Leadership a key focus for Pine River football team

Pine River football seniors discussing leadership prior to a recent practice are: from left, Ethan Whitley, Maverick Martin, Devin Ruppert, Tom Miller and Cason Rawson. (Herald Review photo/John Raffel)
Pine River football seniors discussing leadership prior to a recent practice are: from left, Ethan Whitley, Maverick Martin, Devin Ruppert, Tom Miller and Cason Rawson. (Herald Review photo/John Raffel)

LEROY -- Conditioning and leadership were two main goals for the Pine River Bucks during the summer season going into practices.

Mission accomplished, it would appear.

Brandon Newville was among the Bucks keeping busy during the preseason weight-lifting and strengthening sessions.

“It helps me get stronger,” said Newville, a lineman.

Football coach Chad Phillips focus on leadership training during the summer. Five seniors, Maverick Martin, Tom Miller, Cason Rawson, Devin Ruppert, Maverick Martin and Ethan Whitley were designated as lieutenants.

“These are my five guys that have been here,” Phillips said, referring to his leadership training program. “We’re trying to train them to be leaders rather than saying, ’hey you’re captains.’ At the end of the season we vote.

“You should earn that by what you do. But these guys are learning about what people say about leadership and how to be a leader.”

Martin expressed his personal satisfaction to how the leadership training prevailed.

He’s a 6-2, 170-pound defensive lineman and tight end.

“It’s a group of guys who want to have a good role on the younger teammates,”he said.