By DOUG DONNELLY
For The BLISSFIELD ADVANCE
Published in The Advance July 21 issue
OTTAWA LAKE – Noah Bauman has been camping all summer.
Don’t worry, Bobcat fans, Bauman has been busy getting ready for what promises to be a monster senior season for the Whiteford football team not by sitting by the fire but by attending football camps around Michigan and northwest Ohio.
“I’ve been to a lot of places this summer,” Bauman said. “It definitely gets me ready for the season. I’m excited about the upcoming season, a full season with no restrictions.”
The 6-3, 295-pound Bauman will be starting his fourth season on the Bobcat varsity when fall comes around. He started from Week 1 of his freshman season at offensive tackle, played some defense as a sophomore and turned into a dominant lineman on both sides of the ball last year. He was first team All-State by every statewide team – Associated Press, Michigan High School Football Coaches Association, Detroit Free Press and Detroit News.
“He’s a scholarship type of player,” Whiteford football coach Jason Mensing said. “He’s dominant.”
Bauman has already been told he has a roster spot at Olivet College if he chooses to go the Division 3 school and Siena Heights University, an NAIA school, has offered him a scholarship.
He’s been to prospect camps at Concordia in Ann Arbor, Eastern Michigan University, Ferris State University, Grand Valley State University, Wayne State, the University of Toledo and Bowling Green State University.
He has future camp dates set up at Olivet and Siena Heights.
“My first camp at Siena was canceled so they rescheduled,” he said. “I’m excited to go to that one. They’ve told me I would be a defensive lineman for them. I like defense a lot.”
The camps are set up for college prospects like Bauman to work out in front of college coaches, run drills and so they can get a look at players live rather than just on film.
“At Grand Valley, we did their whole workout, then I went into the normal defensive lineman position group and went through all of the drills they do.
“The coaches will teach you what they do at their college. They want to see your skill level and how you move. They don’t worry too much about your lifting or how much you bench press until you get there. Right now, they just want to see how skilled you are or how you move. Some guys can lift a ton, but they can’t move very well.”
Thankfully, Bowman can do both. His most recent personal bests have been squatting 455 pounds, dead lifting 535 pounds and benching 325.
Whiteford has sent a number of players on to college to play football in recent years, including Lucas Tesznar to Eastern Michigan University, Bradyn Clark-Gilmore to Albion, Noah’s brother Nate Bauman to Adrian College and Trey XX to a school in Wisconsin. Noah figures to be the next.
He has been a starter almost since putting on a Bobcat uniform.
“I didn’t know I was going to start until just before my freshman year,” Bauman said. “We were at practice, and they were looking someone for the tackle spot, and I stepped up. The first few games I think the position was up in the air a little bit, but after that I think I won it.”
Now Bauman is looking at playing at the next level.
“I’ve wanted to play college football for a long time,” he said. “That’s my goal. I don’t think I’ll make a decision until after my senior year. I want to be able to go to camps and send out some film and maybe have some coaches watch me play.”
The first prep football practice is Aug. 9. Whiteford opens the 2021 season at Blissfield on Friday, Aug. 27.