Posted tagged ‘high school football’

Photo of the Week: Ishpeming wins 2nd straight State Football Championship

December 2, 2013
(Photo by Grandpa Camo)

(Photo by Grandpa Camo)

…Ishpeming Hematites are about one word, Heart. This city, this town, and this football team has so much character and respect for one another. Last year was about David and Goliath, this year the story was already written and Ishpeming was destined to win. These players play their butts off for Coach Olson and the High School they represent. Winning a state title one year is awesome, but celebrating back-to-back state titles is special. That’s what the UP and the city of Ishpeming is, “a special place.” UP Power is not a slogan or a saying, it’s a way of life…

Top 31 Moments in the UP! #20 – Football Practice at Westwood and Kingsford

October 8, 2013
Photo by Steve Brownlee

Photo by Steve Brownlee

High School Football in the Upper Peninsula is the popular sport and when the practice season kicks off, the fans and the players get excited for another season.

After working a long night on the weekend, it got even longer but it was worth everything I had ever imagined. Westwood High School had it’s annual midnight practice that Monday morning and I went to the high school to get some footage and talk to the coaches and players. It was wet and soggy but it got my photographer juices going and I was able to use a lot of new techniques to enhance the video for the viewer at home and get a closer look. The players had never seen a camera guy get close and personal with the action but they appreciated it afterwards with all the tight shots and different angles when watching it.

Coming out of that practice, I felt pretty good about shooting another one. I went to Kingsford High School one day and I shot the Flivvers practice and my camera work got better. The emotional shots I got, the tight shots of the football and the players completing the drills were crisp and fast. I even got my foot caught under the lineman bull rush machine. It hurt, but it was well worth it. The video even has over 1,000 views on YouTube.

One of the best shots I ever got was the first 4 seconds of Kingsford practice. The player is looking straight at my camera and is waiting on the snap count to finish the drill. When the coach said hike, I zoomed out fast and got the players running under the lineman bars to complete the drill. The emotion I captured in those 4 seconds is breathtaking and is one of the best pieces of photography I have ever captured. It was like you could see through the players eyes and understand what he was feeling at that moment. Video like that is hard to get and watching it in the editing booth but a smile on my face.

I am so proud of that moment and those two days of shooting football practice because it turned me into an excellent cameraman who could shoot and edit like a true professional. I will always remember those practices, they were awesome.

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!