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
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
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
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
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 » Sun Jun 24, 2018 10:18 pm

All-Star Game Announces Schedule, Teams

MARQUETTE, MI – The U.P. Football All-Star Game has finalized the schedule and players for this year’s event. 2018 marks the 11th anniversary of the U.P. summer football classic. This year, the players selected as all-stars were again drafted by the coaches, just like NFL fantasy football leagues and are either on the Red Team or the Black Team. What started as novelty for the 10th anniversary last year, the draft was very well-received and the coaches wished to have the draft this year as well. The draft was held in March at Buffalo Wild Wings in Marquette.

The draft took place on Saturday, March 18th at Buffalo Wild Wings in Marquette and was a very spirited event for everyone in attendance, coaches, players and media. The picks were also reported live on social media for all who want to follow the progress. The coaches from both teams were in attendance and did extensive research of all players, so they could put together the best team possible that fits their offensive and defensive schemes. Having the players “mixed” by the draft means not only will players be competing against traditional rivals from other schools, they might also be competing against players from their own school.

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/Magers Hall on NMU campus, and there will be a food drive for the Beacon House food pantry at the check-in location from 10 AM-Noon.

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 in the next few days. 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 for the players, and they must take turns standing in front of everyone, introducing their roommate for the week, and telling everyone some things about their roommate. Players also get recognized for their accomplishments during the Skills Challenge and 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 High 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 benefits from the game. Several other schools (Bark River-Harris, Gogebic, Ontonagon and West Iron County) will also receive donations in the form of All-Star Game equipment, including the practice jerseys and footballs.

BLACK TEAM ALL-STAR PLAYERS
Ryan Arndt Bark River-Harris
Jesus Becerra Stephenson
Tyler Blakely Newberry
Joshua Boulden Norway
Ethan Burke Westwood
David Carlson Newberry
Logan Carroll Escanaba
Alex Chouinard Gladstone
Donald Denofre Ishpeming
Garrett Dodds Pickford
James Domitrovich Ontonagon
Tabin Filizetti Westwood
Aaron Hainault Lake Linden
Mike Hall Bark River-Harris
Hayden Haslow Escanaba
Grant Hokenson Hancock (Chasell)
Bryce Hornick Stephenson
Spencer Husbye Gladstone
Kooper Jahfetson L'Anse
Jason Janquart Menominee
Kaleb Johanson Brimley
Daniel Johnson Gwinn
Wade Krysiak Superior Central
Jonah Logan Forest Park
Jared Miller North Dickinson
Mike Miller North Dickinson
Dante Pedrotti Norway
Sawyer Perpich Kingsford
Josh Plante Norway
Robert Ponchaud Forest Park
Jake Rajala Houghton
Bailey Ribich Gogebic (WM)
Francis Scheid Sault Ste Marie
Kyle Seeley Manistique
George Sevarns Newberry
Preston Strong Kingsford
Jon Sturm Kingsford
Brayden Tomes Gogebic (Bessemer)
Dominic Wagner Lake Linden
Micah Wilson Norway
Jake Witt Ontonagon (ETC)

BLACK TEAM ALL-STAR COACHES
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 ALL-STAR PLAYERS
Zack Albright Marquette
Aaron Barnes Hancock (Chassell)
Scout Bigger Engadine
Alec Blank Munising
Joseph Boik Pickford
Connor Bortolini Forest Park
Jayce Brockhagen West Iron County
Scott Cooper Houghton
Aaron Corkin Ishpeming
David Delayre Westwood
Jared Demeuse Gladstone
Jeff Doboy Stephenson
Liam Gayan Kingsford
Josh Grassel Escanaba
Mason Gustafson St. Ignace
Logan Hardwick Rapid River
Gavin Harris Rapid River
Brandon Henschel West Iron County
Ethan Homola Westwood
Darin Johnson Gladstone
Chase Kreski Kingsford
Jarrett LaCasse Rapid River
John LaMothe Pickford
Ramsey Luft Superior Central
Foster Miller L'Anse
Connor Ortman Norway
Austin Persson West Iron County
Eddie Plumley Kingsford
Jeff Rahilly Newberry
Joseph Rietveld Kingsford
Hunter Riley North Central
Jacob Rivard Menominee
Zach Robarge Forest Park
Peter Ropiak Forest Park
Johnny Schlenvogt Escanaba
Jeff Stenson Gladstone
Lucas Sundling Rapid River
Neil Tomasoski West Iron County
Jacob Tucker Iron Mountain
Cooper Twardzik Calumet
Nick Voelker Calumet
Robby Williams Negaunee
Scout Wunder Escanaba

