2018 U.P. Football All-Star Game

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2018 U.P. Football All-Star Game

Postby tgoldbeck » Sun Dec 10, 2017 9:45 pm

Invitations are being mailed tomorrow for the 2018 U.P. Football All-Star Game. They are sent the A.D. at each school and contain a letter for each player. Players need to confirm their roster spot by Jan 3 (Wed) and will be sent a packet that contains all of the fundraising information and deadlines. This is year #11, and we will again be doing a Fantasy Draft of the players to determine teams. Last year, the draft was done in mid March, and worked great doing it in Marquette at Buffalo Wild Wings. Stay tuned for the exact date of the draft. The date of the 2018 U.P. Football All-Star Game is Saturday, June 30, 2018. Players and coaches arrive Monday, June 25. As players accept their invitations, I will post the rosters here and also on the game website. There is also a new website just for the game, www.upfootballallstargame.com. You can still get to it by clicking through from www.xcel.net if you want, but I figured the game should have its own site, so it has the ability to stand alone someday when I step away from it. It is the same information, only it is no longer contained within the Xcel site.
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Re: 2018 U.P. Football All-Star Game

Postby GNCrocks » Wed Dec 20, 2017 7:31 am

I really hope you can bring this game back to reality some day. This is less of an all star game and more of a "hey lets get together and play football" game.
Last year (2017) some of the small schools had a few "stars" but nearly all the top 20 players in the U.P. of any class are completely absent and the coach staffs are far from all-stars. Martinique's coach? really? I am sure he is a good guy and all but NOT an all-star coach. Maybe a name change would change my expectation of what this event is. U.P. Summer Classic or Showcase. But all-stars? Kinda missing the "All-Stars" part.
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Re: 2018 U.P. Football All-Star Game

Postby Hambone » Wed Dec 20, 2017 8:36 am

Nice...GNCrocks....offer criticism and no solutions. Ever think that these coaches who you don't think are all stars volunteer their time for a week? Ever bother to find out why kids aren't playing, just to criticize those who you don't think are worthy of being there? I have yet to talk to anyone who has either coached or played in the game who told me that they had a bad experience, in fact the people I know all told me they wouldn't miss this event. Quit bitching and starting issues when there aren't any to begin with. It's not about you, it's about kids who in almost every situation get to pad up one last time and play a football game.
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Re: 2018 U.P. Football All-Star Game

Postby upfootball » Wed Dec 20, 2017 2:31 pm

Agree. This is an event I have never once heard anything but the most positive feedback on. The whole week is something these kids never forget. Not sure anyone other than Todd could pull this off. It's a ton of work.

Now I like the old format better where you were East-West, North-South... but I mean it's nit picking. Still a great event anyway you slice the teams.

I thought most of the best players were there, the ones that were not are usually invited but declined for one reason or another. There are always those who got hurt and missed most of their senior season that would have probably made all conference that would be there. Just the nature of the beast.

Any of the coaches that are there should be thanked. They completely volunteer their time. A whole week plus.... Not easy in the middle of June.
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Re: 2018 U.P. Football All-Star Game

Postby tgoldbeck » Thu Dec 21, 2017 12:07 am

I wasn't going to respond, but I felt I had to set the record straight about a few things, not in a negative way, but to praise all those who have been part of this great event. I appreciate the comments and any feedback, but you must understand this game is unique in many ways, and there is nothing like it anywhere in the country.

-The game has never been about simply selecting the best players in the U.P. I have made it very clear that the official goal is to get as many schools represented as possible every year. Each year, there has been at least 37 of the 40 schools participating, and every school has been represented at some point. Once we have someone from every school (if possible), then we invite the best players after that, depending on positions. In the beginning, that was a tough concept for everyone, because there might be a player at a very small unsuccessful school that might not be as good as some of the players on the perennial powerhouse schools. There are/were players left off the roster each year from those power schools to make room for the lesser known players (who might not get the same recognition as others, because of their team's lack of success), but that player is just as important as any other. He is an "All-Star" in his own hometown, and he is looked up to by many young players, so we want him to represent his school, team, family and community by being part of this event. We want every community in the U.P. to have an "All-Star" they can cheer for and support.

-Every year, there are always a few players who do not participate for various reasons, as stated below. Some go into the military, some go to college early, some play other sports and do not want to play anymore football. There is much that goes into the selection process and all of the coaches have input directly to me, so I can make the right choices. I am 100% certain that all of the very best players in the U.P. get invitations. Whether they choose to attend, or not, is up to them.

-COACHES-What can I say? Every year, I sing the praises of the coaches and say that they are the most important part of this event. Unlike other state all-star games which draw from hundreds of schools, we have only 40 schools in the U.P. That means that each year, we need about 25% of all coaches to help us by volunteering to help coach in this event. About every 4 years, coaches need to take a full week out of their schedule and coach. That is a huge commitment, and the game simply could not exist without the unbelievable dedication of the coaches every year. There will always be a new crop of players and parents every year to be excited about the process, but the coaches are the foundation that we continue to build upon, and they are what makes this event happen. Their value is incalculable.

