Monthly Archives: November, 2014

All-Lake Area: The Defense

MVP Bryce Witham 6-4 245 Sr DL Grand Rapids West Catholic
The rare high school athlete who combines all the physical tools with a non-stop motor. Witham imposed his will as both a lineman and tight end for West Catholic’s consecutive state championship teams. Heading into Saturday’s game with Lansing Catholic Central, Witham had 77 tackles and on the other side of the ball had 764 yards and 16 TDs receiving.

DL Jarrad Whited 6-2 230 Sr Vicksburg
He was an all-conference pick on both the offensive and defensive lines. Whited had 95 tackles, 14 of them behind the line including six sacks.

DL Tyler Tippens 5-8 260 Sr Muskegon Mona Shores
With six more inches Tippes would be on everyone’s recruiting list. As it was, he’s a dominant high school nose tackle for Mona Shores’ Division 2 state runner-up team. He didn’t just draw in blockers, he dominated them. Tippens had 100 tackles including 10 sacks.

DL Rowland Sharp 6-3 250 Sr Muskegon
He did the dirty work on the interior of the line for Muskegon’s Division 3 state runner-up team. Sharp had 44 tackles with six sacks, and was also the Big Reds’ tight end.

DL Carter Masek 6-3 230 Sr East Grand Rapids
He was the top edge rusher in the Lake Area’s strongest conference, the O-K White. Masek had 52 tackles including 10 behind the line. He was a two-way starter for East’s playoff team and will sign with Miami-OH.

LB TJ Smith 6-1 215 Sr Muskegon
He was Muskegon’s only returning starter at linebacker and came through with a huge senior year for the D2 state runners-up Big Reds. Smith led Muskegon with over 100 tackles, including a three-sack effort against East Grand Rapids and a 73-yard TD on an interception return against Northview.

LB Jack Bates 6-3  230  Sr Grand Rapids Christian
On a Christian team whose season was in flux because of injury, Bates was a stalwart in the middle. He had 103 tackles, with eight behind the line and two sacks.

LB Luke Sage 6-0 185 Jr Boyne City
The defensive leader of Boyne City team that reached the Division 6 semifinals. Sage had 142 tackles, including 10 sacks, two interceptions and four fumble recoveries.

DB Jon Wassink 6-2 190 Sr Grand Rapids South Christian
He played defense as needed his junior season. Wassink played the corner full-time as a senior in addition to his quarterback duties and quickly became one of the Lake Area’s best cover men. Wassink had four interceptions, including one in South Christian’s Division 4 final win over Lansing Sexton. Offensively, he threw for 2,243 yards and 26 TDs and ran for 1,326 yards and 18 TDs. He’s committed to WMU.

DB Hunter Broersma  6-1  180  Jr  Muskegon Mona Shores
He missed Mona Shores’ state final because of an illness, and the Sailors certainly missed his game-breaking athleticism on defense, offense and special teams. Broersma had five interceptions and scored seven TDs.

DB Alezay Coleman 5-11 175 Sr Muskegon
Muskegon’s defense did its job in the D2 state final, holding St. Mary’s to seven points and Coleman had 13 tackles at forward field. On the season he had over 50 tackles, four interceptions and four TDs. Coleman is committed to Ferris State.

DB Tyler Bradfield 6-1 185 Jr Rockford
He led Rockford with 81 tackles. He’s a versatile, athletic playmaker who also had two picks, blocked a kick and returned a fumble for a TD. Bradfield will be a rare three-year letter-winner for the Rams.


Playoff Picks: Saturday’s State Finals

Winners are italicized.

All games are at Ford Field.

Playoff Pick record: 74-15

Division 3
Muskegon 12-1 vs. Orchard Lake St. Mary’s 11-2 7:30 pm
The parallels of the Division 2 final — a Catholic League team, De La Salle, dominating an O-K Black team, Mona Shores — gives one pause. But while the moment became too big for a short-handed Mona Shores squad, Muskegon has been on the main stage before.