RED TEAM ALL-STAR COACHES
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 tgoldbeck » Tue Jun 26, 2018 4:19 am

Every day is a great day, but there is a special feeling about Day 1...everyone checking in, receiving all their gear, meeting their new roommates and teammates for the first time, and getting all padded up for practice. Football is definitely in the air!
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Re: 2018 U.P. Football All-Star Game

Postby tgoldbeck » Tue Jun 26, 2018 4:21 am

The players did a fantastic job collecting food this year. It was the largest total ever, coming in at over 1500 lbs. All of the food was donated to St. Vincent de Paul, who was overwhelmed at the generosity of these fine young men.
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Re: 2018 U.P. Football All-Star Game

Postby tgoldbeck » Tue Jun 26, 2018 5:20 am

Food Drive Highlights Day 1 of All-Star Week

MARQUETTE, MI – Day 1 of the All-Star week is in the books. What a day! All of the players checked in and each team completed two practices. Both teams got to practice once in the Dome, and for many, it was the first time being in the Dome and playing on the turf. The coaches talked early and often about making the most of their opportunities and taking advantage of the time here to make new friends.

However, even with football in the front of everyone’s mind again, the highlight of the day was the food drive which benefitted the St. Vincent de Paul food pantry. Over 1500 pounds of food was collected and donated by the players, which was greatly appreciated by everyone at St. Vincent’s. It is a testament to how well supported these players are in their communities.

Organized locally, members of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, witness God’s love by embracing all works of charity and justice. The Society collaborates with other people of good will in relieving need and addressing its causes, making no distinction in those served. Friends in need may receive assistance with food, shelter, utilities, rent, material needs, prescriptions, transportation and other forms of charity. The stores are successful due to the generosity of community members who donate. The U.P. Football All-Star Game is very pleased to be a part of the community helping others in need.

Upon arriving, the players did not have much chance to relax. After getting settled into their rooms and having a quick lunch, there was a brief team meeting with all players and coaches. Once the general expectations were given, the group split up and each team began their practices.

Team Black head coach Al Stenberg, from Bark River-Harris, brought Bob Maycroft and Kevin Mileski from his staff to assist. Stenberg has coached previously in the All-Star Game. The other Black Team coaches are all from the Westwood staff. Scott Syrjala, head coach at Westwood, also brought Brad Wiljanen, Luke Gray and Mitchell Messing. Syrjala and Wiljanen have both coached in the All-Star Game before, and both Gray and Messing have played in the All-Star Game when they attended Westwood High School. This gives the Black Team a unique perspective, having coaches with prior All-Star Game coaching experience, as well as coaches who played in the game themselves.

Team Red head coach Mike Berutti, head coach at West Iron County, is new to the All-Star Game this year. Berutti brought several members of his WIC staff with him to assist, Kevin Leonoff, Chris Soha and Chris Thomson. Berutti also added several other members to his staff with prior Wykon connections, Rae Drake, Jr, who is now coaching Women’s Basketball at Bay College, and Kevin Grundy, who is at Wausau East in Wisconsin. Rounding out the staff for the Red Team is Neil Clapp, from Escanaba and Jeff Olson, Ishpeming. Besides Olson, a veteran of many years coaching in the All-Star Game, the Red Team is all new to All-Star Week. Having an entire staff new to a game such as this might initially seem to be a disadvantage, if not for the wealth of experience and knowledge Olson brings to the group. This was evident in practice, as they appeared to be a staff that has coached together for years and showed they came prepared.