-As for all coaches and players being "All-Stars"...anyone who has taken part in this event, or has been a parent or fan and heard me talk over the years, can attest to my message. All-Star Week is about teaching these players that they have been blessed in numerous ways, and they need to use those gifts to give back to their communities and anyone they come across in their lives who might need their help. There have been many people in their lives who have helped them along their journey, most of whom they probably never even knew. Because of that, they need to do whatever they are capable of to help those who look up to them, those less fortunate than they are, or just be a good example to those around them. You never know who might be watching and who might be inspired by what you are doing, so always do your best and be your best.

-If anyone has any doubts about anyone being All-Stars, I challenge you to watch the video from our Bay Cliff trip last year. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=foIOX0t ... e=youtu.be) "No man stands so tall, as when he bends down to help a child." All the Bay Cliff videos are available to watch on the website (http://upfootballallstargame.com/UPFBHistory.aspx). I know that our "ALL-STARS" get more out of this trip than the wonderful campers we visit each year. It is a humbling experience for all of us, and something that is a signature of the character of these young men. If it means that this is not as "serious" of an all-star game, because we take time out from practice to do community outreach, then so be it...but we'll never stop trying to teach life lessons to these players they can carry with them forever. Thanks again to everyone out there in U.P. Football Country for your support.
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Re: 2018 U.P. Football All-Star Game

Postby tgoldbeck » Sat Jan 20, 2018 10:50 am

Final Official Roster. Only two players declined their invitations this year. About half of the past 11 years had everyone say yes, but I do not believe there has ever been more than 3 players say no in any given year. Draft will take place sometime in early March. Next step, get the coaches. If any coaches in the U.P. are interested, feel free to email me (todd@xcel.net). I have some spots filled, but there is definitely room for more coaches. Coaches do not have to do any fundraising, just help with the draft and coach the kids.

2018 U.P. Football All-Star Game Roster. They are also listed on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/UPAllStarFootball/) and the game website (http://upfootballallstargame.com) by clicking the Rosters tab.

Zack Albright Marquette
Ryan Arndt Bark River-Harris
Aaron Barnes Hancock (Chassell)
Jesus Becerra Stephenson
Scout Bigger Engadine
Tyler Blakely Newberry
Alec Blank Munising
Joseph Boik Pickford
Connor Bortolini Forest Park
Josh Boulden Norway
Jayce Brockhagen West Iron County
Ethan Burke Westwood
David Carlson Newberry
Logan Carroll Escanaba
Alex Chouinard Gladstone
Aaron Corkin Ishpeming
David Delayre Westwood
Jared Demeuse Gladstone
Donald Denofre Ishpeming
Jeff Doboy Stephenson
Garrett Dodds Pickford
James Domitrovich Ontonagon
Dakota Fairchild Cedarville
Tabin Filizetti Westwood
Wyatt Filkins Marquette
Liam Gayan Kingsford
Josh Grassel Escanaba
Mason Gustafson St. Ignace
Aaron Hainault Lake Linden-Hubbell
Mike Hall Bark River-Harris
Logan Hardwick Rapid River
Gavin Harris Rapid River
Hayden Haslow Escanaba
Brandon Henschel West Iron County
Grant Hokenson Hancock (Chassell)
Ethan Homola Westwood
Bryce Hornick Stephenson
Spencer Husbye Gladstone
Kooper Jahfetson L'Anse
Jason Janquart Menoninee
Kaleb Johanson Brimley
Damarius Johnson Rudyard
Daniel Johnson Gwinn
Darin Johnson Gladstone
Chase Kreski Kingsford
Wade Krysiak Superior Central
Jarrett LaCasse Rapid River
John LaMothe Pickford
Jonah Logan Forest Park
Ramsey Luft Superior Central
Foster Miller L'Anse
Jared Miller North Dickinson
Trey Norris Cedarville
Connor Ortman Norway
Dante Pedrotti Norway
Sawyer Perpich Kingsford
Austin Persson West Iron County
Josh Plante Norway
Eddie Plumley Kingsford
Robert Ponchaud Forest Park
Jeff Rahilly Newberry
Jake Rajala Houghton
Bailey Ribich Gogebic (WM)
Joseph Rietveld Kingsford
Hunter Riley North Central
Jacob Rivard Menominee
Zach Robarge Forest Park
Peter Ropiak Forest Park
Francis Scheid Sault Ste Marie
Johnathan Schlenvogt Escanaba
Kyle Seeley Manistique
George Sevarns Newberry
Jeff Stenson Gladstone
Preston Strong Kingsford
Jon Sturm Kingsford
Lucas Sundling Rapid River
Neil Tomasoski West Iron County
Brayden Tomes Gogebic (Bessemer)
Jacob Tucker Iron Mountain
Cooper Twardzik Calumet
Cody Vandermissen Escanaba
Nick Voelker Calumet
Dominic Wagner Lake Linden-Hubbell
Robby Williams Negaunee
Micah Wilson Norway
Jake Witt Ontonagon (ETC)
Scout Wunder Escanaba
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Re: 2018 U.P. Football All-Star Game

Postby tgoldbeck » Wed Mar 07, 2018 7:12 am

Fantasy Draft of the players will take place Saturday, March 17 at Buffalo Wild Wings-Marquette at 5PM. Any fans and players are welcome to attend. All coaches will be present to pick their teams for this year's game. There will also be a live radio broadcast taking place to cover the draft. Picks will be posted on the Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/UPAllStarFootball/) page live, as they happen, so make sure to like the page to get the notices.