Division 5
Grand Rapids West Catholic 13-0 vs. Lansing Catholic 13-0 4:30 pm
West Catholic will repeat. They’ll best skill player, QB Travis Russell, and best lineman, Bryce Witham, on the field.

All-Lake Area: Division 7-8

OL Michael Caughey 6-0 240 Sr Muskegon Catholic Central
OL Zach Smith 6-4 230 Jr Suttons Bay
OL Jacob Flaugher 6-0 215 Sr Beal City
OL Nate Jones 6-2 200 Jr Muskegon Catholic Central
OL Nathan Fox 6-2 225 Jr Johannesburg-Lewiston
QB Brandon Childress 6-4 185 Sr Baldwin
RB Tommy Scott 5-8 175 Sr Muskegon Catholic Central
RB Ryon Tym 5-9 160 Sr Bridgman
RB Chase Rollin 5-9 165 Jr Beal City
RB Jake Klinglesmith 5-11 180 Jr Traverse City St. Francis
TE Jacob Tiller 6-2 190 Sr Gobles

DL Jaeden MacPherson 6-2 245 Sr Muskegon Catholic Central
DL Hunter Bell 6-1 165 Sr Decatur
DL Hunter Sibley 6-2 240 Sr Marcellus
DL Austin Cook 6-2 205 Sr Beal City
LB David Loney 6-3 210 Sr Frankfort
LB Jacob Kimbrough 6-2 180 Sr Muskegon Catholic Central
LB Logan Huff 5-10 160 Jr Johannesburg-Lewiston
LB Lamar Jordan 6-0 195 Sr Muskegon Catholic Central
DB Gabe Callery 5-10 165 So Traverse City St. Francis
DB Shane Henry  5-10 150 Jr Gobles
DB Zach Winzer 5-10 180  Sr  Muskegon Catholic Central

Playoff Picks: Friday’s State Finals

Winners italicized.

All games are at Ford Field.

Playoff pick record: 72-14

Division 2
Muskegon Mona Shores 12-1 vs. Warren De La Salle 10-3 1 pm
Mona Shores’ postseason is suddenly mirroring South Christian in 2012, as they lost their QB, Tyree Jackson, to a knee injury in their semifinal win over Farmington Hills Harrison. When South Christian’s QB, Jon Wassink, was hurt in the 2012 semis, backup Derek Woltjer led the Sailors to a blowout of Detroit Country Day in the championship game. If Jackson can’t go, his backup is Tyler Trovinger – though he, too, was knocked out of the Harrison game, with a concussion. Behind them on the depth chart are Elijah Wilson and Noah Dykstra. De La Salle would be a tough out Jackson or no, coming off a semifinal win over perennial state power Brother Rice.

Division 4
Grand Rapids South Christian 11-2 vs. Lansing Sexton 13-0 7:30 pm
This is South Christian’s third straight championship game appearance, as they were runners-up in 2013 and won it all the year prior This is the culmination for a great senior class that helped get it rolling in 2012. South Christian may have to score 50 for the second week in a row to win this likely shootout. You have to like Jon Wassink in that scenario, and the return of receiver Eric VanVoorst just makes Wassink and running back Geff Plasman that much more dangerous.

Division 8
Muskegon Catholic Central 13-0 vs. Munising 12-1 10 am
Muskegon Catholic has scored at least 42 points in their four playoff games. That may not change. However what could change, if Munising scores more than a TD they’ll have fared better than any of MCC’s other postseason opponents.

All-Lake Area: Division 5-6

The Division 5-6 All-Lake Area Team includes the season’s outstanding performers from Division 5 and 6 schools, who didn’t make the overall All-Lake team.

