ABOUT THAT TIME â€” Brian Hakes (far right) and Bellmont football coach Larry Getts (middle) do an interview at North Side High School Friday in a special media day session. Official football practice will begin a week from today. (Photo by Jim Hopkins)
"Everybody likes it. We're having a good time and having fun, and working hard on the seven on sevens and really gaining momentum for the season," stated Bellmont linebacker Dewey Melcher on the state of Bellmont football under new coach Larry Getts.
Melcher's obviously positive feeling for the first-year Bellmont coach seems to be shared by a good many of the BHS players, who will go at it for real in another week.
"We'll be a different team out there," stated returning senior quarterback Brian Fullenkamp.
"We're still running (the ball) a lot, but we're throwing a few passes. But we'll want to take our time on offense, keep the ball and let our defense rest," he added.
"It's a new defense and new coaches, and we're really excited about the coaches this year," stated Brian Hakes, who shifts from defensive end to middle linebacker in Getts' 3-5 stack defense.
"They done a lot to help us get better, and it's been fun. The linebackers have to do a lot more in this defense. I'm excited about it."
Several members of the Bellmont football team joined players from dozens of area squads Friday in a special media day sponsored by the Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette at North Side High School.
Getts, who coached Wayne High School football for six years, was the final answer for the Bellmont program, which has been in some sort of temporary flux for two years since the resignation of Toney Bergman after the 2008 3A state championship run.
Getts wasn't the first choice for BHS administrators, but he has apparently won over the Bellmont players. Getts enjoys his football time, and that isn't lost on his new team. He also likes to do things in a football fashion.
"I like it. I'm happy to have coach Getts in our program now," stated junior cemter Jacob Brown.
Brown appreciates the Getts' conditioning philosophy. "Last year we ran a lot, even on the track. This year, it's a lot of agility drills, it's more centered around football. It's good," praised Brown.
"So far, so good," said Getts, who has been through more than a few gridiron rodeos.
"It's been a good transition. We have a good group of kids who have worked hard this summer and they got to know the system and have been successful with it. There are a lot of positives," said Getts.
The new coach is all about team. He would not single out a player for praise. "We'll just let them rise to the top," he said of his standout players. "One thing about building a football program, you all have to work together. It's a team effort. The good kids will rise to the top. Right now we have 30 to 35 working hard. The numbers aren't great, but it's not quantity that counts but quality. You can put only 11 on the field at one time.
"We have a core group of kids who have shown up just about every day. As a coach, that's what you want to see, dedicated kids. They have responded well to the 11 on 11s and we've found out a lot about them. We'll find out more when Friday's come up."
Jets Plugging In
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"We have a lot of guys back, and a lot of guys taking spots of seniors who left, and they are as good if not better. I feel real good about this season," said Adams Central junior Zach Agler.
"We've got a lot of good football players returning, guys like (QB) Dalton Combs, Will Schultz, Agler, Spencer Sharp, Warren Burkhart, Shawn Reinhard, Ben Snider, Landon Brunner and Cody Cauble, who did a great job filling in for Spencer Balash last year," stated Jets' head coach Mike Mosser.
"I'm actually taking (Nathan) Busse's spot, so I'm going to go both ways and play some tailback," stated junior Kurt Blake.
"I'm moving to safety this year since we're going to a 4-3, so I'm pretty excited about that. We're feeling pretty good about our chances" for a strong team, added Blake.
Mosser listed a few of his promising sophomores: Cooper Hill, Kyle Baker, Isaac Soldner, and Alex Bollenbacher. "We feel good about the guys we have and the guys ready to step up. We just need to stay together and stay healthy," said Mosser.
"It's a very tough, physical conference. We just need to progress, get better, and stay on the field. If we do that, we have a shot."