Coaches are as follows:
Black Team:
Al Stenberg, Bark River-Harris
Bob Maycroft, Bark River-Harris
Kevin Mileski, Bark River-Harris
Scott Syrjala, Westwood
Brad Wiljanen, Westwood
Luke Gray, Westwood
Mitchell Messing, Westwood

Red Team:
Mike Berutti, West Iron County
Kevin Leonoff, West Iron County
Chris Thomson, West Iron County
Chris Soha, West Iron County
Rae Drake Jr., Bay College
Neil Clapp, Escanaba
Jeff Olson, Ishpeming
Kevin Grundy, Wausau East
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Re: 2018 U.P. Football All-Star Game

Postby upfootball » Wed Mar 07, 2018 9:44 pm

Very cool seeing an out of State coach in the mix. Hats off to Kevin Grundy of Wausau East for participating in the event
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Re: 2018 U.P. Football All-Star Game

Postby Hambone » Wed Mar 07, 2018 11:32 pm

Grundy has been helping at WIC for a couple of years since he stepped down at Wausau West, has a cottage near Iron River. Now he's going to have his hands full resurrecting Wausau East. Great guy!
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Re: 2018 U.P. Football All-Star Game

Postby tgoldbeck » Thu Mar 15, 2018 2:46 pm

All-Star Game Announces Schedule, Players & Draft

MARQUETTE, MI – The U.P. Football All-Star Game has finalized the schedule and players for this year’s event. 2018 marks the 11th year of the U.P. summer football classic. Last year, there was a major change made in dividing up the players, when it was decided that the coaches would conduct a “fantasy draft” of the invited players. They could pick whichever players they wanted on their respective teams, regardless of what schools the players or coaches were from. For the first nine years, it was East vs West, or North vs South. The draft was such a big hit with everyone last year that the players will be picked in the same manner again this year. They will either be on the Red Team or the Black Team.

The draft will take place on Saturday, March 17th, and the picks will be reported live on social media for all who want to follow the progress. The coaches from both teams will be in attendance and are getting underway with the research of all players, so they can put together the best team possible that fits their offensive and defensive schemes.

This “draft” twist has been generating quite the buzz since it was used last year. Not only will players be competing against traditional rivals this year, they might also be competing against players on their own school’s team. There is little doubt that last year’s game was the most competitive and evenly matched in the 10-year history of the event. The coaches did a great job picking their teams, and will certainly be prepared this year as well.

The game will be played in Marquette at the Superior Dome, on Saturday, June 30, 2018. Game time is set for 1 PM, with the doors opening at noon. Many activities are planned throughout the week for the players and coaches.

Monday, June 25, the players and coaches check in at Meyland & Majors Halls on NMU campus, and there will be a food drive for the Beacon House food pantry at the check-in location.

Tuesday evening, June 26, will be the team and individual pictures, as well as media day. Players and coaches will be available for interviews from any media that are present.

Wednesday afternoon, June 27, will be the Players Skills Challenge. The players will compete for the titles of Fastest Man, Strongest Man, Receiver, Quarterback Challenge, Kicking and Punting Challenges.

Thursday, June 28, the players and coaches will be visiting Bay Cliff Health Camp, which has become one of the signature events of All-Star Week. Bay Cliff is a summer camp for children with physical disabilities and the all-star players will spend time with the campers, showing them football drills, and finishing the day by having dinner with the Bay Cliff campers and staff. After dinner, the players join the campers in their traditional flag lowering ceremony at the central square, which ends each day at Bay Cliff and is very special to be a part of.

Friday evening, June 29, is the All-Star Banquet, with the guest speaker to be announced at a later date. The banquet provides family and friends a chance to connect with the All-Star players after a long week of practice and activities. It is formal attire for the players, and they stand up in front of everyone and introduce their roommate for the week, and tell everyone some things about each other. Players also get recognized for their accomplishments during the Skills Challenge and they receive their All-Star Rings.

The U.P. Football All-Star Game will also be donating proceeds to the following U.P. charities: Beacon House, The U.P. Sports Hall of Fame, as well as Westwood and Menominee Schools. A lottery drawing was performed to select the two schools, and donations will be made directly to the football program of those schools chosen. Each year, new schools will be chosen until all U.P. schools have received a monetary benefit from the game. Several other schools (Bark River-Harris, West Iron County, Gogebic and Ontonagon) will also receive donations in the form of All-Star Game equipment, which includes the practice jerseys and footballs.
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