The first practice is always about getting the players into the positions where they can benefit the team best. The All-Star Game provides many opportunities for players to get experience in different positions they have not tried before. With the small size of most U.P. high school rosters, the best players often play positions where they are needed most, and do not get a chance to experience other positions they might be more suited to play. With so many great players all on the same team, the coaches are able to move players around to accentuate their strengths, so it is fun to watch the players thrive at multiple positions.

Both teams spent time evaluating the talents of each player as they worked through the drills and formations. The players started to immediately develop some chemistry with each repetition and play. It was easy to see why these players were selected as the best in the U.P., because it did not take them long to settle in to a practice routine and begin looking like a football team. Both teams spent time in their individual position groups, as well as scrimmaging offense vs defense as an entire unit. Spirits were definitely soaring when the groups came together and guys got a chance to finally hit each other, after so many months out of pads.

It is hard to tell at this point which team has an advantage. Both teams are working hard to figure out their personnel and where each player can help the team in the best way. We will have to see how the week progresses, but both teams look to be very focused on their own game plans. Each team has players with unique strengths, and the coaches are developing ways to get the most out of every player and create the most advantageous match-ups.

Day 2 (Tuesday) will see everyone settle in to a regular routine of two practices, along with Media Day in the evening. Team and individual pictures will be taken and players will be available for interviews to any attending media. Players and coaches will be available for interviews at 6:45PM at the Dome.
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Re: 2018 U.P. Football All-Star Game

Postby upfootball » Wed Jun 27, 2018 8:43 pm

Can't wait to see this event this year. I haven't been able to attend in a few years. Finally have a free weekend to make it.
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Re: 2018 U.P. Football All-Star Game

Postby tgoldbeck » Fri Jun 29, 2018 4:46 am

Day 2 of All-Star Week: Practice & Media Day
MARQUETTE, MI – Day 2 of the U.P. Football All-Star week has concluded. The second day for both teams saw them settling in to their practice routines. Practice was held once in the morning and again in the afternoon. Both teams solidified their personnel and began to implement their game plans. Some players changed positions, based on the needs of the team, and how their talents might best be utilized. The offenses worked on different packages that would fit best with their individual talent. The defenses began developing plans for stopping the different offensive sets. Each practice saw the teams creating better chemistry and improved execution of their plays. Overall, at the end of day 2, these 80+ players from throughout the U.P. looked like two teams who are practicing for a game on Saturday, not a group of individuals thrown together just one day ago.
Tuesday evening was Media Day at the Dome and there was much excitement in the air. Players were interviewed and team and individual pictures were taken. Media on hand included TV, radio and newspapers, all eager to get the players’ perspectives on the game. It was nice for the media to have access to all the players from throughout the U.P., not just their own local players. The players are getting much better at speaking to the media and answering questions regarding what their perspectives are on the week’s activities. Getting players out of their comfort zones and accepting new challenges is definitely an emphasis for the week, so it good to see the players accepting these new roles on and off the field.
Wednesday afternoon will see the players performing the Skills Challenges. Players will compete in the Fastest Man, Strongest Man, Quarterback and Receiver Challenge, as well as Punting and Kicking. This friendly competition will lighten the mood for the players, who have been intently focused on their preparation for the game. The players can relax for a while and enjoy the atmosphere. The Skills Challenge is open to the public and begins at 2:15 PM in the Dome.
While the players are testing their physical skills, the coaches have the afternoon off. Spending some time away from the players will allow them to clear their minds as well, and get refocused on the remainder of the week. They too have been working hard to come up with the proper game plan that will utilize all the strengths of their players and give them the best advantage on Saturday, so some down time is exactly what they need.
Upcoming Events: Thursday afternoon will be the trip to Bay Cliff and Friday is the All-Star Banquet.
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Re: 2018 U.P. Football All-Star Game