OL Tony Curry 6-6 320 Sr Muskegon Oakridge
OL TJ Patterson 6-3 270 Sr Reed City
OL Jalen Kisner 6-0 270 Sr Hopkins
OL Wyatt Hazen 6-0 260 Sr Ravenna
OL Travis Long 6-1 215 Jr Constantine
QB Adam Trautman 6-5 220 Sr Elk Rapids
RB Justin Hull 5-9 180 Sr Constantine
RB Maceo Vroman 5-11 160 Sr Boyne City
RB Marty Ward 5-9 215 Sr Niles Brandywine
WR Mike Parker 5-11 170 Sr Muskegon Orchard View
WR Austin Issette 6-1 165 Sr Remus Chippewa Hills

DL Carl Myers 6-2 250 Jr Grand Rapids West Catholic
DL Weston DeHaven 6-0 225 Sr Watervliet
DL Kaleb Cook 5-10 225 Sr Muskegon Oakridge
DL Kasey DeWitt 6-4 230 Sr Shelby
LB Kenneth Willekes 6-2 215 Sr Grand Rapids NorthPointe Christian
LB Drew Hernandez 6-2 205 Sr Grand Rapids West Catholic
LB Sean Wells 6-3 215 Sr Mason County Central
LB Charlie Rodriguez 5-11 210 Sr Niles Brandywine
DB Tony DeWitte 6-1 170 Jr Grandville Calvin Christian
DB Quincy Collings 5-11 180 Sr Hopkins
DB Brandon Fulks 5-7 150 Sr Pine River

All-Lake Area: Division 3-4

The Division 3-4 All-Lake Area Team includes the season’s outstanding performers from Division 3 and 4 schools, who didn’t make the overall All-Lake team.

OL Wesley French 6-5 305 Sr St. Joseph
OL Bryce Wilker 6-5 290 Sr Belding
OL Smith Saenbouttarath 5-11 270 Sr Zeeland West
OL Michael VanHoeven 6-5 275 Jr Paw Paw
OL Casey Elzinga 6-1 210 Sr Grand Rapids South Christian
QB Jay Doll 6-0 195 Sr Paw Paw
RB Jarod Rodgers 6-0 205 Sr Byron Center
RB Jacob Geter 5-8 165 Sr Plainwell
RB Eric Plate 6-0 180 Sr Greenville
TE Mason Banbury 6-4 225 Sr East Grand Rapids
WR Joeviair Kennedy 6-3 180 Sr Muskegon

DL Michael Holdship 6-0 210 Jr Cadillac
DL Josh Colegrove 5-11 230 Sr Lowell
DL Victor Williams 6-2 265 Sr East Grand Rapids
DL Sam Heyboer 6-5 208 Sr Grand Rapids South Christian
LB Zack VanValkenburg 6-4 230 Jr Zeeland West
LB Grant Tennehill 5-10 215 Sr Grand Rapids Catholic Central
LB Jordan Ferguson 6-0 225 Sr Alpena
DB Dante Razzano 6-2 190 Jr Edwardsburg
DB Gabe Andree 6-0 185 Sr Grand Rapids Christian
DB Gowan Baldwin 6-3 215 Sr Kalamazoo United
DB Deandre Oakes-Owens 6-1 170 Jr Muskegon Reeths-Puffer

All-Lake Area: Division 1-2

The Division 1-2 All-Lake Area Team includes the season’s outstanding performers from the largest schools, who didn’t make the overall All-Lake team.

