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Football season kicks off for Gilford-Belmont

by Bob Martin
Sports Reporter - Gilford Steamer, WInnisquam Echo, Meredith News

The Gilford-Belmont football team began official practices last week in preparation for the upcoming season, which begins on Sept. 2 at home against Kennett. Bob Martin. (click for larger version)
August 14, 2017
GILFORD —The dog days of summer are still upon us, but there is a feeling of fall at Gilford High School practice field where the teams have already begun practicing. The first to do so was the Gilford-Belmont football team, which hopes to improve off of the dismal 1-8 season of last year.

"It's always good to start a new season, especially when last year didn't exactly pan out how we wanted," said coach Josh Marzahl. "We are looking to improve in different areas of the game and get better every day."

Marzahl is in his second year as head coach, after being the junior varsity coach the year prior. After Belmont and Gilford merged, the Golden Eagles made the difficult transition going from Division 3 to Division 2.

Practice for the Golden Eagles officially started on Aug. 9, but the team has had plenty of 7 on 7 drills and conditioning leading up. Practices were with just helmets and shoulder pads to start, but have since moved onto full pads. Early in the season, much of the drills are focused on fundamentals and conditioning.

"It is a lot of doing walk throughs and conditioning," said Marzahl. "We have a lot of players who do two ways, so we have to make sure they are conditioned enough for that. We can't hit much at the beginning obviously, but this is where we can teach things like blocking techniques."

Marzahl said it is also a time where they can figure out how to get players involved where they can most help the team.

Marzahl said this is a very freshman heavy team, with about 25 of the 45 players entering their first year of high school. This can be difficult due to inexperience, but also bodes well for the future of the program.

This year Marzahl said there are a couple of seniors who he expects to shine for the Golden Eagles. One is a four-year starter named Ethan Orm, who plays tackle on both offense and defense. Orm is about six foot, four inches and more than 300 pounds, Marzahl said, and should prove to be a force to be reckoned with.

"He is really solid on both defense and offense," said Marzahl.

Marzahl also said a player on the rise to look out for is running back Dylan Gansert.

"Defensively he led the way, but for running back he was kind of our backup last year," said Gansert. "So while he didn't have huge stats, he definitely has the skillset to be a top player."

The Gilford-Belmont football team will kick off its season at home against Kennett on Sept. 2 at 1:30 p.m.

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