Postby tgoldbeck » Fri Jun 29, 2018 4:47 am

Day 3: Players Skills Challenge, Rajala Fastest Lineman All-Time
MARQUETTE, MI – The highlight of day three for the U.P. All-Star football players Wednesday was the Skills Challenge. Events included the Fastest Man (40 yard dash), the Strongest Man (Bench Press), Quarterback Challenge, Receiver Challenge, Punting and Field Goal Kicking. Jake Rajala, Houghton, broke the All-Time Record for Fastest Lineman by running a blistering 4.652 sec electronically timed 40 yard dash, and was also the fastest overall in the entire group, including non-lineman.
For some of the challenges, the players were split into two divisions, lineman and non-lineman. Having two divisions gives those challenges a unique atmosphere, as there are several competitions taking place within each event. The three events that are split are: Fastest Man, Strongest Man and Receiver Challenge.
Results for the Players Challenge are as follows:
Fastest Man (Lineman): Jake Rajala, Houghton, 40 yard dash = 4.652 seconds (elec timed) New All-Time Record
Fastest Man (Non-Lineman): Ethan Burke, 40 yard dash=4.665 seconds (elec timed)
Strongest Man (Lineman): Eddie Plumley, Kingsford, Bench Press = 225 pounds, 17 reps
Strongest Man (Non-Lineman): Logan Carroll, Escanaba, Bench Press = 225 lbs, 12 reps
Quarterback Challenge: Peter Ropiak, Forest Park, Distance Thrown = 54 yards
Receiver Challenge (Non-Lineman): Jeff Rahilly, Newberry
Receiver Challenge (Lineman): Johnny Schlenvogt, Escanaba
Punting: Scout Bigger, Engadine, 50 yards
Field Goal Kicking: Zach Robarge, Forest Park, 45 yards
The Skills Challenge gave the players a much-needed rest from the grind of two practices per day. Each event which was performed had a gallery of players watching. Everyone was gathered around the competitors, cheering them on while they competed. There were some friendly rivalries within each competition, but the atmosphere was casual and all the players enjoyed the events. In addition to some local television and radio media in attendance, there were also some parents and fans that came by to watch the skills challenges. They were able to get on the field and take some pictures up close of their favorite players while they competed. Both squads have the rest of the afternoon off to relax and let their bodies recover from the physical stress of practice.
The players will next travel to Bay Cliff Health Camp Thursday afternoon, and the All-Star Banquet is set for Friday at the University Center, 6 PM.
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Re: 2018 U.P. Football All-Star Game

Postby tgoldbeck » Fri Jun 29, 2018 4:48 am

Nick Baumgartner, Iron River native, 3x Olympic Team member, X Games Champion snowboarder, stopped by practice to motivate the players. What a great opportunity to hear from a U.P. Champion! Thanks Mike Berutti for asking Nick to stop by. Nick played at West Iron County HS for Coach Berutti.
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Re: 2018 U.P. Football All-Star Game

Postby tgoldbeck » Fri Jun 29, 2018 4:49 am

All-Stars Take a Trip to Bay Cliff

MARQUETTE, MI – Thursday afternoon the All-Star players and coaches travelled to Bay Cliff Health Camp, located in Big Bay with some help from Checker Bus. Bay Cliff is a non-profit therapy and wellness center for children ages 3-17, who have a variety of physical disabilities. The primary summer camp is seven weeks, and focuses on children with orthopedic, speech, vision and hearing disabilities.

The players and coaches were taken in two large coach buses, provided by Checker Bus of Marquette. “We really could not make the trip to Bay Cliff without the help of Checker Bus”, stated Todd Goldbeck, All-Star Game organizer. “Having local businesses support the activities we perform throughout All-Star Week is so important to our success and what we are able to do.”

Once the players arrived, they took their turn as coaches when they split up into different stations and showed the Bay Cliff campers football drills and skills. The campers were very excited to be interacting in such a fun and personal way with the players. Seeing the uninhibited campers beaming with smiles as they played football with the All-Star players is something that words simply cannot describe.

They received handoffs from the quarterbacks and made their way through a tunnel of players to the “end zone”, where they knocked over big linemen with blocking pads, and spiked the ball. Other groups showed the campers how to throw and catch or kick a field goal. No matter what the campers’ physical ability, the players worked with them so they were able to have as much fun as they could playing football.

In addition to the football drills, campers were given All-Star Game programs, which have the players’ pictures and profiles. Campers were able to go around to as many All-Star players as they could and get autographs as well. It was quite a thrill for everyone involved, both Bay Cliff campers and All-Star players.