OL Jacob Cerny 6-5 275 Jr Traverse City West
OL Curt Luurtsma 6-1 245 Sr Hudsonville
OL Mike Bordeaux 6-3 255 Jr Muskegon Mona Shores
OL Thompson McWatters 6-4 250 Sr Grand Haven
OL Seth Tice 6-2 270 Sr Traverse City Central
TE Reid Martin 6-1 220 Sr Rockford
QB Mason Opple 6-3 210 Sr Hudsonville
RB Deontay Moffett 5-9  205  Sr Muskegon Mona Shores
RB Ethan Campbell 5-9 185 Sr Traverse City Central
WR Matt Schuiteman 6-2 175 Sr Muskegon Mona Shores
WR Johnny Nutter  6-2 185 Sr Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central

DL Jordan Cobbs 6-3 190 Sr East Kentwood
DL Hunter Simino  6-2  240  Sr  Portage Central
DL Sammie Ryans 6-0 220 Sr East Kentwood
LB Jay Koski  5-11  200  Sr  Portage Northern
LB Mason Dekker 5-10 210 Sr West Ottawa
LB Dom Shermeta  5-11  205  Sr  Muskegon Mona Shores
LB Michael Catching 5-11 180 Sr East Kentwood
DB Zach McGuire 6-1 190 Sr Traverse City West
DB Kyle Toth 6-2 195 Sr Hudsonville
DB Danil Young 5-10 175 Sr Grandville
DB Logan Soule 5-10 165 Sr Caledonia

All-Lake Area: Class of 2016 Team

The second installment of the All-Lake Area teams is the Class of 2016 group, which includes the top junior class performers who weren’t selected for one of the overall All-Lake teams.

OL Kyle Augustine 6-3 300 Jr Gaylord
OL Derecis Brown 6-2 275 Jr Muskegon
OL Thiyo Lukusa 6-5 300 Jr Traverse City West
OL Trenton Fincher 6-9 305 Jr East Kentwood
OL Karson Murley 6-1 280 Jr Lowell
QB Jake Martin 5-11 175 Jr Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern
RB Nolan Meekhof 6-1 215 Jr Grandville
RB Monterio Smith 5-10 175 Jr Comstock Park
WR Ryan Knight 6-2 190 Jr Grand Rapids Forest Hills Eastern
WR Adam Farah 6-1 165 Jr Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern
WR Daryn Snow 6-3 190 Jr Portage Northern

DL Christian Boyd 6-2 270 Jr Muskegon Mona Shores
DL Gabe Baumann 6-3 245 Jr Rockford
DL Jean Pierre Nkolo 6-3 200 Jr East Kentwood
LB Nate Jones  6-0  200  Jr  Muskegon Catholic Central
LB Trevor Shurlow  6-0  200  Jr  Lowell
LB Luke Bakker 5-11 175 Jr West Ottawa
LB Jamari Booker 5-10 160 Jr East Kentwood
DB Keyante Carpenter 5-9 175 Jr Muskegon
DB Taylor VanDyke 6-3 195 Jr Cedar Springs
DB Marlon Dorsey 6-1 165 Jr East Kentwood
DB Darece Roberson 5-10 160 Jr Muskegon Mona Shores

All-Lake Area: Underclassman Team

The Underclassman Team marks the first installment of the Lake Michigan Football Report’s honors teams for the 2014 season, which will also include the overall All-Lake teams and MVP, the class of 2016 team, and for Divisions 1-2, 3-4, 5-6 and 7-8.

OL Turner Ruby 6-4 285 So East Kentwood
OL Joe Hruska 6-3 225 So Kalamazoo Loy-Norrix
OL Adam Marshall 6-4 240 So Schoolcraft
OL Nick White  6-0  265  So  Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central
OL Josiah VanTil 6-3 205 So Thornapple Kellogg
QB Blake Dunn 5-11 175 So Saugatuck
TE Jayk Slager 6-4 215 So Zeeland West
RB Logan Helton 5-6 160 So Muskegon Catholic Central
RB Isaiah Miller 5-10 180 So Edwardsburg
WR Jacorey Sullivan 6-1 185 So Muskegon
WR Sam Neville 6-3 190 So Grand Rapids West Catholic

