Class of 2016
James Haverkamp 6-6 265 Sr OL Grand Rapids Christian: He’s a second-year starter at left tackle for the Eagles, a position previously held by Tommy Doles. That would be an unfair comparison for most any player, as Doles had a rare mix of athleticism and attitude which is why he’s now playing for Northwestern. What Haverkamp does bring is a lanky tackle frame just pleading for 40 college pounds and strong technique. He was able to consistently get his hands on smaller, quicker Muskegon rushers. This is the kind of line prospect the GLIAC lines up for.
Nolan Meekhof 6-1 225 Sr RB/LB Grandville: Grandville is no stranger to big backs, as Meekhof compares favorably to Andrew Hawken a decade ago with 4.6 speed at over 220 pounds. After high school, Hawken ended up starting 10 games over the course of his career at fullback for Michigan State. And when we’re being really optimistic, like last week when Meekhof rushed 25 times for 271 yards and two TDs, he looks like the best big back out of the O-K Red since John Anes at East Kentwood 20 years ago. He also did some blocking for another Grandville back, Parker Reminga, who ran for 123 yards and three TDs. That was the most prolific game of Meekhof’s career. He ran 25 times for 256 yards and a TD in the 2014 playoff against EK.
Lukas Thompson 6-0 180 Sr WR/DB Grand Rapids Christian: Hailed as the next Drake Harris as a freshman, Thompson looked like it if fleetingly in the season opener with a career game of 176 receiving yards and a TD, and an interception. He ate up South Christian in the 2014 opener as well, stepping in at QB to run for 120 yards and a TD. But what is fast against South Christian is average against Muskegon. Thompson saw a first-quarter pass attempt sail through his hands and was not to be heard from again in the Big Reds’ win. His real potential is at cornerback, as he’s learned to get physical in press coverage, will hit and has some talent around the ball.
Class of 2017
Jacorey Sullivan 6-3 205 Jr WR/DB Muskegon: There are a number of playmakers on Muskegon’s defense, what makes Sullivan stand out is that he’s showing sideline-to-sideline speed via a college frame. Offensively he’s aspiring to Joeviear Kennedy’s role of big target and big blocker. Sullivan is one of the Lake Area’s top 10 overall recruits for 2017.
- Corey Malone Hatcher 6-3 245 Jr LB St. Joseph
- Keegan Cossou 6-5 220 Jr TE Greenville
- Johnathan Berghorst 6-3 255 Jr DL Zeeland East
- Nate Umlor 6-6 240 Jr DL Allendale
- Ian Creech 6-4 240 DL/OL Portage Central
- Jacorey Sullivan 6-3 180 Jr WR Muskegon
- Turner Ruby 6-4 285 Jr OL East Kentwood
- Evan Plate 6-3 220 Jr LB Greenville
- Walker Christoffersen 5-9 165 Jr DB Muskegon Catholic Central
- Blake Dunn 5-11 175 Jr ATH Saugatuck
Class of 2018
Antwan Reed 6-7 275 So Muskegon: What an introduction to big-time football. Reed’s live-game debut came as Muskegon’s starting left tackle — at Novi Catholic Central. In week 2 acquitted himself well against Grand Rapids Christian, showing the makings of a tough run blocker. This is the 10th starting season combined for the other four Muskegon linemen, so Reed’s in the perfect spot to learn. He’s one of 2018 line prospects who have already made a positive impression this season, as have Traverse City West’s Ryan Hayes, Rockford’s Cody Caronee, St. Joseph’s Trevor Dilley and Hudsonville’s Hunter Stearns. But Reed stands above them all, he could be a truly special tackle recruit.
Lake Area Offensive Player of the Week
Tyler Trovinger 5-11 190 Sr QB Mona Shores: His college choice doesn’t even have a football team. That will work out fine though since Trovinger is committed to Oakland for baseball. He’s certainly getting the most out of his final football season, his first at QB. Mona has put up a pair of double-nickles, beating West Ottawa in the opener 55-0 then Fruitport 55-14. Trovinger broke Mona legend Tyree Jackson’s 2013 school record with six TD tosses against Fruitport on 9-of-16 passes for 235 yards. He capitalized on the Lake Area’s most dangerous receiving corps with TD receptions of 80 yards from Hunter Broersma, 24 and 11 yards to Kobe Burse, 14 and 11 yards to Deandre Oakes-Owens and 56 yards to Darece Roberson. It will get tougher from them all in week 3 at home against Rockford.