After the football portion was complete, the Bay Cliff campers invited the players to join them for dinner, which gave the players a glimpse into their routine of meal time. It seems that sometimes big strong high school football players should be eating out of troughs, so it was good for them to be exposed to proper manners by the campers. Some of the “Big House” rules included: waiting for the dinner bell to enter the hall, no hats indoors, saying please and thank you, passing food to the right, no elbows on the table and no talking with your mouth full. Anytime a player was observed breaking any of these rules, there was a camper close by informing them of the proper way they should be conducting themselves.

Sawyer Perpich, Black Team quarterback from Kingsford High School, spoke to the campers after dinner and thanked Bay Cliff on behalf of the All-Star players and coaches. “We thank you for inviting us to visit. We have been looking forward to our visit here all week. It is very special for us to come here and be able to spend time with all of you. This is our favorite part of the week, by far.”

Coach Al Stenberg, head coach at Bark River-Harris and for the Black Team, spoke to the group and also thanked the Bay Cliff staff and the campers for being such great hosts. He noted, “This trip to Bay Cliff by the All-Star players is the highlight of the week for all of us players and coaches.” He also made special recognition of the Bay Cliff camp counselors for the great job they do working with all of the campers, and that he had a relative who benefitted from his experience at Bay Cliff many years ago. Coach Stenberg stated it was really nice to visit here in person and see all of the great things Bay Cliff was doing for the campers.

There is no doubt, the trip was once again a huge success. As much as the campers enjoyed the visit, the players took away just as much. A theme of All-Star week is always to give back to the communities of the U.P., and the players saw first-hand at Bay Cliff what that means. As one of the All-Star coaches stated, “Many things will come and go from our lives, but memories will last forever, and there were definitely many unbelievable memories made this year at Bay Cliff.”

Jilbert’s Dairy Welcomes Players Back

When the All-Star players returned back to campus, there was a special treat waiting for them, ice cream from Jilbert’s Dairy. Jilbert’s has been a long-time supporter of the All-Star Game, and is always generous when it comes to providing for the players. The players enjoyed getting off their feet and just relaxing while enjoying a late-night treat.

As for the game itself, there is only one more day of practice left before the two teams take to the field on Saturday. Both teams have come quite a long way since the beginning of the week and are looking like teams who have played together for an entire season. The players have embraced each other as teammates and friends, and it shows in their chemistry on and off the field. Saturday should be a very exciting match-up. There are two practices scheduled during the day Friday.

Friday evening is the All-Star Banquet, which will provide the players a chance to see their families and tell them all about how the week has gone. It is being held at the NMU University Center-Great Lakes Rooms, with the social beginning at 6PM, and the program to follow at 7PM.
Saturday is the game. Doors open at noon, with player introductions to begin at 1PM and kickoff to follow afterward.
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Re: 2018 U.P. Football All-Star Game

Postby tgoldbeck » Fri Jun 29, 2018 6:21 am

Jeff Olson To Speak at All-Star Banquet
Jeff Olson, Head Coach of the 3-Time Michigan State Champion Ishpeming Hematites, will be the guest speaker at the All-Star Banquet on Friday evening, June 29.

Coach Olson, his family and his community have been through some of the best and worst that life has to offer, all within a very short amount of time, and they have all been through it together. The loss of classmates and family members, changing Michigan sports legislation and both losing then winning multiple state championships; the Ishpeming family has grown closer through all of it.

Jeff was born and raised in Marquette, where he played football and basketball at Marquette High School for Hall of Fame coaches Mike Mileski and Gordy Leduc. Jeff was named 1st Team All-UP in both sports. Since he was fifteen, he has worked construction during the summer months.
Jeff went to Northern Michigan University, where he graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Business Management and a Teaching certificate in Physical Education. He has taught in the Ishpeming School District for the past 21 years. Prior to that, he taught 2 years in Sault Ste. Marie, and has also taught in the Marquette and Gwinn school districts.

