New Season, New Stadiums: Can’t miss openers

Thursday, Aug. 25

Cedar Springs (6-4 2015) @ Zeeland West (14-0): Defending state champ West will again contend in D4, if not quite in such juggernaut fashion after graduating three-year QB , LMFR 2015 defensive MVP Zack VanValkenburg and 2,000-yard, 30-TD back Darius Perisee. Though Byron Center is one of the fastest overall teams in the Lake Area and will return to the playoffs. Zeeland West should again go through the O-K Green slate clean. The non-league schedule is legit with games at Mona Shores and West Catholic following this home opener with Cedar Springs.  No team in the Lake Area has a better tight end combination than the Dux with grinding blocker 6-4 275 senior Conner Chupailo and long, athletic catch-and-run threat 6-5, 235 senior Jayk Slager. HOF coach John Shillito rarely lacks for running back depth so pencil in a 1,000+ back, senior Drake Fincannon getting the first crack. Cedar Springs is Dux Lite, a blue-collar wing-T team in its own right with a third-year starter at QB in 5-11, 205 Collin Alvesteffer. Cedar will be challenged to return to the playoffs as the newfangled O-K White is a strong league than they faced in the Bronze, plus West and Grand Rapids Christian non-conference.

Forest Hills Eastern (10-2) @ Petoskey (8-4): This game marks the debut of a new stadium for Petoskey, which doubles the seating of decrepit Curtis Field. Helping break in the turf is FHE coming off the best season in school history. Both teams must replace record-setting QBs, Eastern’s Jack Clark and Petoskey’s Evan Whitmore. Also among the 20 graduated Northmen starters is all-time rusher Brent Murray. Whitmore’s replacement, Joel Wilson, is a good athlete with size. The Hawks will lean heavily on Cade Peters, a revelation running the ball as a sophomore.

Friday, Aug. 26

East Grand Rapids (9-4) @ Grand Rapids Catholic Central (9-2): A pair of the Lake Area’s historic programs will christen Catholic’s new stadium, which is at the intersection of Knapp and Leffingwell. It’s a big day for East as well, the first time in 16 seasons Lake Area legend (seven state titles in 13 playoff appearances) Peter Stuursma won’t be on the Pioneers sideline. He’s now the head coach at Hope College,  as Casey Longo steps in for the Pioneers. Easing his transition is EGR’s move from the weekly battleground that was the O-K White to a more pedestrian O-K Gold. Catholic Central would’ve been the defending champ in the Gold, but now will fight it out with West Catholic for O-K Blue supremacy. The Cougars’ top college prospects are in the 2018 class with versatile, athletic juniors 6-5, 245 Jalen Mayfield and 6-0, 205 Nolan Fugate.

Saline (10-1) @ Rockford (8-4): The Rams are looking to avenge last season’s opener a 13-point loss at Saline. Rockford has the edge in experience this time around and is poised to win yet another O-K Red title. The junior class is particularly strong with prospects like 6-5, 200 QB Jason Whittaker, 6-5, 300 center Cody Carone and 6-0, 185 cornerback Marcus Remtema. Saline has to replace star QB Josh Jackson, now at Virginia Tech, but his favored target tight end Bryce Wolma is back. He’s going to Arizona.

Saturday, Aug. 27

Muskegon (9-3) vs. Ann Arbor Pioneer @ U. of Michigan: This scenario might faze some programs, but Muskegon is used to facing high-end talent (Pioneer’s Antjuan Simmons is one of the state’s top players), winning programs (Pioneer trails only Muskegon in all-time wins), and competing in big-time venues. That’s what you sign on for when becoming a Big Red. Simmons, Jordan Hubbard and Jordan Nwogu will challenge a young Muskegon line that lost the Lake Area’s top 2018 prospect, left tackle Antwan Reed, to Florida’s IMG Academy. Once the bigs gel watch out, because Muskegon has an embarrassment of playmakers on both sides of the ball. QB/receiver Kalil Pimpleton isn’t big but his college is — Virginia Tech, so will that of linebacker Andrew Ward and while 6-2, 205 senior Jacorey Sullivan won’t blow by you he’s a physical receiver and as a safety seems to always be around the ball. Sullivan and Pioneer’s Cedric Benton could both help their stock if they’re matched up.

