Best of the Best Part 5: Big finish at Lakeshore

Brandywine junior Marty Ward showed size, speed, and skill at Monday's Stevensville-Lakeshore combine.

Brandywine junior Marty Ward showed size, speed, and skill at Monday’s Lakeshore combine.

If you want a sleeper team in Division 6, Niles Brandywine has a lot of pieces off a 7-3 team. Buoyed by that small-school talent and that of the host school Stevensville-Lakeshore, the last stop of the Lake’s Best of the Best combine tour had the largest turnout of the run in both players and college coaches. Brandywine junior Andrew Duckett is an athlete who can go either way. He threw it well as a left-handed QB. He’ll also draw recruiting attention as a cornerback and ran a camp-quickest 4.56 40 and then a 4.22 pro agility. On his high school team Duckett has the luxury of playing behind two talented linemen 6-2, 288 senior Cory Katterheinrich and 6-3, 276 junior Jakob Szilagyi. Once they put the helmets on, so came the light for Katterheinrich. He was there to get better and compete, absorbing the coaching and got sharper as the drills went on. CK has a good motor and is strong — 11 reps at 215 pounds. Szilagyi is just learning to play at his size. A year from now, quicker and more flexible, and he has a chance. Ducket has a legit target in Brandywine senior Kenneth Laurita, a 6-1, 165 quick receiver. But the major offensive threat could be a junior, 5-10, 202 running back Marty Ward. He was the strongest skill position player with nine reps at 225 lbs, with a 4.82 40 and 4.26 shuttle. In one-on-ones, used his strength to get off, hands for the catches and moves to shake free after. For one of the younger players, went hard the whole workout. He’s certainly big enough to make an impact in high school ball and could yet get bigger as he’s a 2015, 5-11 210 tight end Charlie Rodriguez proved himself a capable target. Joining Ward as a promising 2015 running back prospect was Berrien Springs junior Deonte Campbell-Sims, strong for his size at 5-9, 185 with a 30″ vertical.

Lakeshore is a perennial playoff team, and that reputation shouldn’t be endangered given the talent that came out to compete on their home turf. They have almost cloned a talent in three classes. 6-1, 200 senior Jake Achtenberg, 6-1, 200 junior Daniel Harazin and 6-2, 200 sophomore Gabe Gembala all looked the part and backed it up between the lines.  Achtenberg burned it up at his size with a 4.57 40, 31″ standing vertical, 11 reps at 185 lbs, 4.4 pro agility. He projects as a linebacker or running back. Harazin had the No.2 vertical jump mark 32″. He is more a lineman who ran a 4.57 40, 4.38 pro agility and did 185 lbs 16 times. 6-0, 230 senior Jordan Grimes benched a combine-best 11 reps of 225. Lakeshore senior Josh Bushu has potential as a pass catcher with some strength to his 6-3, 180 frame, and his 4.0 gpa weighs heavily in his favor. The coaches were on him, but with good reason he has good tools and instincts if he puts it all together — 6-0, 195 Lakeshore junior defensive end Ryan Potts.

Two skill guys from the O-K Red were among the best athletes at Lakeshore. He as overshadowed last year by Ryan Verhelst and Ato Condole, but in retrospect maybe it was in part thanks to the sticky pass coverage of West Ottawa senior Alex Zimmerman that freed them to make plays on the ball. The 5-10, 163 cornerback was dialed in to bump-and-run. He was just as good catching the ball himself. Zimmerman ran a 4.59 40 with a 4.15 shuttle and combine-best 33″ vertical jump. 6-0, 185 senior running back Mark Dieterle looked comfortable with the ball and had the best pro agility time of anyone on the combine tour — 4.07 seconds, and he did it twice.

Wayland brought a couple with potential for the defensive side. Senior Quentin Sweeney is versatile, a middle linebacker by trade with his 6-2, 220 frame you could also see him as an end rusher or tight end. He tested well all-around and ran a 4.85 40. 6-2, 247 senior Brandon Behrens is more of an interior guy.

Sweeney and Achtenberg were part of a strong linebacker contingent that also included 5-10, 245 Loy-Norrix senior Tylan White and 6-1, 185 Watervliet senior RJ Rudel. White is builtt to deliver hits, with 4.89 40 respectable for his size and seven reps at 225 lbs. Rudel is a small-school standout who could be a DB at the small-college level with a 4.32 pro agility and 4.84 40.


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