Lake Area Defensive Player of the Week
Ryan Beadle 5-9 190 Sr LB Portage Northern: The Huskies’ defense didn’t give up a point in their 29-7 win over Kalamazoo Central. Beadle led Portage Northern with six tackles while recovering and fumble and making an interception.
Lake Area Small School Player of the Week
Jacob Buchberger 6-2 185 Sr QB Montague: He oversaw an offense that actually trailed at half but ultimately put up 70 points on Ravenna. Buchberger ran a dozen times for 252 yards including TDs of 65, 55, 65 and 30 yards, while completing 6-of-11 passes for 117 yards including TDs of 54 and 20 yards.He also contributed on defense with an interception and special teams with a 55-yard run after a faked punt.
Lake Area Northern Michigan Player of the Week
Luke Sage 6-1 195 Sr LB Boyne City: He lead a defense that shut out Charlevoix, 13-0, while holding the inaugural Northern Michigan POW, Charlevoix junior Jared McLean, to 61 yards on 14 carries. Sage had 13 tackles, including four behind the line. He also caught a 61-yard TD reception.
Lake Area Coach of the Week
Josh Sellers, Traverse City St. Francis: So far so good with the return of Sellers to the Gladiators’ sidelines, where he won two state championships in his five-year tenure with St. Francis that ended in 2007 before taking coaching positions in Tennessee. His first team back in the Mitten has yet to allow a point this season, most recently beating McBain 35-0. They opened the season with a 42-0 defeat of Marquette.
Class of 2016
Seth Benson 6-0 200 Sr LB Vicksburg: He broke his foot during the spring in track, so Benson missed the camp season. Coaches will want to get ahold of his film though based on what he did in Vicksburg’s shutout opening win over Dowagiac. He’s a fourth-year varsity player who is really cashing in. Playing just the first three quarters against Dowagiac, Benson made 14 tackles, including three behind the line, forced a fumble, recovered a fumble and returned an interception 40 yards for a TD.
Andrew Madison 6-6 225 Sr TE East Kentwood: He’s an intriguing prospect. He didn’t play last season but Madison has kind of plateaued as a basketball prospect, stuck as a dreaded tweener forward. As a tight end, however, he has about perfect size, and the basketball hands were evident with a pair of key catches in EK’s opening win at Farmington Hills Harrison.
Monterio Smith 5-10 160 Sr RB/DB Comstock Park: To achieve full satisfaction as a running back in Comstock Park’s offense you have to be a threat catching the ball, and Smith has really improved in that area. Last Saturday against Cedar Springs he had seven receptions for 192 yards, including TDs of 61 and 21 yards, while also running 12 times for 73 yards and two more scores, including the game-clincher in the fourth quarter. Comstock Park has seen a steady stream of GLIAC recruits under coach Mark Chapman, and Smith and QB Pat Naughton look like they’ll continue the trend. The former will have to really pack on the muscle though to be an every down college back.
Nick Turowski 6-2 180 Sr WR Comstock Park: Receiver can be a tough position to judge at the high school level, because it’s so dependent on the guy throwing the ball, and the plays being called. Turowski is lucky enough to play with one of the Lake Area’s top QBs, senior Pat Naughton. He takes advantage of the situation by running consistent routes and making a square target for Naughton. The Panthres went to Turowski early and often in their Gridiron Classic win over Cedar Springs, as he finished with 10 catches for 125 yards including an 11-yard TD. His speed was also on display starting in CP’s defensive backfield. A strong student, Turowski should be the toast of D3 recruiters.
Zach VanValkenburg 6-4 235 Sr DL/LB Zeeland West: He disrupted Oak Park’s offensive flow throughout the nightcap of the Gridiron Classic at Grand Valley State. VanValkenburg is back at the defensive end position he played as a sophomore. He pursued well down the line, though was sometimes overly enthusiastic and got beat by the run by getting too deep into the Knights’ backfield. He also made key plays offensively, in his first start at right tackle, and on special teams. After Oak Park’s Miles Daniel took Zeeland West’s first kickoff all the way back for a TD, on the Dux’ next attempt VanValkenburg was the first one down the field tackling Daniel. He is a top student and has an offer from Hillsdale and is being recruited by Ivy and Patriot League schools.
