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New Grand Rapids Union football coach preparing as if there will be a football season

Don Fellows is the new coach of the RedHawks
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Posted at 3:36 PM, May 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-04 17:32:00-04
Don Fellows takes over as GR Union football coach

Will high school sports return this fall?

It's a question no one is really sure how to answer.

Don Fellows was recently named head football coach at Grand Rapids Union and despite the uncertainty, his preparations for the fall are well underway.

"We have watched every game. We have already broken them all down. We have every opponent for next year broken down," Fellows said. "You got to prepare like there is a season for next year and you got to know what you have and there is some talented skill kids, there is a couple big kids that are coming back."

Union has struggled to be competitive in football the last 15 years, but Fellows brings with him a history of winning the last ten years as head coach at Grand Rapids Christian High School.

One area Fellows wants to address in the number of players in the program. His goal is to have freshman and junior varsity teams to go along with the varsity squad in the fall.

"We are going to be on the horn just like you would in college and try to recruit these kids that are in GRPS," Fellows said. "Start with Union High and kind of work our way down."

Union's roster for week one of the 2019 season had 31 kids listed from grades nine through 12, that will need to more than double to have all three levels.

"Anytime there is a new coach there is new excitement," Fellows said. "There is a fresh start for kids so I think our numbers are going to be increased but then I think there is also going to be a factor of oh my gosh this is what coach is expecting of me am I really wanting to do this as well so I think the numbers will level off."

While the football team at Union has struggled, the basketball program has posted five straight winning seasons under the direction head coach Brandoen Guyton who Fellows says plays a big role in the plan to turn the program around.

"He has been amazingly supportive of me coming to the football program." Fellows said of Guyton. "I don't think you can turn this program around at all if you don't have the support of the basketball program. So he and I have become really close over the last month just talking and game planning how we want to do this thing."

Fellows plans to tackle the challenges he faces now the same as he did when took over at Grand Rapids Christian ten years ago.

"Once we can get going we are going to have a camp and try to slow it down and just get our fundamentals back in," Fellows said. "Very similar to how we handled it in 2010 when we took over Grand Rapids Christian start with the basics, teach kids how we practice and hopefully they buy in."

Fellows is scheduled to debut as Grand Rapids Union head coach on August 28th against Ottawa Hills.