Posted tagged ‘upper peninsula’

Top 31 Moments in the UP! #25 – First look at 8 Man Football

July 22, 2013
Photo by Grandpa Camo

Photo by Grandpa Camo

This countdown has brought up conversations discussing multiple sports that take place during all four seasons in the Upper Peninsula. #25 in the countdown will be about a sport I did not even know existed until I showed up to Eben Junction and saw Superior Central take on Bellaire on August 31, 2012 to shoot some 8 man football.

The concept is relatively simple. Instead of 11 boys playing on both sides of the ball, there are only 8 playing on offense and defense. The field is also constructed differently, The size of the playing field is often smaller in eight-man football than in eleven-man. Some teams opt for a smaller, 80-yards long by 40-yards-wide field.

In terms of gameplay, eight-man football is quite different from its eleven-man counterpart. Due to a smaller field and fewer players, the tempo of the game is noticeably faster-paced. Scores tend to be higher, even in high school games where quarters are only 12 minutes long (rather than 15).

Especially in high school, a higher percentage of plays are trick plays; direct snaps, Wildcat formation plays, and fake punts and field goals are somewhat more common.

I had no idea what to expect from this game going into it but all I have to say is that I was extremely entertained and it was a blast to watch. I watched Rapid River, Mid Pen, Superior Central, Cedarville, and Bellaire play. Two of the best offenses that I watched were Superior Central and Rapid River. The Rockets and Cougars both averaged 37 points per a game last season.

The Cougars had Trevor Maki at QB and Dan Steward at WR and that one two combo was hard to stop. For the Rockets of Rapid River, QB Jake Pearson was unstoppable with his arm and his legs. His teammate RB Eli Orth did a fantastic job finding the end zone with his good speed and soft hands coming out of the backfield.

What I loved so much about this style of football was the amazing plays that are created by the coaches and players. In the first highlight. Go to 0:30 seconds in and you will see a perfectly executed fake field goal for a two point conversion. In the second highlight, at 8:00 mark you will see a nice option by Mid Pen and then a nice long run by Rapid River to counter attack.

But my favorite play of them all is when I went to see Rapid River take on Brimley on September 4th 2012. The moment takes place at the 7:30 mark in the last video. The snap to Jake Pearson on third down goes over his head about 15 yards so he has to run and recover it but what happens is he turns up field and returns it all the way to the end zone breaking tackles by all 8 players. It was sure fun to watch. Definitely one of the better ways to play the game of football.

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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! #30 – Two Dunks for the Price of One

July 3, 2013
Photo by Grandpa Camo

Photo by Grandpa Camo

Hey sports fans, I hope you enjoyed #31 on my countdown and want more exciting moments from the Upper Peninsula through the past year. For #30 I am going to jump to higher moments in High School Basketball.

The date was December 10, 2012. It was a cold and snowy night in the Upper Peninsula and I was trying to find out what game I should shoot for the 11 o’clock news. I thought, let’s get some Republic Hawks highlights because the station didn’t really cover a lot of Republic games. So I thought that night was perfect to showcase some different talent.

When I got to the gym in downtown Republic,  the Hawks were trailing North Central and the rising Jets 33-15 at the half. At that point I thought to myself, this is going to be a rough game to shoot for highlights. But I was completely WRONG!

Because the half started out with some nice defense from the Jets as Josh Granquist came up with the steal and the nice lay in at the other end. And then, the wings started to spread for both teams. Off a North Central miss, Jonathan Lygdman would get the ball up court and slam the orange in the basket for the two handed flush. Through the camera lens I was like, “WOAH!! DID THAT JUST HAPPEN????” I was very impressed by the big fella. It was a great play!

But the Jets wanted to lift off on the road and seal the deal as they started a break of their own a few minutes later and Tyler Polfus passed the ball to a wide open Caleb Martin who then flushed it down with two hands!!! The North Central bench on their feet going crazy and I thought to myself, “Did I just see two dunks in a game?” And the answer was, “Yes, yes I did see two dunks in a game in the Upper Peninsula.”

That was one of the most memorable and impressive displays of athleticism I have seen in my time in the Upper Peninsula. It was rare to see a kid dunk it here in the UP, but to see two guys sky to the rim and finish was remarkable. I don’t think I have even seen a high school game that entertaining and full of excitement.

I will post the video below of my highlights from that night. Let’s just say, I got very excited for a moment that might not happen again for a very long time…

 

The Sports Cycle Highlight Express May 29th 2013

May 31, 2013

The Sports Cycle’s Donnie Dwyer covers The UP Finals Boys Tennis matches in Marquette and talks to some of the winners. Kingsford finished as team champions with 21 points for first title since 1953.

 

Highlight Express May 22nd 2013

May 23, 2013

The Sports Cycle’s Donnie Dwyer covers High School golf in Marquette plus local golf and track scores.