Class of 2017
Vincent Coakley 5-10 170 Jr LB Kalamazoo Central: K-Central had strong linebacker play in a tough defensive game, ultimately a 13-6 loss, to St. Joseph. 6-1, 215 Tyler Lyle had double-digit tackles for the Maroon Giants, not surprising he’s a known commodity. Then you throw in Coakley on the outside, who was flying around the ball all night and hitting harder than his frame suggests.
Corey Hatcher-Malone 6-3 245 Jr LB St. Joseph: With Traverse City’s Thiyo Lukusa, a MSU commitment, matriculating to New Jersey to play his final high school season, Hatcher-Malone becomes the most widely recruited player in the Lake Area. He’s versatile and well-coached, and helped lead St. Joseph’s to a strong season opening defensive performance at Kalamazoo Central, whether lining up at inside linebacker or defensive end, hand up or hand down; at tight end he also had a key catch and big block. Hatcher-Malone repeatedly compressed the Kalamazoo Central pocket, and while he didn’t always wow with overwhelming physicality, but got it done with fundamentals and competence.
Lane Potter 6-3 265 Jr OL Hudsonville: He’s the starting center on what is an overall beefy offensive line, no surprise in the Salad Bowl. Potter helped Hudsonville cover over 300 yards on the ground in the Eagles’ season opening win over Holt. He’s technically sound, improved flexibility and speed could push him into scholarship territory next season.
Class of 2018
Ryan Hayes 6-6 240 TE/DL Traverse City West: Some day we may look back and realize TC West had two Power 5 players on the left side of their line, Illinois commitment Jake Cerny at tackle and Hayes at tight end. He shows the ability to catch the ball and the Titans look to him in the flat or the seam. He also sees time lining up at either defensive end, and shows good quickness though he needs to get develop moves to get himself free of the offensive line. Hayes is a three-sport athlete — football, basketball, baseball — and one of the real promising underclassman prospect in the Lake Area.
Lake Area Offensive Player of the Week
James Cooper 6-3 170 Sr WR Muskegon Oakridge: No receiver in Lake Area history caught more TDs in a game than Cooper’s six from junior QB Brady Luttrell in Oakridge’s statement defeat of Muskegon Catholic Central. At 6-3 he created a matchup problem that Oakridge exploited relentlessly, as Cooper’s six scores of six, four, 24, three, 27 and 30 yards, were one off the state record. The Lake Area record of five was shared by Johannesburg-Lewiston’s Nelson David in 1999, Ottawa Hills’ Sergio Pinto in 2000 and Kalamazoo Christian’s Joel Lindner in 2007. Cooper finished with 10 catches for 130 yards as Oakridge’s 45-26 triumph ended Catholic Central’s 26-game winning streak.
Lake Area Defensive Players of the Week
Kobe Burse 6-2 190 Sr DB/WR & Hunter Broersma 6-1 180 Sr DB/WR Mona Shores: They each had more defensive TDs individually than West Ottawa’s offense could mount in totum as the Sailors rolled 55-0. Burse recovered a fumble and Broersma returned a pick 91 yards for a TD. They also did it on offense, with Burse catching and Broersma running for a score. Both players are committed to the MAC, Burse to Miami and Broersma to Western Michigan.
Lake Area Northern Michigan Player of the Week
Jared McLean 5-9 170 Jr RB/DB Charlevoix: He’d already had what many would consider a good day when he brought back Elk Rapids’ opening kick for an 85-yard TD. But that wasn’t even his longest score. That came on a 93-yard run, one of five rushing touchdowns as McLean carried the ball just 10 times for 298 yards. He also made 10 tackles as Charlevoix beat the Elks 53-30.
Lake Area Small School Player of the Week
Spencer Peterson 6-5 225 Grand Rapids NorthPointe Christian: He had some strong competition from another QB, Saugatuck junior Blake Dunn, but it’s tough to ignore the tying of a state record. That came when Peterson ran for five first-quarter touchdowns against Hamtramck in the opening game of the Gridiron Classic at Grand Valley State. He added another, his longest of the afternoon 37 yards, in the second quarter. He ran 18 times for 189 yards in NorthPointe’s 55-20 win. Peterson becomes the fifth player in state history to score five times in a quarter and the third from the Lake Area. Mona Shores’ Lawrence Kimble did it against Zeeland East in 2005 as did Johannesburg-Lewiston’s Marcus Ewing against Bellaire in 1999.