Jeff has been coaching football for the past 36 years. His resume includes 8 years as a JV coach in Marquette, 2 years as a Varsity Assistant in Sault Ste. Marie, and the past 26 years as the Head Coach in Ishpeming. His Hematites have won 6 Conference championships, made the state quarterfinals 6 times, and were state runner-up 2 times, in addition to the 3 State Championships they have won. Throughout his football coaching career Jeff has been named Regional Coach of the Year 8 times, UP Coach of the Year 3 times, and the Michigan Football Coaches Association State Coach of the Year 4 times. Jeff states that he was very fortunate to have legendary football coach Buck Nystrom assist him at Ishpeming for 10 seasons. In addition to football, he has also coached Track & Field, as well as basketball in Ishpeming.

Jeff’s football teams have the reputation for playing hard-nosed, smash-mouth football. He emphasizes being very fundamentally sound and not too fancy. His defenses have proven to be very stingy and have been the No. 1 defense in the Mid-Peninsula Conference numerous times over throughout his tenure at Ishpeming. His former running back has the State Record for carries in a game and season.

Jeff is an All-Star Game veteran, having been the head coach for the East in the inaugural game in 2008, and also an assistant in 2010, when his son Daniel was an All-Star quarterback. Jeff has lent his coaching expertise to the All-Star Game 6 times, far more than any other coach.

Coach Olson will talk to the players about teamwork, supporting each other through adversity and the family atmosphere that football and athletics provides. Developing and maintaining a “strategy” to get through life’s unpredictable obstacles is important to always remember. All in attendance will understand how everyone in a small U.P. community can come together to achieve greatness, despite the hardships they faced.
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Re: 2018 U.P. Football All-Star Game

Postby upfootball » Fri Jun 29, 2018 9:45 pm

Coach Olson is one of the very best UP coaches of all time. I wish all HS parents could listen to the coach speak and watch how he molds his players. He coaches fundamentals fundamentals fundamentals and it is a championship formula. Not fancy, not going to trick you. Going to do all the little things better than the opponent and win. Its exactly what the most vocal people in the stands who cry about play calling don't take the time to understand. Appreciate this one while he is still on the coaching scene. He isn't only a great coach but a remarkable human being.
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Re: 2018 U.P. Football All-Star Game

Postby steve grinsteiner » Sat Jun 30, 2018 9:42 pm

Black team beats Red team 14-7. It was a good one today, it was all Red in the first half, then the Black took over and scored a couple TDs. Then the Red team fumbled inside the goal line when they were going to tie the game, and the Black team recovered and won the game. Good play by all the yooper athletes and wish them the best in their college careers!

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Re: 2018 U.P. Football All-Star Game

Postby tgoldbeck » Sun Jul 01, 2018 2:13 am

Banquet Press Release:
Jeff Olson Headlines All-Star Banquet

MARQUETTE, MI - Friday marked the last day of preparation for the players and coaches before the game. The coaches had the players practice all of their special teams alignments, as well as several live drives and situations. The players were on high alert, and it was evident that both teams were fine-tuning the plays they felt would give them the best chance for success in the game. The players are definitely anxious to tackle someone in a different colored jersey.

The Red Team practiced twice on Friday, while the Black team chose to spend a little longer in the morning, and took the afternoon off. Players were in helmets and shoulder pads for both teams. They ran some plays, practiced extra points and made sure everyone knew their assignments in various formations. With player introductions at 1PM, Saturday morning will go by quick. Players will eat breakfast in the cafeteria, gather all their equipment and personal belongings, then check out of the dorms. Snacks and Gatorade, provided by Econo Foods and Super One, will be available for the players before they head to the Dome for pregame.

Friday evening was the All-Star Banquet, where four hundred people were in attendance to meet and greet the players. Parents, family and friends saw their players for the first time all week and had a chance to find out what the players have been experiencing during the week. The night started out with a brief overview of Bay Cliff Health Camp by Tim Bennett, who is the Camp Director, followed by a video montage of pictures and music from the trip to Bay Cliff Health Camp, which is posted on the All-Star Game YouTube channel (https://youtu.be/apeEtwclQrw). It was very moving to see all of the players and campers interacting, and it really set the tone for the entire evening. The players and coaches then took turns introducing each other, and the night culminated in a motivational message from guest speaker, Jeff Olson, Ishpeming High School Head Coach.