Preseason All-Lake Area Defense

DL Nate Umlor  6-5  260  Sr  Allendale: A row the boat loyalist who will be a rare four-year varsity starter. Just as rare, his combination of brawler toughness and athletic quickness on the line. Caught four TDs as a tight end.

DL Johnathan Berghorst 6-3  270  Sr  Zeeland East: A two-way force against one of the Lake Area’s toughest schedules in 2015, Berghorst now leads Zeeland East out of the Black into the O-K Green. A CMU commitment who projects as a plus-athlete at D tackle at the next level.

DL Jayk Slager  6-5  235  Sr  Zeeland West: Flashed big-time potential last season for the D4 state champion Dux, playing on the opposite end from Lake Area Defensive MVP Zack VanValkenburg. But even garnering more blocking attention, Slager has the explosion and wingspan to still mix things up. Goes both ways and with Conner Chupailo forms the state’s top tight end duo.

LB Andrew Ward  6-1  215  Sr  Muskegon: A closer at middle linebacker who can defend sideline to sideline, Ward made 83 tackles in 2015. He has offers from the likes of Nebraska, Penn State, Virginia Tech, Arizona and Washington State.

LB Dalton Agers  5-10  185  Sr  Hudsonville: With the graduation Rockford’s Tyler Bradfield, Agers becomes the top two-way threat in the O-K Red. He’s led Hudsonville in tackles for two seasons, and rushing one.

LB Corey Malone-Hatcher  6-3  245  St. Joseph: The Michigan pledge is one of the state’s most highly regarded prospects, he’s just played a limited amount of high school football because of injuries.

LB Connor Bruinius  6-2  220  Sr  Forest Hills Northern: He filled a leadership void when senior QB Jake Martin was injured last year and the Huskies returned to the playoffs. This will be his third season starting at both running back and linebacker.

DB Brayden Smith  6-4  180  Sr  Byron Center: Athletic playmaker recruited to WMU as a safety. He made 53 tackles, caught 10 TDs and was an all-state punter.

DB Walker Christoffersen  5-10  180  Sr  Muskegon Catholic Central: Shifty runner with soft hands who dominated both ways for the D8 champions. Christoffersen made two picks in the 2015 state final to help preserve a 7-0 win over Waterford Lakes.  

DB Blake Dunn  5-11  175  DB  Saugatuck: Four-sport all-stater is the top athlete from this nook of the Mitten since Richie Jordan. Dunn had 84 tackles and seven interceptions as a junior, while dominating the other way as a QB who 2.700 yards and 36 TDs while throwing for 1,000 and 18 TDs. He’s committed to WMU for baseball.

DB  David Fox  6-1  220  DB  Grand Rapids West Catholic: The Falcons’ best all-around player when healthy, which Fox was in the 2015 D5 state final when he ran for 152 yards and three TDs against River Rouge. Built like a linebacker and moving like a safety, Fox can also play QB, running back and receiver. He made three interceptions as a junior, two as a sophomore.

Preseason: All-Lake Area Offense

OL Phil Paea  6-4  285  Sr  Berrien Springs: He was recruited to Michigan as a defensive tackle. But Paea, the Lake Area’s No. 1 ranked prospect in 2017, is also the best guard in our coverage area. He chose U-M over the likes of MSU, USC and Notre Dame.

OL Jalen Mayfield  6-5  245  Jr  Grand Rapids Catholic Central: He has added 20 pounds since starting as a sophomore at tackle, all while staying fit with AAU basketball. Mayfield already has an offer from Central Michigan.

OL Turner Ruby  6-4  280  Sr  East Kentwood: Overshadowed by fellow tackle Trenton Fincher last season, and there are underclassman getting buzz for the Falcons this year. But Ruby is the steady holdover who is versatile enough to lay up and down the line — he projects as a guard in college, while occasionally lining up at tight end for EK.

OL Mason Shirrell  6-5  220  Sr  Muskegon Orchard View: He may not be as heavy as a lot of upperclassman linemen, but Shirrell wins with technique, athleticism and has the frame to put on significant good weight at the next level.

OL Erik Ditzhazy  6-5  270  Sr  Forest Hills Northern: He moved from center to tackle as a junior and the rest, as they say, is history, as he showed the athletic potential to be offered and accept a scholarship from Central Michigan.

TE  Keegan Cossou  6-5  225  Sr  Greenville: A Central Michigan commitment, last season Cossou made 40 catches for 582 yards and five TDs.

