Posted tagged ‘Forest Park’

Top 31 Moments in the UP! #23 – Watch out for Lexi Gussert!

September 3, 2013
lexi guss vol

(Photo by Grandpa Camo)

Being a sports anchor and reporter in the Upper Peninsula means you have to shoot and edit your own highlights for the evening newscasts. That means getting in a TV 6 vehicle and driving to many schools on different days. Well on November 6th, the day after election day, I went to cover some regional playoff volleyball action in Kingsford and Iron Mountain. This was the day I got to see Lexi Gussert do work on the court. People kept telling me she was amazing at basketball and was very good at volleyball too. I had to learn the hard way.

In the second set against Lake Linden-Hubbell, Lexi went up for the kill and slammed it right into the hardwood floor towards me. Now the ball had so much spin that when I looked in my viewfinder, I had two options. (1. Look like a fool and get hit. or 2. Try to get out of the way and look like a fool.) I choose number 1 and well the crowd knew my consequences. Everyone in the crowd was laughing, including myself, and I posted the video on YouTube for everyone to see. There are few things you don’t forget and this was one of them. Lexi got me good and she still has another season to get another cameraman out there.

Forest Park star Lexi Gussert will take her talents to East Lansing to be a Spartan at Michigan State

July 18, 2013

Good news coming from the Upper Peninsula today. 2014 Senior Lexi Gussert from Forest Park has announced that she will be attending Michigan State University and letter in basketball.

lex lexi gus… I am a huge fan of Lexi Gussert as a person and as a basketball player. Whenever I watched her play this past season she was very unselfish, scored at will, and was the best teammate on the floor. I am so proud of her decision and I am very happy that she is staying in Michigan to play for the Spartans so she can always display that UP pride in East Lansing. The best part about the announcement is that she can have a great senior year at Forest Park and her family can live in peace and happiness. Sometimes student-athletes get bogged down with their big decision during the season and it becomes a distraction and can affect their game. I am glad she took the high road and got the decision out of the way before the start of the basketball season. I know she will do big things for head coach Suzy Merchant when she gets to campus in 2014 because she is a winner and will do anything to be successful. Now the goal for this high school senior is to bring a state title back to Crystal Falls and to become Mrs. Basketball in the state of Michigan. I am so excited for Lexi and I can’t wait to watch her play college ball in the future. She is turning into a Spartan after being a Trojan for the past four years…

Top 31 Moments in the UP! #31 – Hurley surely was going to win, until the Trojans fought back

July 2, 2013
Photo by: Peter Nocerini

Photo by: Peter Nocerini

During the month of July, I will be posting my top 31 sports moments in the UP. Let’s start with number 31. I kick off the countdown with High School Football and one of the great fall classics I saw during my time in the Upper Peninsula. It was week 3 on the young football season and Forest Park had been playing well with 2 easy wins over Bark River-Harris and Norway. But the Midgets from Hurley, WI traveled to Crystal Falls and wanted to create a rock of their own and steal a tough road victory. (Highlights of the game are below at the 6:40 mark)

When I showed up to the game, it was midway through the third quarter and Hurley led 12-6 and was looking for another touchdown. Starting from their own 35, they had 1st and 10 at the Trojan 21. Midgets QB James Sukanen went back to pass but Trojans Dennis Mongar rushed hard and hit him as he threw. This caused the pass to come up short and fall right into the hands of Derek Aberly’s at the 15 yard line. So #20 in black rushed down the sideline and scored the 85 yard interception to go up 13-12 heading into the fourth quarter.

Here is the wacky part of the game. Hurley faced a 4th and 10 at their 45 with 2:28 left in the contest and they broke out a double reverse play to Mike Henning who ran to the right side and it seemed like he would score a touchdown with ease to take the lead but NO! The ever so quick Austin Snell saved the day by tripping up Henning down at the Trojans 2 yard line after a 53-yard gain.

And then, the craziest play I have ever seen occurred in front of my eyes through my camera lens. On 1st and goal from the two, the Senior QB Mike Saari FUMBLES the ball and Trojan’s Taylor Nocerini wrapped up the pig skin and it looked like the game was over. WRONG!

Forest Park’s offense didn’t produce anything, setting up a 4th and 5 on their own 7 yard line.  So the punter runs on to the field to send it deep but the ball comes off the side of his foot and it is shanked out of bounds at their own 18 yard line. That sets up Hurley with a first down and only 18 yards to score with only setting up a first down for Hurley with 1:40 left in the game.

But the Trojans prevailed because on fourth down, Raymond Tomasik and Steve Hallmann broke through the Hurley offensive line and sacked Sukanen.

Two kneel-downs later, the Trojans celebrated their incredible win 13-12 and the team in orange was just speechless. Heck, I WAS SPEECHLESS!

I had never seen anything so crazy in my life. If you would have told me Hurley would fumble on the two with four chances to score I would have called you crazy. With a minute left and Hurley within striking distance I would have thought they would have drove the ball down and settled for a field goal. But no, the Trojans defense comes up big and creates a lasting memory in my mind. I was literally going crazy under my camera because I had never seen anything like that before in my life. The reason is because the High School football clocks run down so fast I didn’t expect Forest Park to come back and take the lead. . The fact that their back was against the wall and they came up with the W spoke a lot about the Trojans perseverance that year. You can’t make this stuff up.

So one memory down, another one upcoming. I don’t know about you, but I am very excited for High School Football next season! It’s going to be amazing!