DL Nate Umlor 6-5 225 So Allendale
DL Jonathan Berghorst 6-3 230 So Zeeland East
DL Corey Malone Hatcher 6-3 235 So St. Joseph
DL Calvin Luurtsma  6-3  250  So  Hudsonville
LB Davaunte Dickens 5-10 225 So Grand Rapids Christian
LB Dalton Ager 5-10 180 So Hudsonville
LB Keegan Cossou  6-5  200 So  Greenville
DB Collin Alvesteffer 5-9 175 So Cedar Springs
DB Tahari Bragg 5-11 170 So Grand Rapids Christian
DB Jack Mandryk 6-1 170 So Hudsonville
DB Gabe Callery 5-10 165 So Traverse City St. Francis

Playoff Picks: State Semifinals Edition

Winners are italicized.
All games 1 pm Saturday unless noted.
Playoff pick record: 66-12.

Division 1
East Kentwood 11-1 vs. Clarkston 12-0 at Brighton
Clarkston’s physicality and explosive offense is nothing new for EK other than the uniforms. The Falcons are from the O-K Red after all. If the weather allows Kyle Friberg to put the ball up like he did last week against Hudsonville, opening it up for Michael Ivy to surpass 2,000 yards, there will be a new champion crowned in Division 1.

Division 2
Muskegon Mona Shores 11-1 vs. Farmington Hills Harrison 10-2 at Howell
Playing away from home against an Eastside power won’t intimidate Mona Shores. They began the season with a win at Saline, which is now in the Division 1 semifinals, and in the district final won at Midland Dow 41-14. With QB Tyree Jackson at the helm, the Sailors are one of the state’s most entertaining, explosive offensive units since Harrison’s 2001 state championship team. Harrison is still without injured starting QB Jevon Shaw, while Mona Shores has leading tackler Dom Shermeta back.

Division 3
Muskegon 11-1 vs. Zeeland West 12-0 at Greenville
Old school meets the nouveau riche, Muskegon the state’s standard from the 20th century and Zeeland West going for its fourth state title in just the school’s first decade of existence. After rolling through the O-K Green in the regular season, West has been tested the last two weeks by Lowell and Stevensville Lakeshore. This will be Muskegon’s stiffest test since they dropped the regular season finale to Mona Shores. Many may assume Muskegon has a serious speed advantage, but that’s not really the case and if the Dux use said speed to contain the big play they’re headed back to Ford Field.

Division 4
Grand Rapids South Christian 10-2 vs. Edwardsburg 11-1 3 pm Saturday at Jackson
This is where the O-K pedigree kicks in, and South Christian will have another shot in the state title game.

Division 5
Menominee 12-0 vs. Grand Rapids West Catholic 12-0 11 am Saturday at the Superior Dome
Not even the long trip over the Bridge can slow down West Catholic QB Travis Russell, coming off an eight TD effort last week against Reed City. Menominee has an outstanding senior QB itself in Justin Brilinski.

Division 6
Boyne City 12-0 vs. Ithaca 12-0 2 pm Saturday at Midland
You want to say Ithaca isn’t as strong as recent vintages, but here they are having won a nation-best 68 in row. Boyne City has just won a mere dozen straight behind tough defense and a diverse running game. Our hearts say Boyne Tough pulls off the legendary upset. Our heads say numbers don’t lie.

Grand Rapids NorthPointe Christian 11-1 vs. Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central 11-1 at Battle Creek Harper Creek
A hail mary from St. Mary was fitting, and NorthPointe hopes they’re out of miracles after QB Bryce Windham’s fourth-down scrable and toss saved the day last week against Lumen Christi. But with SMCC’s bruising offensive line, they may not need divine intervention.

Division 8
Muskegon Catholic Central 12-0 vs. Harbor Beach 12-0 at Alma College
Welcome back Harbor Beach, the school that beat Muskegon Catholic Central in the 2012 Division 8 semifinals took a year off to Division 7 where they lost in the semifinals to Ithaca. HB won D8 in 2012, as did MCC last year. If Harbor Beach can stop MCC’s fast, physical running game, they’d be the first to do so.