Thanks to preseason work, Blue Devil winter sports officialy begin today in top shape


Bellwood’s Nathan Davis feels that conditioning is an essential part of his game.

Edyn Convery, Staff Writer

With winter soon approaching, many Bellwood-Antis sports start practice today and have finished their pre-season conditioning.

Pre-season is a time for athletes to get in shape and set their season goals.

Nate Claar, a Blue Devil varsity wrestler, says, “Pre-season gets everyone ready for the season ahead of us. We get benefits out of it, too, like getting stronger, getting a feel for everything again, and going over technique.”

Long-term goals for Nate this season are individually making it to Hershey for states, the team making it to states, and everyone on the team to have a good record.

During wrestling conditioning, the boys lift weights, continuously go over moves, and run to build their endurance.

Boys’ basketball is another winter sport that is big into pre-season prep.  Junior Nathan Davis says, “Preseason lets us come into the season in good physical shape with fine-tuned skills. It’s a difficult week of conditioning, but the rewards are always worth it. This season, I hope that the team makes playoffs and competes for a league title. I am willing to do whatever it takes for success and to win as many games as we can.”

Conditioning is invaluable for the football team, as well.

“The purpose is to get into the best physical condition possible during the summer before facing the rigors of the game,” said Coach John Hayes. “We run in short and long distances and change in direction to get the muscles ready and prepared. Bellwood-Antis has a good reputation of conditioning and I think we are benefitting greatly from preseason. We can play through a full game at our peak performance. We take great pride in our preseason preparation and conditioning, especially when we have an advantage over the less conditioned teams we face.”

Another competitive sport at Bellwood-Antis is girls basketball, both in junior high and varsity. Coach Kylie Longo,  an elementary teacher who runs the junior high program and assists Coach Jim Swaney on varsity, said, “Preseason prep keeps us in shape, builds chemistry, stamina, and run a quick paced offence. We run full court drills, five on five games, sprints, jump ropes, and agility. I want us to make a run at a state title, win the District 6 Championship, and win the ICC.”

Although it starts in the spring, the Blue Devil softball team will soon be starting their preseason practices to prepare for their first year in the AAA division. Head Coach Jim Payne said, “Preseason workouts provide three ideals for a coach. One: Since they are not mandatory, you find who wants to raise their game to a higher level. Two: Players get a jump on conditioning, leaving more time to work on skills during the season. Three: It creates a closer team as the players interact without competing for a position!”

Head softball coach, Jim Payne, shown congratulating junior Edyn Convery last season, believes offseason conditioning is an essential part of his team.
Head softball coach, Jim Payne, shown congratulating junior Edyn Convery last season, believes offseason conditioning is an essential part of his team.

With the team falling to Bald Eagle in extra innings last season during the District 6 quarter-finals, the girls will surely be working hard and improving throughout the winter months.

Payne added, “The players run, stretch, and build muscle that is all geared towards the game. The goal is always to compete and win! This season has a lot of promise that athletes need to respond to and realize their potential.”

“Coaching softball is a gift for me. I love competing and working with the best softball players in the area! The players have never wavered in their efforts to continue to make Bellwood Softball a tradition, not just a program!”