QB Jason Whittaker  6-5  200  Jr  Rockford: Already a high percentage passer as an underclassman, look for Whittaker’s numbers to be up from the 784 yards and 11 TDs in just eight games he threw for in 2015. He has all the physical tools as a pro-style QB and is the Lake Area’s top prospect at the position since Kirk Cousins was at Holland Christian.

RB Nick Isley  6-2  200  Sr  Rockford: He was Rockford’s leading rusher as a junior and should have more opportunities now that all-time Rams great Tyler Bradfield has graduated. Isley has sub-4.5 speed at 200 pounds.

RB LaTommy Scott  5-7  160  Sr  Muskegon Catholic Central: One of the Crusaders’ talented trio of backs with fellow seniors Walker Christoffersen and Logan Helton who are trying to lead them to a fourth-straight Division 8 state title.  Scott ran for 1,235 yards and 23 TDs in 2015.

WR Drew Couturier  5-10  145  Sr  Allendale: The most prolific returning receiver in the Lake Area. As a junior Couturier made 73 receptions for 1,362 and 15 TDs. He also had five interceptions.

ATH Kalil Pimpleton  5-7  150  Sr  Muskegon: A standout quarterback last season, Pimpleton, a Virginia Tech commitment, is expected to contribute as a playmaker from various spots as a senior. He both ran and threw for over 1,000 yards in 2015.

Isley dominates LMFR Combine

Now in its fourth year, the Lake Michigan Football Report’s Grand Rapids Combine has been both a venue for established players to defend their reputations, and unknown prospects make their names. Here are the outstanding offensive players from the 2016 LMFR Combine.

Outstanding Prospect

Nick Isley  6-2  200  Jr  RB  Rockford: He was Rockford’s leading rusher as a junior at a healthy 8 yards a pop. Look for him to explode as a senior with Tyler Bradfield having graduated. Isley showed off his physical bonafides here in what may have been the most dominating combine performance in the event’s four-year history. He recorded the top marks in the 40-yard dash, 4.47 seconds; powerball toss, 43-feet; and vertical leap, 35 1/4″.

Outstanding Offensive Prospect

Drew Couturier  5-10  145  Jr  WR  Allendale: He was the Lake Area All-Junior Team offensive MVP after a junior season in which Couturier made 14 TD catches. Now he follows that up with a big-time combine showing. Dismiss him because of his size at your own risk, he’s fearless and can fly. Even when he didn’t make the catch it could be spectacular, like when he laid out horizontal in the air just to get his hands on a throw. He repeatedly freed himself in his routes with initial quickness then breakaway speed. Couturier had the third-best 40-time, 4.54 seconds; No. 5 vertical leap, 33 1/3″; and top 10 pro agility drill, 4.25 seconds.

All-Combine Offense

  • OL Joe Hruska  6-4  265  Jr  Kalamazoo Loy-Norrix
  • OL Dane Stanbaugh  6-4  335  Jr  Lake Odessa Lakewood
  • OL Mason Shirrell  6-5  210  Jr  Muskegon Orchard View
  • OL Lane Potter  6-3  270  Jr  Hudsonville
  • OL Reide Klinger  6-4  280  Jr  Jenison
  • TE Austin Lewis  6-4  190  So  Fennville
  • QB Jakob Kurnat  6-0  150  So  Byron Center
  • RB Shane Tagg  6-0  195  So  Byron Center
  • RB Christopher Chin  5-11  195  Jr  Byron Center
  • WR Sam Neville  6-3  196  Jr  Grand Rapids West Catholic
  • WR Joshua Atwell  5-10  185  Jr  Grandville

St. Francis’ Bott defensive standout at LMFR Combine

Outstanding Defensive Prospect

Tim Bott  5-10  175  Jr  LB  Traverse City St. Francis: He came in and carried himself with the confidence gained from developing in one of the state’s most historic and successful programs, then showed that it was more than just in his head with a big-time combine performance under the gun. His 4.50-second 40-yard dash was the second fastest time, then Bott placed third in the vertical leap at 33 2/3 inches, third in the pro agility in 4.16 seconds and had a top 10 power ball toss of 36 feet. At his size coaches will want to see Bott’s transition to safety, but he certainly has the tools with which to work.