Lake Area Coach of the Week
John Shillito, Zeeland West: The resume speaks for itself. Shillito has already been in the state football coaches’ hall of fame for a decade and won 240 games and three state titles. West’s 42-34 defeat of Oak Park in the Gridiron Classic was yet another impressive victory. The Dux’ wing-T moved the ball at will in the first half, scoring on every possession. Oak Park has a state championship coach of its own, Greg Carter, and the Knights, their roster heavy on FBS recruits, came out with a five-man front in the second half. That slowed down a bit an all-new offensive line. Until Shillito began to exploit what emerged as the strength of that group, 6-4, 235 senior Zach VanValkenburg at right tackle and 6-3, 250 junior tight end Connor Chupailo. VanValkenburg is a three-year defensive starter but a newcomer to offense and Chupailo was making his first career start. West ran not just off tackle, but sprung some big gains around Chupailo as well as the clinched the game in the fourth quarter.
Class of 2016
Christian Boyd 6-2 270 Sr DL Muskegon Mona Shores: Defensive MVP of the LMFR’s spring combine and the top 2016 prospect in the Lake Area without an FBS offer … which is kind of hard to believe if you saw him in last season’s D2 state final. Boyd is explosive off the grass, has violent hands, second and third effort and uses that bubble butt to generate power. Consistent effort instead of flashes this season will be key. While undersized for tackle, at only 16 with the season starting, his best football is ahead of him.
Tyler Lamica 6-3 205 Sr LB Grand Rapids Christian: He closed 2014 with a flourish, 16 tackles against St. Johns in the Division 3 playoffs. As an outside linebacker Lamica had five sacks and recovered two fumbles as a junior. He’s quick and fluid, but you can expect to find more helmets on him this season as he’s GR Christian’s leading returning tackler. There need to be 15-20 more pounds between now and the first practice at whatever college campus he finds himself. Lamica and his Eagles teammates won’t lack for ample chances at quality video, their schedule is among the state’s toughest with South Christian, Muskegon, Hudsonville and Zeeland East in addition to the always rugged league slate that includes Lowell, Caledonia and East Grand Rapids.
Brent Murray 5-11 195 Sr RB/LB Petoskey: The Northmen are the favorite in the Big North and feature the league’s most talented backfield, with fullback Murray having run for 1,300 yards and 22 TDs in 2014; senior Garrett Lundteigen is a big-play threat (he had the Northmen’s only TD in their playoff loss to Muskegon); and 6-3, 210 senior QB Evan Whitmore has the athleticism and intangibles to play somewhere in college even if not under center. Murray tested as the strongest player at the LMFR’s combine last March in Grand Rapids, and then caught the ball well at the LMFR’s Traverse City camp in May.
Spencer Peterson 6-5 225 Sr QB Grand Rapids NorthPointe: The last time we saw Peterson in pads it was in 2013 for Forest Hills Northern in a one-point Division 3 district final loss to Grand Rapids Christian. He could end up one of the Lake Area’s fastest rising prospects if he produces after a year off with his transfer from Forest Hills Northern. Supply and demand are on Peterson’s side because the 2016 class lacks big pocket passers other than he and Holland’s 6-6, 205 Wade Buckman. Peterson has the better arm and is a good athlete — he could be a small college basketball player if not a scholarship QB. As a sophomore he completed 34-of-84 passes for 631 yards and 6 TDs. Another transfer QB who set out last year and is poised for a big season is 6-1, 190 senior Lucas Fotis of Grand Rapids Christian.
Ian VandenBerg 6-1 190 Sr ATH Paw Paw: As good as Paw Paw QB Jay Doll was, it’s not like he ws getting the ball to chumps. VandenBerg has one of the most impressive combinations of speed and power in the Lake Area, a threat as a runner or receiver. The proof is ink, he holds school records with a 99-yard TD and both the 100 and 200 meter dashes in the spring. And he’s one of the most recruit-able players, with 4.5 speed and a 4.0 gpa.
Michael Williams 5-8 170 Sr ATH Wyoming: Even on a 1-8 team Williams’ talent stood out. Put him at, say, Zeeland West and he’d be a 1,500 yard, 30 TD running back. He’s one of the Lake Area’s fastest players with 4.4 speed, then adds to the package with a 36″ vertical. He was a major YAC threat as a junior with 47 catches for 900 yards and eight TDs. He was also Wyoming’s top defensive player as a strong safety/outside linebacker.
