Lake Area Offensive Player of the Week
David Kruse Sr QB Lowell: In a prime time game of the Kickoff Classic at Wayne State, Kruse ran for 126 yards and three TDs. Lowell beat Warren De La Salle 36-6..
Lake Area Defensive Player of the Week
Terry O’Connor Sr DB Traverse City Central: He made a pair of interceptions, and returned one of them for a TD in TC Central’s shutout of Bay City Western.
Lake Area Small School Player of the Week
Jacob Huysken Sr DL Schoolcraft: Given how well Schoolcraft alumnus Bryan Jones has done as a linebacker at SVSU, D2s may look favorably towards Huysken. In a shutout of Fennville he made seven tackles behind the line of scrimmage and returned a kick 75 yards for a TD.
Lake Area Northern Michigan Player of the Week
Cade Peterson Sr QB Maple City Glen Lake: The GVSU-bound signal caller ran for 176 yards and four TDs and threw for 170 yards and two TDs as the Lakers, the 2016 D4 state runnerup, opened the season with a win at Kingsley.
Lake Area Coach of the Week
Todd Kolster, Grand Rapids Catholic Central: Despite graduating studs like Michael Brown and Antonio Strong from last season’s D4 state championship team, Catholic Central went out and again beat Detroit Country Day, their opponent last November at Ford Field. This is the start of Kolster’s second four-year tenure as the Cougars head coach. He’s won a state championship in each of them.
DL Jalen Mayfield 6-5 260 Sr Grand Rapids Catholic Central: The versatility and talent of the Lake Area’s top overall prospect, as he was all-area on the offensive line last season and projects there at U-M, but is also the best senior defensive linemen. He had a dozen sacks in the 2016 regular season before leading CC to the D4 state title.
DL Mazi Smith 6-4 310 Jr East Kentwood: Has the rare combination of mass and explosion that can make an elite interior lineman. The offers reflect the talent of the Lake Area’s top DT prospect since Terrance Taylor was at Muskegon — Alabama, Notre Dame and U-M among many
DL Tyden Ferris 6-4 260 Sr Delton Kellogg: Committed to CMU before his sophomore season. Versatile athlete has pass rusher’s physique and technique, also starts at center and is an all-state wrestler.
DL Eli Jackson 6-1 280 Sr Muskegon: The Big Reds’ D line doesn’t have the size and talent of the O line, but Jackson sets the tone with blue-collar, selfless play at the point of attack.
LB Brett Taylor 5-11 225 Sr Comstock Park: Terrific speed and has experience as a fourth-year starter at inside linebacker and guard on offense. Had 80 tackles and two interceptions as a junior.
LB Ali’vonta Wallace 6-1 210 Jr Muskegon: There are larger prospects, but Wallace was the top actual player among Lake Area underclassman in 2016 and is Muskegon’s leading returning tackler.
LB Traven VanOss 6-0 200 Jr Three Rivers: In 2016 had 105 tackles including 18 behind the line, forced five fumbles and returned another for a TD.
LB Ryan Ringler 5-8 175 Jr Cedar Springs: Size is immaterial to this third-year starter savant who is always in the right spots and was the Red Hawks’ Already a third-year starter after leading the Red Hawks in tackles the past two seasons.
DB Darius Pruitt 6-3 200 Sr Kalamazoo Central: Had 40 tackles and six interceptions as a junior for the Maroon Giants.
DB Marcus Remtema 6-0 185 Sr Rockford: Third-year starter and the Lake Area’s top cover corner had 55 tackles and two picks last season.
DB Connor Bolthouse 5-10 175 Sr Grand Rapids West Catholic: The heir apparent to David Fox, now at Grand Valley State, as the playmaker in the backfield for the defending D5 state champions.
- DL Caleb Murphy 6-4 210 Sr Dowagiac
- DL Dan VanOpstall 6-6 250 Sr Jenison
- DL Hunter Stearns 6-2 215 Sr Hudsonville
- LB Khale Showers 5-11 210 Sr Rockford
- LB Christian Brooks 6-2 220 Sr North Muskegon
- LB Job Mayhue 6-2 220 Sr East Kentwood
- LB Toby Hult 6-1 210 Sr Grand Rapids South Christian
- DB Niner Stark 6-3 190 Sr Gull Lake
- DB TJ VanKoevering 6-3 195 Jr Hudsonville Unity Christian
- DB Willie Shanks 6-1 170 Sr Muskegon
- DB John Todd 5-11 160 Sr Cedar Springs
OL Antwan Reed 6-7 295 Sr Muskegon: Amazingly underrated if anything, having not played a complete season last year for Muskegon after moving back from Florida, and then committing in the spring to an out-of-state school, albeit Penn State.
OL Anthony Bradford 6-5 330 Jr Muskegon: Huge, tough run blocker from right ftackle, teaming with Reed to give the Big Reds the top pair in the Lake Area. Has offers from Alabama, Georgia and MSU.
OL Matt Kelly 6-0 230 Sr Grandville: He projects to linebacker at the next level but is a terrific high school guard who was All-Lake Area as a junior.
OL Karsen Barnhart 6-4 280 Jr Paw Paw: They’re coaching ’em up right in Paw Paw, where Michael VanHoeven was an All-Lake Area lineman in 2015 before going to EMU. Now here’s Barnhart off a strong summer with offers from all the in-state MAC schools.
OL Logan Brown 6-6 290 Jr East Kentwood: Last year it was baptism by fire in the O-K Red, now Brown is morphing from prospect to player with offers from Alabama, U-M, Wisconsin and Penn State.
TE Ryan Hayes 6-7 260 Sr Traverse City West: Like the Bengals’ Jake Fisher, he plays tight end at West and then tackle in college, in Hayes’ case UM. Had 20 catches for 311 yards.
QB La’darius Jefferson 6-2 215 Sr Muskegon: Splitting duty in 2016 with Kalil Pimpleton, now at Virginia Tech, he had over 1,500 total yards and 24 TDs for D2 runner up Muskegon. Committed to Central Florida.
RB Nolan Fugate 6-1 205 Sr Grand Rapids Catholic Central: He ran for 1,431 yards and 14 TDs for D4 state champion Catholic Central.
RB Brandon Anderson 5-10 160 Sr Cassopolis: One of the fastest players in the Lake Area, he had over 1,000 yards from scrimmage in 2016 for 15 TDs while averaging over 9.5 yards a carry.
RB Shane Tagg 6-1 200 Sr Byron Center: The most experienced returning skill player behind a strong line, Tagg scored 10 TDs in each of the previous two seasons.
WR Xavier Wade 6-3 185 Sr West Ottawa: As a junior he caught 66 passes for 1,033 yards and nine TDs.
- OL Keontae Watson 6-5 265 Sr Muskegon Mona Shores
- OL Jacob Kochanny 6-4 270 Sr Cadillac
- OL Brandon Rake 6-6 230 Sr Whitehall
- OL Cody Carone 6-4 295 Sr Rockford
- OL Matthew Stefanski 6-4 305 Sr Frankfort
- TE Braeden Childress 6-4 215 Sr Big Rapids
- QB Jason Whittaker 6-5 205 Sr Rockford
- RB Thomas Griggs 5-10 185 Sr Wyoming Kellogsville
- RB Shane Baker 5-11 185 Jr Grandvile
- RB JoJo Whitley 5-10 170 Sr Comstock Park
- WR Bryce Clay 5-10 190 Sr Forest Hills Central