealing with shifting schedules and teams starting next season. Coach Getts was still focused on the present, however.
"For these seniors, the conference changes won't mean very much. It's the new-look sectionals that will be what we set our sights on," commented the coach.
2A's loss is now Bellmont's gain as the state-champion Bishop Luers Knights have bumped up to 3A due to both student count and the newly instated success factor which officially takes place starting this school year.
"Our sectional will be tough this year but it would have been tougher anyways as the one we left behind got a lot stronger as well. We'll have to use what we learn against our conference to keep us competitive on the field come sectional time," noted coach Getts.
Bellmont's senior reps present were excited for the upcoming fall season.
"We're going to be really young this year," Austin Alberson noted. "We have some experience coming back, however, and the younger guys are going to learn quickly because we have such a competitive environment in practice."
While senior Trevor Love was happy about the new offensive sets that the Braves are practicing, Dalton Schultz and John Sefton were excited about the defensive side of the football.
"We've simplified the defensive end a bit making us a lot speedier," noted Sefton.
"Working on takeaways on defense has been a big key for us as well," Schultz pointed out.
Bellmont's grind-it-out, hard-nosed mentality will rest on the leadership brought from the upperclassmen.