Class of 2017
John Pupel 6-1 180 Jr ATH Traverse City Central: A possible “three-way” player for TC Central as he’ll share time at QB with senior Reagan Cotton, play running back when he’s not, and his college position is at safety. Pupel was outstanding at the LMFR’s Northern Michigan exposure camp, when he ran a 4.68 second 40 and 4.28 second pro agility.
DL Corey Malone Hatcher 6-3 245 Jr St. Joseph: The Lake Area’s No. 1 prospect in the 2017 class, recruited as a defensive end but has also starred at middle line backer for St. Joe. He has over a dozen offers, including Alabama, MSU, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Penn State and UM.
DL Christian Boyd 6-3 285 Sr Muskegon Mona Shores: A three-year starter and probably the top performer for the Sailors in last year’s state final. Boyd was Defensive MVP at the LMFR spring combine and could be one of as many as five FBS recruits in Mona’s senior class.
DL Carl Myers 6-3 250 Sr Grand Rapids West Catholic: Has any team had a better run on defensive linemen than West Catholic with Dan Green, Mitchell Stanitzek and Bryce Witham? All are different players, Myers an interior brawler who has started on consecutive state championship teams. He’s a two-way starter and state champion shot putter.
DL Johnathan Berghorst 6-3 255 Jr Zeeland East: Slowed by injury last fall, showed just how good he was on the camp circuit. Added size and strength have turned Berghorst from a MAC defensive end recruit to a likely Big Ten tackle prospect. He has offers from Illinois and WMU.
LB Zack VanValkenburg 6-4 235 Sr Zeeland West: He’ll be a third-year starter and the Dux are 25-2 in that time. He switched from D end as an underclassman to middle linebacker in 2014 and made 97 tackles. The Ivy League recruit will also start at offensive tackle.
LB Dom Shermeta 6-0 215 Sr Muskegon Mona Shores: He was the leading tackler for the Division 3 state runner-up. He’s put on 10 pounds since then, and will also start at running back for the Sailors.
LB Luke Sage 6-0 185 Sr Boyne City: He was the defensive leader for the Division 6 semifinalists Ramblers. Sage had 142 tackles, including 10 sacks, two interceptions and four fumble recoveries.
DB Jamari Booker 6-0 185 Sr East Kentwood: Strong safety who can also play outside linebacker in a Falcons’ defense that favors speed over size. He had 72 tackles including four sacks as a junior and ran a 4.6 40 at the LMFR’s spring combine.
DB Tyler Bradfield 6-0 190 Sr Rockford: He led Rockford with 81 tackles. A versatile, athletic playmaker who also had two picks, blocked a kick and returned a fumble for a TD. Ran a 4.6 40 at the LMFR spring combine.
DB Dante Razzano 6-2 190 Sr Edwardsburg: He made five picks at cornerback in 2014. Razzano is also one of the Lake Area’s top QBs with 1,230 yards total offense and 23 TDs.
DB Marlon Dorsey 6-1 165 Sr East Kentwood: Cornerback had what would have been a good season for many in just the 2014 regional final with three picks against Hudsonville. He had 65 tackles and five interceptions for the year.
- DL Gabe Baumann 6-3 245 Sr Rockford
- DL Nate Umlor 6-6 240 Jr Allendale
- DL Taylor Woodwyk 6-2 250 Sr Hudsonville
- DL Jon Pierre Nkolo 6-3 220 Sr East Kentwood
- LB Michael Holdship 6-0 215 Sr Cadillac
- LB Nate Jones 6-0 200 Sr Muskegon Catholic Central
- LB Terrion Hill-McKay 6-1 205 Sr Muskegon
- LB Evan Plate 6-3 220 Jr Greenville
- DB Kobe Burse 6-2 190 Sr Muskegon Mona Shores
- DB Darece Robertson 5-10 160 Sr Muskegon Mona Shores
- DB Keyante Carpenter 5-9 175 Sr Muskegon
OL Jacob Cerny 6-5 290 Sr Traverse City West: TC West may have lost one Big Ten tackle, MSU pledge Thiyo Lukusa, for his senior season to New Jersey, but returns another Big Ten tackle in Cerny, who recently committed to Illinois.
