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Gilford-Belmont football eager for challenge of new season

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by Joshua Spaulding
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Sports Editor - Salmon Press Newspapers

The Gilford-Belmont football team linemen work on their stances during the first day of practices. (Photo by Joshua Spaulding) (click for larger version)
September 24, 2020
REGION — The Gilford-Belmont football team members spent the first portion of the first official practice of the season attaching plastic shields to their helmets.

It wasn't exactly the most exciting thing, but as coach Josh Marzahl told them, this was what they needed to do if they wanted to play football, so the kids tackled the project.

"Our number one goal right now is to play football in the safest way possible," Marzahl said. "We understand the commitment we have as a program to do things the right way and follow guidelines."

The good news for Marzahl and his coaching staff is that the team returns a large slate of seniors who have played for all three years, have plenty of experience and are ready to go.

Quarterback Alex Cheek (also a safety on defense) returns for another season after being named All-Conference last year and will have fellow All-Conference player Curtis Nelson returning as a wide receiver. Blake Descoteaux is also back after earning All-Conference second team as a running back and defensive end.

John Mitchell was also second team All-Conference and will anchor the defense as a linebacker and will carve holes as a fullback. Michael Dandurand will return to both the offensive and defensive lines after an All-Conference second team season last year.

Also returning are Kenny Maccabee on both lines, Jackson Ruelke as a wide receiver and cornerback, Jack McLean as a quarterback and linebacker, Malik Reese as a defensive end and tight end, Liam Merriam as a wide receiver and cornerback, Brandon Gallager as a wide receiver and corner back, Nate Beaumeister as a linebacker and Cooper Brown as a lineman on both sides of the ball.

Additionally, the squad is eager to welcome Isaiah Reese as a wide receiver in the new season.

"We have a great group of seniors returning who have started for three years and are eager to get back out on the field," Marzahl said. "We are fast and athletic on the outside and look forward to using that to our advantage.

"Our linemen have been working extremely hard this offseason and are becoming one of the strongest points on our team," the Gilford-Belmont coach added. "We look forward to the challenges this season will bring and can't wait to get started."

The Golden Eagles will play games against St. Thomas, Kingswood, Kennett, Winnisquam and Plymouth in the shortened season.

The season officially begins on Saturday, Sept. 26, as Gilford-Belmont hosts St. Thomas at 2 p.m.

Sports Editor Joshua Spaulding can be reached at 279-4516, ext. 155 or josh@salmonpress.news.

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