All-Combine Defense

  • DL Dan VanOpstall  6-6  220  So  Jenison
  • DL Ike Moore  6-0  255  Jr  Comstock Park
  • DL Raymond Cunningham  6-3  265  So  Charlevoix
  • LB Toby Hulst  6-1  210  So  Grand Rapids South Christian
  • LB Ethan Hart  6-2  210  Jr  Hastings
  • LB Dalton Agers  5-10  210  Jr  Hudsonville
  • LB Brett Taylor  6-0  220  So  Comstock Park
  • DB Nolan Fugate  6-1  202  So  Grand Rapids Catholic Central
  • DB Erik Walker  5-8  160  Jr  Dowagiac
  • DB Jalen Raninga  5-11  175  Jr  Grandville
  • UTL Alex Riggs  6-0  205  Jr  Comstock Park

The First 40: Lake Area 2017 Prospect Rankings

  1. Phil Paea  6-4  270  Jr  OL/DL  Berrien Springs  Michigan
  2. Andrew Ward  6-1  215  Jr  LB  Muskegon
  3. Corey Malone Hatcher  6-3  245  Jr  LB/DL  St. Joseph
  4. Nate Umlor  6-6  245  Jr  DL/TE  Allendale  Western Michigan
  5. Brayden Smith  6-4  180  Jr  DB  Byron Center  Western Michigan
  6. Kalil Pimpleton 5-7  150  Jr  ATH  Muskegon  Virginia Tech
  7. Johnathan Berghorst  6-3  260  Jr  DL  Zeeland East  Central Michigan
  8. Jacorey Sullivan  6-3  205  Jr  WR/DB  Muskegon
  9. Keegan Coussou  6-5  225  Jr  TE  Greenville  Central Michigan
  10. Sam Neville  6-3  195  Jr  WR/DB  Grand Rapids West Catholic
  11. Connor Chupailo  6-4  260  Jr  OL  Zeeland West
  12. Walker Christoffersen  5-9  175  Jr  ATH  Muskegon Catholic Central
  13. Steven Spenner  6-3  215  LB  Berrien Springs  Central Michigan
  14. Ben Sherwin  6-5  240  Jr  DL/OL  Traverse City Central
  15. Jayk Slager  6-4  230  Jr  DL/TE  Zeeland West
  16. Erik Dithazy  6-5  260  Jr  OL  Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern  Central Michigan
  17. Nick Isley  6-2  200  Jr  RB  Rockford
  18. Blake Dunn  5-11  170  Jr  ATH  Saugatuck  Western Michigan (baseball)
  19. Chase Fairfield  6-4  215  Jr  TE  North Muskegon
  20. John Pupel  6-1  180  Jr  DB  Traverse City Central
  21. Evan Plate  6-3  220  Jr  LB  Greenville  Central Michigan
  22. Drew Couturier  5-10  145  WR/DB  Allendale
  23. Jack Mandryk  6-1  175  Jr  ATH  Hudsonville
  24. Turner Ruby  6-4  285  Jr  OL  East Kentwood
  25. Patrick DiPiazza  6-3  260  Jr  OL  Cedar Springs
  26. Julian Sheriff  5-11  220  Jr  RB  Bridgman
  27. Ben Alvarez  6-1  205  Jr  LB  Portage Central
  28. LaTommy Scott  5-7  160  Jr  RB  Muskegon Catholic Central
  29. Ricky Clark  6-0  180  Jr  DB  Schoolcraft
  30. Duke Angers  6-1  230  Jr  LB  Maple City Glen Lake
  31. Levi Finley  6-4  290  Jr  OL  Mattawan
  32. Veronell Smith  6-0   190  Jr  RB  North Muskegon
  33. Michael Doyle  6-4  225  Jr  DL  Lowell
  34. Zach Zenner  5-10  175  Jr  DB  Grand Rapdis West Catholic
  35. Autin McCullough  6-4  185  WR  Portage Central
  36. Joe Hruska  6-4  265  Jr  OL  Kalamazoo Loy-Norrix
  37. Reide Klinger  6-4  280  OL  Jenison
  38. Lane Potter  6-3  270  Jr  OL  Hudsonville
  39. Nick Kunkel  6-1  255  Jr  DL  Holland Christian
  40. Tim Bott  5-10  175  Jr  DB  Traverse City St. Francis