OL Michael VanHoeven 6-5 305 Sr Paw Paw: He’s a two-time all-conference guard for the Redskins and was Offensive MVP of the LMFR’s spring combine. VanHoeven has committed to EMU.
OL Derices Brown 6-2 275 Sr Muskegon: He’s started at guard for two straight state finalist teams. Also a productive defensive tackle.
OL Trenton Fincher 6-8 315 Sr East Kentwood: EK will be looking for a leader on the O Line with center John Keenoy matriculating to WMU. Fincher has an offer from EMU and recently visited Wisconsin.
OL Kyle Augustine 6-3 315 Sr Gaylord: The Big North is an offensive line hotbed, and here’s another prospect. Augustine has been a stalwart in the resurgence of the Blue Devils’ program under Will Cleaver. He’s a big-time run blocker at right tackle.
QB Jake Martin 5-11 175 Sr Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern: He led the Huskies to the playoffs in 2014, and they look to get past their Cedar Springs bane in 2015. Martin completed 90-of-131 passes for 1,289 and 10 TDs while rushing 122 times for 917 yards and 12 TDs. He’s also a standout in the defensive backfield.
RB Monterio Smith 5-10 160 Sr Comstock Park: He got stronger as his junior season went on and finished having rushed 105 times for 1,140 yards and 12 TDs. Smith also caught 4 TD passes.
RB Nolan Meekhof 6-1 220 Sr Grandville: One of the top all-around football athletes in the Lake Area. He missed the first three games last season with a hamstring injury but closed strong to finish the season with 145 carries for 984 yards and eight TDs.
TE Keegan Cossou 6-5 220 Jr Greenville: He caught six TDs last season. Also a standout on the defensive line. Cossou has offers from CMU and Toledo.
WR Gabe Steed 6-1 175 Sr Lowell: He’s been making big plays for the Red Arrows since he was called up late in his sophomore season. In his first year as a full-time varsity starter Steed caught 34 passes for 818 yards and 10 TDs. He also scored TDs on interception and kickoff returns.
WR Hunter Broersma 6-1 180 Sr Muskegon Mona Shores: He missed Mona Shores’ 2014 state final because of an illness, and the Sailors certainly missed his game-breaking athleticism on defense, offense and special teams. He scored seven TDs last season and made five interceptions. He’s committed to WMU.
Second Team Offense
- OL Juanye Johnson 6-4 275 Sr Muskegon
- OL Mike Bordeaux 6-3 255 Sr Muskegon Mona Shores
- OL Karson Murley 6-1 280 Sr Lowell
- OL Jake Boonstra 6-3 285 Sr Grand Rapids Kenowa Hills
- OL Ben Sherwin 6-5 240 Jr Traverse City Central
- QB Pat Naughton 6-2 190 Sr Comstock Park
- RB Brent Murray 5-11 195 Sr Petoskey
- RB Ian VandenBerg 6-1 185 Sr Paw Paw
- TE Sam Matthews 6-2 180 Sr East Grand Rapids
- WR Daryn Snow 6-3 190 Sr Portage Northern
- WR Adam Farah 6-1 165 Sr Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern
The Lake Michigan Football Report’s Northern Michigan Exposure Camp in the past two seasons saw prospects like David Walker (Harbor Springs/Harvard) and Traverse City West’s Jacob Cerny, who has MAC and Illinois offers, show out and begin their ascent to become highly coveted prospects. While there may not have been any singular player with that kind of talent at the 2015 workout in Traverse City, there were numerous future college players competing on Thirlby Field under the eyes and tutelage of GLIAC, MIAA and NAIA coaches.
The highest-ranked player coming in was Cadillac’s versatile two-way junior Michael Holdship. An All-Lake Area D lineman, and standout running back, from the Vikings, he’s probably a Mike linebacker in the GLIAC and trending towards the MAC as Holdship ran 4.62 in the 40 at 6-0, 215. He was part of a strong contingent of Big North linebackers. Traverse City West junior Jack Mikula has an ideal frame at 6-2, 200 and didn’t just run well in the 40, 4.58 seconds, but showed game speed as he was smooth and closed well in pass coverage drills. Petoskey’s 5-11, 194 junior Brent Murray tested very well at the Lake Michigan Football Report Spring Combine in Grand Rapids, and looked good on the field here. The linebacker ran a 4.85 40 while showing the hands to make him a possible fullback at the next level. The Northmen were well-represented as 5-9, 160 defensive back Garrett Lundteigen had a 4.62 40 and 6-1, 240 sophomore Craig Ladd has some potential.
