West Bloomfield High football is young and learning as it goes
September 21, 2012
West Bloomfield High football coach Ron Bellamy admits he was a little nervous when his team entered the week leading up to a Sept. 14 contest against Rochester High.
The Lakers had lost their last two games by a combined score of 89-14.
“Against Rochester, the kids came out and gave everything, but we beat ourselves,” Bellamy said during practice Sept. 17. “The thing I was most please with is the kids fought until the end. When you have a young group, and you play Lake Orion and Clarkston, and lose the way we did, as coaches, you kind of worry about what type of team will show up the next week. The kids came out and fought. They gave themselves a chance to win the game.”
West Bloomfield fell to Rochester 20-13, but suffered six turnovers. Bellamy believes the mistakes can be attributed to the youth on the team.
The Lakers play 10 sophomores and have a freshman quarterback in Tristan Jackson. The roster includes 12 seniors, but only eight see significant time.
“We have a young football team, but we still expect to win every game we play,” Bellamy said.
The coach added that he knew the schedule would be top heavy against some of the best teams in the state. At press time, the Lakers were 1-3 overall and 1-2 in the Oakland Activities Association Blue Division. Their losses came against Lake Orion, Clarkston and Rochester. Those three had a combined record of 11-1.
“Moving forward, we can beat every team on our schedule if we eliminate the turnovers, the penalties and the self-inflicted wounds,” Bellamy said.
Senior linebacker/safety Chance Monarch is also optimistic.
“I think we can still win out and make the playoffs. That’s the goal,” he said.
With so many underclassmen, Bellamy has counted on his few seniors to be an extension of the coaching staff, which he noted they’ve done well.
Jackson, the youngest of all of them, believes everyone needs to play bigger.
“We have to step up and be leaders. Me, as a freshman quarterback, I have to be a leader. The sophomores and juniors have to step up and be leaders for the seniors that aren’t here,” he said.
It’s that attitude and the play on the field that has Bellamy excited.
“You watch these young guys, and they get better every week. That’s encouraging as a coach, and hopefully, no matter what the final record might be, we’ll have some type of momentum carrying into next season,” he said.