Signing Day 2016: The Lake Area Top 100


1. Hunter Broermsa  6-0  190  WR  Muskegon Mona Shores  Western Michigan
2. Zach VanValkenburg  6-4  240  DL/LB  Zeeland West  Hillsdale
3. Jacob Cerny  6-5  295  OL  Traverse City West  Illinois
4. Tyler Bradfield  5-11  190  ATH  Rockford  Grand Valley State
5. Michael VanHoeven  6-5  300  OL  Paw Paw  Eastern Michigan
6. Nolan Meekhof  6-1  230  RB  Grandville  Davenport
7. Darece Roberson  5-9  160  WR/DB  Muskegon Mona Shores  Western Michigan
8. James Wyrick  5-9  205  RB  Grand Rapids Ottawa Hills  Ferris State
9. Trenton Fincher  6-8  305  OL  East Kentwood  San Diego State
10. Keidren Davis  6-5  220  TE  Grand Rapids Union  Toledo
11. Chris Veenstra  6-6  240  DL/TE  Wyoming  Northern Michigan
12. Kobe Burse  6-2  210  WR/DB  Muskegon Mona Shores  Miami-OH
13. Carl Myers  6-3  260  DL  Grand Rapids West Catholic  Michigan
14. Christian Boyd  6-2  270  DL  Muskegon Mona Shores
15. Gabe Baumann  6-3  260  DL  Rockford  Northern Michigan
16. Gabe Steed  6-1  180  WR  Lowell
17. Pat Naughton  6-2  185  QB  Comstock Park
18. Michael Williams  5-9  175  ATH  Wyoming  Davenport
19. Keegan Golder  6-4  270  OL  Grand Rapids Forest Hills Eastern  Grand Valley State
20. Marlon Dorsey  6-1  175  DB  East Kentwood  Davenport
21. Khylin Barton 6-3  180  WR  Zeeland East  Michigan State
22. Derices Brown  6-2  280  OL/DL  Muskegon
23. Tyler Lyle  6-1  215  LB  Kalamazoo Central  Eastern Michigan
24. Brendan Oosse  6-2  240  DL  East Grand Rapids  Hillsdale
25. Jake Martin  6-0  190  QB  Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern
26. Ryan Knight  6-2  200  WR  Grand Rapids Forest Hills Eastern  Northern Michigan
27. Juanye Johnson  6-3  275  OL  Muskegon  Ferris State
28. Jake Boonstra  6-4  285  OL  Grand Rapids Kenowa HIlls  Ferris State
29. Jamari Booker  6-0  180  LB/DB  East Kentwood
30. Monterio Smith  5-10  180  RB  Comstock Park  Siena Heights
31. Dom Shermeta  6-0  215  LB  Muskegon Mona Shores  Davenport
32. James Cooper  6-3  170  WR  Muskegon Oakridge  Ferris State
33. Luke Sage  6-1  195  LB  Boyne City
34. Daryn Snow  6-3  190  WR  Portage Northern
35. Jacob Buchberger  6-1  185  ATH  Montague  Davenport
36. Evan MacCauley  6-2  280  OL/DL  Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern  Grand Valley State
37. Adam Farah  6-1  180  WR  Forest Hills Northern  Air Force
38. David Curl  6-3  250  DL  Watervliet  Ferris State
39. Simeon Smith  6-6  205  WR/TE  Kalamazoo Loy-Norrix  Michigan
40. TJ Swore  6-2  200  WR  Grand Rapids NorthPointe Christian
41. Keyante Carpenter  5-9  175  DB  Muskegon  Ferris State
42. Taylor VanDyke  6-3  215  LB/TE  Cedar Springs
43. Brent Murray  5-10  190  RB/LB  Petoskey  Hillsdale
44. James Haverkamp  6-6  260  OL  Grand Rapids Christian
45. Mike Bordeaux  6-3  285  OL  Muskegon Mona Shores
46. Conner Nemers  6-1  185  WR  Grand Rapids West Catholic
47. Devin Moore  6-5  225  TE/LB  Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern  Yale
