Local High School Football Team Shows Success On and Off the Field
If you want a feel-good story, this sure is one. It's about a Grand Rapids high school football team and the rebuilding of a program and helping young men see opportunity and grow into the person they can become.
This story is about Grand Rapids Public School's Union High School and their football team.
Fox17 reported Union is off to a 2-0 start this season, and that is the first time since the 1998. So far this season they have beaten Ottawa Hills 35-34, and Ypsilanti, 42-14, on the road. Pretty special. But, how has this happened?
Second year head coach Don Fellows says, "To be honest with you, I think the success has been so fast because our kids have really bought in and we have a great senior group. A lot of people say, 'well my kids show up,' but our kids have not missed a day, and that's in the weight room and learning football. Overall, our kids are fully invested and our administration is, too."
Fellows came from Grand Rapids Christian, where he led the Eagles to a state championship in 2012, and said the the Red Hawk opening felt almost like a calling as he knew the Christian job was coming to an end.
Fellows says his background is similar to some of what his players are going through, being raised by a single mom, and with sports being everything. He said he fully knows and understands the challenges his kids go through.
He and the coaches hold kids accountable, get them to the weight room and if you miss practice you sit a half in a game. And, there's more. Unlike suburban schools, some of the kids don't even have a way to get to practice or games. That's where the coaching staff jumps in. If need be, they're picking kids up, making sure they're at practice, making sure they get the proper nutrition and sleep, then taking kids home afterwards. How special is that.
Union has now won back-to-back games for the first time since 2003. Can they keep this up? Only time will tell since they have some tough weeks ahead. The Red Hawks will take on Mona Shores this week before Holland, Zeeland East, Zeeland West, Wyoming and Reeths-Puffer to end the season.
You know what, I'm pretty sure they're up to the task and whether the wins come or not, these young men are already on their own winning path.
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