Don Fellows has yet to coach a game for Grand Rapids Union, but one could argue he’s already picked up 47 wins.
“The last roster I saw was 17. Nine through 12,” Fellows said. “I think last year, the kids said they never had enough to run 11 on 11.”
With nearly three times as many kids compared to last year’s team, roster size is no longer a problem for the Red Hawks. But there are still many other challenges as Fellows takes over a squad that hasn’t won in five years and is in the midst of a 43-game losing streak.
“You’re talking about the worst football program in the state,” Fellows admitted at a recent Grand Rapids Union practice.
But if there’s anyone who can get the program back on track, it might be Fellows. He went 80 and 30 in ten years at Grand Rapids Christian, never missing the playoffs, and winning a Division III state title in 2012.
“I feel like he sees the good in kids who doesn’t see it in themselves,” explains senior safety Daquin Freeman. “That really makes him the best coach I’ve had.”
So now there’s a buzz around Grand Rapids Union that hasn’t been felt in years. Since he's not in school just yet, Freeman can’t feel the excitement in the hallways but he says Red Hawks football is starting to get a virtual following.
“Every zoom class we had, people have been asking us how they think the season is going to be and there are a lot of people looking forward to seeing us play,” he said.
They’ll get their chance Friday when Grand Rapids Union opens up the season at Zeeland East.
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