Another standout Big North defender, and just a sophomore, is TC Central defensive back John Pupel. 6-1, 180, he ran a 4.68 40 and 4.28 pro agility. His offensive counterpart as a promising 2017 receiver was Kody Burton, a 6-3, 165 sophomore from Bridgeport. Lanky and smooth more than a blazer, but did a good job high-pointing the ball.
The fastest 40-yard dash in TC belonged to Andre Jones, 4.55 seconds. Last fall he and Jon Green gave Reed City one of the Lake Area’s top rushing backfields regardless school size. Jones looks more than equipped to carry a larger load in 2015. In one-on-ones he repeatedly slipped behind defenders to pull in long throws. The top underclassman playmaker was Joshua Atwell, a 5-11, 170 sophomore from Grandville who had the fastest pro shuttle in camp, 4.15 seconds, and ran a 4.65 40. He makes plays as a kick returner, runner and receiver and looks capable of filling Brian Cappiello’s role with the Bulldogs as the finesse big-play complement to big back Nolan Meekhof, a top 10 senior in the Lake Area. The coaches really liked another Grandville sophomore at camp 6-1, 250 lineman Levi Seeley. Another outstanding playmaker was Jacob Mitrak, a 5-10, 186 junior who made the trip from L’anse Creuse North. He was quick in and out of routes and may project best as a slot receiver.
After two overloaded QB classes, there are a dearth of college-tracked signal callers in the Lake Area’s 2016 class. That makes Traverse City St. Francis’ 6-2, 195 junior Joe Coates intriguing. He had the camp’s top time in the pro shuttle, 4.15 seconds. Less surprising than under center is finding a promising young player on the Gladiators’ offensive line, and there is such a candidate in 6-3, 280 sophomore Dominic Hathaway. He looked more comfortable at guard than tackle and was pretty consistent keeping his hands in and getting some punch. He took coaching well and applied it, and perhaps not coincidentally has a near 4.0 gpa.
Onekama’s Jonas LaMont, a 6-2, 190 junior, represented the small school ranks well, as he had the pass rush variety and polish more likely found at a Class A school. Another small school kid who has the goods to do it anywhere, running the ball, is Mancelona’s 5-8, 185 junior Chase Ritchie, who ran 4.69 seconds in the 40 and accelerated well after the catch.
OL Levi Seeley 6-1 250 So Grandville
OL Jacob Lechner 6-3 265 Jr Harbor Springs
OL Dominic Hathaway 6-3 280 So Traverse City St. Francis
OL Cameron Seitsma 6-2 285 Jr Fremont
OL Jacob Cabinaw 6-1 265 Jr Traverse City Central
QB Tai Allen 5-11 160 So Manistee
RB Andre Jones 5-6 165 Jr Reed City
RB Joshua Atwell 5-11 170 So Grandville
TE Tanner Kruzel 6-0 200 Jr Boyne City
WR Jacob Mitrak 5-10 186 Jr L’anse Creuse North
WR Kody Burton 6-3 185 So Bridgeport
DL Chase Bouscher 5-9 270 Jr Sault Ste. Marie
DL Skyler Dunkley 5-11 255 Jr Traverse City West
DL Nate Lay 6-0 250 Jr Zeeland West
LB Michael Holdship 6-0 215 Jr Cadillac
LB Jack Mikula 6-2 200 Jr Traverse City West
LB Jonas LaMont 6-2 190 Jr Onekama
LB Brent Murray 5-11 194 Jr Petoskey
LB Alec Trautman 6-1 205 So Elk Rapids
DB John Pupel 6-1 180 So Traverse City Central
DB Jalen Raniga 5-11 170 So Grandville
DB Garrett Lundteigan 5-9 180 Jr Petoskey
DL Christian Boyd 6-3 285 Jr Muskegon Mona Shores MVP
DL Brenden Bott 6-4 255 Jr Grand Rapids Kenowa Hills
DL Taylor Woodryk 6-1 235 Jr Hudsonville