48. Kyle Augustine  6-3  320  OL  Gaylord  Northern Michigan
49. Brenden Bott  6-4 260 DL  Grand Rapids Kenowa Hills  Davenport
50. Malik Smith  5-9  5-9  210  RB  Boyne City  Michigan State
51. Mitchell Davis  6-5  260  OL  Lowell  Hillsdale
52. Tyler Lamica  6-3  205  LB  Grand Rapids Christian  Robert Morris
53. David Williams  6-3  225  LB  Holland Christian
54. Nate Jones  6-1  205  LB  Muskegon Catholic Central  Hillsdale
55. Nick Turowski  6-1  180  WR  Comstock Park  Michigan Tech
56. Dante Razzano  6-2  190  ATH  Dowagiac  Michigan State
57. Jordan Brewer  6-2  180  WR  St. Joseph
58. Karson Murley  6-1  290  OL  Lowell  Ferris State
59. Jacob Lechner  6-2  260  OL  Harbor Springs  Michigan Tech
60. Ian Vandenberg  6-1  190  ATH  Paw Paw
61. Michael Holdship  6-0  215  LB/RB  Cadillac
62. Gourney Sloan 6-0  165  WR/DB  East Grand Rapids  Davenport
63. Casey Brinks  6-0  170  DB  Zeeland West
64. Jared Mika  6-0  195  LB  Grand Rapids Catholic Central
65. Ryan Stevens  6-1  175  QB  Lowell
66. Evan Whitmore  6-3  215  QB  Petoskey
67. Lukas Thompson  6-0  180  DB/WR  Grand Rapids Christian
68. Nate Lay  6-0  250  DL  Zeeland West
69. Spencer Peterson  6-5  230  QB  Grand Rapids NorthPointe Christian  Wheaton
70. Jacob Tumele  6-3  230  DL  Muskegon Orchard View  Davenport
71. Dujuan Thomas  5-9  160  DB  East Kentwood
72. Luke Bakker  6-0  190  LB/DB  West Ottawa  Northwood
73. Miles Jones  6-2  205  DB/WR  Grand Rapids Christian  Ferris State
74. Brandon Sturgeon  5-11  190  RB  Portage Central
75. Kurtis Schultz  6-3  235  DL  Grand Rapids West Catholic
76. Nick Brown  6-7  240  OL  Muskegon Mona Shores  Concordia
77. Shane Foster  6-1  210 LB/RB  Gaylord  Northern Michigan
78. Lucas Marion  6-4  210  LB/TE  Lake City  Michigan Tech
79. Cody Rabach  6-5  215  TE/DL  Fruitport  Michigan Tech
80. Michael Clifford  6-0  165  DB  East Grand Rapids
81. Tanner Kruzel  6-1  200  TE/LB  Northern Michigan
82. Malik McIntyre  5-10  185  RB  Berrien Springs
83. Andy Rietveld  6-6  300  OL  Saugatuck
84. Bret Patton  6-2  190  WR  East Kentwood  Carthage
85. Jackson Ammon  6-2  235  TE  Rockford
86. Dakota Geurink  6-1  185  DB  Zeeland West
87. Caleb Wisniski  6-4  255  OL  Onekama  Ferris State
88. Tyler Woodwyck  6-2  255  DL  Hudsonville
89. Ian Woodruff  6-2  270  OL  Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern
90. Ben Hoerle  6-4  280  OL  Grand Rapids Christian
91. Jean Pierre Nkolo  6-2  235  DL  East Kentwood  Davenport
92. Terrion Hill-McKay  6-1  205  LB  Muskegon
93. Taylor Pelton  6-2  195  LB  Reed City  Michigan Tech
94. Garrett Lundteigan  5-9  180  DB  Petoskey
95. Sam Matthews  6-2  190  TE/WR  East Grand Rapids
96. Andrew Madison  6-6  235  TE  East Kentwood
97. Jacob Steelman  6-1  270  OL  Traverse City Central  Davenport
98. Braden Schrotenboer  6-6  235  OL  Zeeland East
99. Cameron Wright  6-3  290  OL  Grant
100. Derek Boone  6-4  225  DL/OL  Watervliet