Olson spoke about the importance of allowing our youth to fail, and feel all of the various emotions that come with failures in everyday life. He told several stories about failures in his own life, which made him stronger. He stressed the importance of being resilient and never giving up after you have experienced failure. Inevitably, there will be events that happen in your life that are not fair, and it is your response to those circumstances that will determine the outcome and your future success. Olson pointed out that it is much too commonplace in today’s society that we do not allow our children to feel pain, and learn that life is not fair when they are young, which in turn hinders their ability to cope with adversity when they get older.

Overall, it was an excellent message, and everyone was hanging on Coach Olson’s every word. There is a lot of diversity in the players, so whether a player continues their football career in college, or not, they could all take the message to heart. Some players will attend college, and some will go straight to a career or the military, but everyone could relate to the message. Jeff Olson provided everyone with a very powerful look into the mirror of today’s society.

The Traveling Trophy was also on display for all to see. Parents and fans saw it up-close for the first time and many took pictures of their players with it individually. The trophy will be presented to the winning team, where it can be passed to other teams representing the winning squad throughout the year, before returning to Marquette for next year’s game. Players also received their all-star rings and the winners of the Skills Challenges were recognized during the program.

The U.P. Football All-Star Game will begin at 1 PM. Doors to the Dome will be open at Noon. Cost is $7 at the door.
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Re: 2018 U.P. Football All-Star Game

Postby tgoldbeck » Sun Jul 01, 2018 3:27 am

Post-Game Conclusions

MARQUETTE, MI – What a week! What a game!

The players and coaches put the finishing touches on a full week of activities by taking the field at the Superior Dome in front of 2000 fans. The atmosphere was electric and the fans were excited to see their local U.P. players compete in one more high school football game. Players finally had a chance to compare their talents to other U.P. all-stars on the field that they previously had only heard about.

For the players not pursuing football in college, the game provided a last chance to put on the pads and have some fun. For the players reporting to college football camp in the fall, they got a taste of playing in a large stadium, as well as a week of practice with the pads on getting used to harder hits and more physical contact.

As for the game itself, it was definitely very competitive. The red team scored first very quickly, and had the ball on the 1 yard line again, looking to jump out to a two touchdown lead, but was turned back several times by the black team defense and was not allowed to score. The black team scored before halftime, tying it 7-7. Both teams intercepted each other in the first half, which shows how even the two team were as the result of the fantasy draft of the players by the coaches. In the second half, the black team scored again, making it 14-7. The red team moved the ball down the field with the clock ticking down in the fourth quarter, and had the ball inside the 10 yard line before a fumble and recovery by the black team sealed the victory for the black team.

The individual awards were as follows: Black Team Offensive MVP: Ryan Arndt-Bark River-Harris, Black Team Defensive MVP: Jake Rajala-Houghton, Black Team Character Award: Francis Scheid-Sault, Red Team Offensive MVP: Jeff Rahilly-Newberry, Red Team Defensive MVP: Jacob Rivard-Menominee, Red Team Character Award: Neil Tomasoski-West Iron County. Individual awards were decided on by the coaching staffs of each team after the game. The traveling trophy was presented to the Black Team and head coach Al Stenberg of Bark River-Harris. A miniature version of the trophy was also presented to Iffer Marshall, head coach at St. Ignace (on behalf of Marty Spencer), who was the head coach for the victorious Black Team in 2017. The traveling trophy may be passed between schools representing the Black Team, then brought back to Marquette for next year’s game, where Coach Stenberg will receive his own miniature version of the trophy for this year’s victory.

Totals are being finalized and the proceeds will be donated to several U.P. charities and schools.
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Re: 2018 U.P. Football All-Star Game

Postby tgoldbeck » Sun Jul 01, 2018 3:28 am

Westwood, Menominee & Other U.P. Schools Get All-Star Donations
11 Year Reflections Made

MARQUETTE, MI - The U.P. Football All-Star Game continued its giving ways by announcing that two U.P. high school football teams will receive donations from the game this year. The Menominee & Westwood football programs will each receive one thousand dollars, which can be used for anything that benefits the football program.