LB Jamari Booker 6-0 175 Jr East Kentwood
LB Brent Murray 5-11 194 Sr Petoskey
LB Taylor VanDyke 6-3 195 Jr Cedar Springs
LB Ethan Hart 6-0 198 So Hastings
DB Tyler Bradfield 6-0 190 Jr Rockford
DB Walker Christoffersen 5-9 165 So Muskegon Catholic Central
DB Michael Williams 5-8 165 Jr Wyoming
DB Luke Bakker 6-0 180 Jr West Ottawa
OL Michael VanHoeven 6-5 302 Jr Paw Paw MVP
OL Alex Fowler 6-1 232 Jr Greenville
OL Jake Boonstra 6-3 285 Jr Grand Rapids Kenowa Hills
OL Mark Brooks 6-7 265 Jr Portland
OL Josiah VanTil 6-3 235 So Middleville
QB Jake Martin 6-0 180 Jr Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern
RB Ian VanDenBerg 6-1 185 Jr Paw Paw
RB LaTommy Scott 5-7 160 So Muskegon Catholic Central
TE Sam Matthews 6-2 180 Jr East Grand Rapids
WR Jacob Buchberger 6-1 196 Jr Montague
WR Samuel Neville 6-3 190 So Grand Rapids West Catholic
There’s a lot of crossover between the top performers in the vertical leap and power ball toss from The Lake’s spring combine. Two of the most versatile athletes at the combine were Ian VanDenBerg, a 6-1, 185 RB/WR from Paw Paw, and Muskegon Catholic Central sophomore Walker Christoffersen. VanDenBerg was second in both the vertical leap and power ball toss, after being mentioned previously for his 4.5 40 time. Wyoming junior Michael Williams had the top vertical leap, 35 1/2″ inches, after posting the fastest 40 time of 4.44 seconds.
Montague’s Jacob Buchberger will be a three-year, two-way starter for Montague who ran for 10 TDs in five games as a junior. Buchberger was in the top 10 in both as was another from a Divisoin 5 school, Grand Rapids West Catholic sophomore David Fox who was a two-way standout (and punter) for the state champions.
Brent Murray, a 5-11, 194 junior from Petoskey, had some monster games running the ball for the Northmen last fall. He was first in the power ball with a toss of 44 feet and third with a vertical leap of 34 3/4″. More powerful than quick so projects as a middle linebacker or fullback, but Murray did have his moments in pass coverage in one-on-one reps. Anthony Hum, an Alma sophomore, was one of the camp’s to underclassman performers, with a top 10 showing in both.
LMFR Combine Top 10 Standing Vertical Leap:
- 35 1/2″ Michael Williams 5-8 165 Jr WR/DB Wyoming
- 35″ Ian VanDenBerg 6-1 185 Jr RB/WR Paw Paw
- 34 3/4″ Brent Murray 5-11 194 Jr RB/LB Petoskey
- 33 1/3″ David Fox 6-1 201 So DB/QB Grand Rapids West Catholic
- 33 1/2″ Walker Christoffersen 5-9 165 So ATH Muskegon Catholic Central
- 33″ Christopher Chin 5-10 190 So RB/LB Byron Center
- 32 3/4″ Sam Matthews 6-2 180 Jr WR/TE East Grand Rapids
- 31 1/2″ Shane Foster 6-1 205 Jr ATH Gaylord
- 31 3/4″ Anthony Humm 6-0 170 So RB/DB Alma
- 31 1/2″ Jacob Buchberger 6-1 186 Jr QB/WR Montague
- 31 1/2″ Jordan Gamage 5-11 165 Jr Sterling Heights
LMFR Combine Top 10 Power Ball Toss:
- 44’0 Brent Murray 5-11 194 Jr RB/LB Petoskey
- 42’6 Ian VanDenBerg 6-1 185 Jr RB/WR Paw Paw
- 41’2 Taylor Woodwyk 6-1 235 Jr DL Hudsonville
- 39’5 Jacob Buchberger 6-1 185 Jr QB/WR Montague
- 39’5 Jake Boonstra 6-3 285 Jr OL Grand Rapids Kenowa Hills
- 39’4 Sam Matthews 6-2 180 Jr WR/TE East Grand Rapids
- 39’0 Anthony Humm 6-0 170 So RB/DB Alma
- 38’7 Clay Coltson 6-1 180 Jr QB Hastings
- 38’5 David Fox 6-1 201 So DB/QB Grand Rapids West Catholic
- 38’2 Bryce Henkey 6-0 180 RB/DB East Grand Rapids