2016 Lake Michigan Football Combine registration now open! Join us on March 19th!

Lake Michigan Football Report Combine

Calling all college football prospects from the classes of 2017, 2018, 2019!

The 2016 Lake Michigan Football Combine will take place on Saturday, March 19, 2016, at MVP Sports Spot in Grand Rapids, MI.

Join top players from around the state and the Midwest for an afternoon of combine testing and one-on-one drills. More details about the event and registration information are located here:

Forest Hills Eastern’s Knight Senior Camp MVP

He was a prolific receiver under two quarterbacks during his career at Forest Hills Eastern and as a senior a crucial weapon on the best team in school history. Ryan Knight caught 49 passes for 873 yards and 10 TDs on FHE’s Division 4 state semifinalist. After the season, he showed the physical bona fides and skill that helped that success at the Lake Michigan Football Report Senior Camp in Grand Rapids, where he was named the top prospect.

Knight came down wrong on an ankle later in the day, but he’d already shown enough. He has a college physique at 6-2, 200 and buoyed those tools with a pair of 4.6 40-yard dashes. Not only is Knight an ideal target, but he was able to make adjustments and go get the ball. Throw in grades and test score, and any GLIAC program looking for a red zone receiver should be all over him.

All-Lake Area: First Team Offense

OL Keegan Golder 6-5 270 Sr Grand Rapids Forest Hills Eastern
A plus athlete at right tackle who emerged as a star in his third year as a starter for the school-best 11-2 Hawks. Golder anchored an offense that averaged over 37 points a game before running into state champion Zeeland West in the Division 4 semifinals. MAC level prospect with his frame and feet (athletic enough that he sometimes lined up at tight end).

OL Phil Paea 6-4 270 Jr Berrien Springs
Division 5 Berrien Springs, of all places, is emerging as a hotbed of Power 5 line prospects. Nick Padla is at MSU, Johnny Williams is at Notre Dame, and now comes Paea, who already has a BYU offer while being recruited by half the Big Ten. The former fullback is an athletic guard who helped clear the way for Malik McIntyre’s big senior season running the ball.

OL Mitchell Davis 6-5 260 Sr Lowell
With Davis at tackle and fellow senior Karson Morley at guard, the right side of Lowell’s line was as tough as any in the Lake Area. The Division 2 state runners-up averaged 43 points per game.

OL Michael VanHoeven 6-5 300 Sr Paw Paw
While skill injuries slowed down a typically potent Paw Paw attack, VanHoeven was an All-Wolverine Conference guard for the third straight season. With Thiyo Lukusa moving to New Jersey and Traverse City West’s Jacob Cerny hurt. VanHoeven was the top ranked line prospect in the Lake Area. He committed early to Eastern Michigan and recently passed on a preferred walk on offer to Notre Dame.

OL Derices Brown 6-1 280 Sr Muskegon
A three-year starter at guard who helped the transition for junior QB Kalil Pimpleton, who emerged as one of the most feared weapons in the Lake Area both running and throwing for 1,000 yards apiece. A grinder at the point of attack but athletic enough to get into the second level, Brown also played on the D line the only Big Red to go both ways.

QB Ryan Stevens 6-2 165 Sr Lowell
He fulfilled the expectations of the Lowell QB legacy, leading the Red Arrows to the Division 2 state final. Stevens threw for 2,737 yards and 31 TDs while running for 1,107 yards and 21 TDs.

RB Monterio Smith 5-10 180 Sr Comstock Park
Comstock Park’s answer to Ronnie Harmon catching balls out of the backfield. He made 74 catches for 993 yards and 12 TDs while running it 109 times for 706 yards and 16 TDs.

RB Nolan Meekhof 6-1 230 Sr Grandville
No back in the Lake Area shared Meekhof’s combination of size and speed. In eight games for the Bulldogs (they were 6-2 when Meekhof played, 0-2 without him), he rushed for 1,224 yards and 10 TDs on 173 carries. He also had a TD catch. Meekhof recently received a preferred walk on offer from Minnesota.

WR Hunter Boersma 6-2 190 Sr Muskegon Mona Shores
The Lake Area’s top ranked senior prospect, headed to WMU, did it all for the 10-1 Sailors. A repeat All-Area selection, Broersma started both ways and also saw time at QB and had seven TD catches while also scoring TDs via the run, pass, punt return and interception return.

WR Gabe Steed 6-1 180 Sr Lowell
A game-breaker since being called up during his sophomore season, Steed is a repeat All-Lake selection. During the regular season he had 30 receptions for 673 yards and 11 TDs. He also started at cornerback for the Red Arrows.

WR Nick Turowski 6-1 180 Sr Comstock Park
Hooked up with senior QB Pat Naughton for one of the most prolific receiving seasons in Lake Area history. Turowski had 113 receptions — a state record — for 1,474 yards and 12 TDs. His 18 catches against Allendale are also a state record.