“When this game was started, it was always a goal that we would eventually be able to donate directly to all of the high school football programs throughout the U.P.”, said Todd Goldbeck.

The schools are picked at random each year. Once a school has been selected, that school will be removed from the lottery until all other schools have been chosen once, then the selection process starts over again.

“The lottery is a very fun way to select the schools”, said Goldbeck. “Every program is eligible, and it does not matter how successful the team is; everyone has a chance and gets a turn. It is very important that all U.P. programs are supported, so that each school can maintain a competitive team. I was very pleased to hear that both schools that were chosen have specific plans for the donations and they will help their football programs in a positive way. That is what the All-Star Game is all about.”

Every U.P. football program will get an equal donation from the all-star game, in the amount of one thousand dollars. Once all schools have received the donation, the process will start over again.

“This game would not be possible without the schools providing a positive environment for all of these student-athletes to succeed. Giving back to their football programs will hopefully help each school continue their individual football tradition”, states Goldbeck.

The football team of each school may choose to use the money in a number of ways. Equipment, weight room and uniforms are just a few places that the school may decide will be the most effective use of the funds.

In addition to the two schools selected, the Black and Red All-Star head coaches will receive half of the footballs used during the week leading up to the game. There are 24 new footballs each year, so both All-Star head coaches (Mike Berutti-West Iron County and Al Stenberg-Bark River-Harris) get to take home 12 footballs, which have only been used a few times during the week.

Also, all of the practice jerseys are donated to U.P. football programs. There is a full set of black jerseys that will go to the Gogebic Miners Football Program, and the maroon jerseys are being given to Ontonagon High School. The practice jerseys have the school name printed on them and were their school colors, so they can be used by the schools right away without any further additions to the jerseys.

Other notable donations included over 1500 pounds of food for the St. Vincent de Paul food pantry, as well as cash donations to the U.P. Sports Hall of Fame to sponsor an annual scholarship and Bay Cliff Health Camp, which are two organizations that operate on contributions from the community. The 50/50 raffle at the game was $1250 total, so the individual got 50% ($625), while the All-Star Game 50% ($625) was donated to the Negaunee Booster Club for their assistance in selling tickets.

“When the game is over, I always want to be in a position to say, ‘The All-Star Game did very well again this year. That means we gave back to many different groups/schools and the players had fun throughout the week, while also reinforcing some important life lessons they can take moving forward in their lives.’ That is what All-Star Week is all about. I think we accomplished that again this year.”

Next year’s game is set for Saturday, June 29, 2019.



11 Year Reflections Made

After 11 years of the U.P. Football All-Star Game’s existence, the following notables have occurred:

-Every football program in the U.P. has been represented by a player at least once
-957 players have participated in the game
-74 coaches have participated in the game
-Menominee has had the most players participate in the game (49)
-20 schools have received a $1000 cash donation to their football programs
-18 schools have received a full set of practice jerseys
-360 footballs have been donated to various schools throughout the U.P.
-Other U.P. organizations that have received donations from the game
-Bay Cliff Health Camp, Beacon House, Daniel Olson Memorial Scholarship Fund, YMCA Strong Kids Program, Marquette Dance Team, Negaunee & Ishpeming Booster Clubs for helping with the 50/50 Raffle
-9600 pounds of food collected and donated to the Beacon House & St, Vincent de Paul Food Pantries
-A $500 scholarship has been sponsored each year for the U.P. Sports Hall of Fame ($5500 in 11 years)

Totals: $82,131 in cash and supplies donated to various U.P. schools in 11 years of the U.P. Football All-Star Game.

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Re: 2018 U.P. Football All-Star Game

Postby tgoldbeck » Sun Jul 01, 2018 3:29 am

Bay Cliff Video posted on the U.P. Football All-Star Game You Tube channel, and the music makes it way better!! (Facebook was muting the music) This will be the same place the banquet video will be posted when I receive it. https://youtu.be/apeEtwclQrw https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJiQQ3 ... rxzQUdLGyQ
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