Eleven-player football All-U.P. Dream Team
Six area players honored
The local duo were impact players on both sides of the ball and were rewarded with spots as defensive backs on the Upper Peninsula Dream Team, which was voted on this week by the U.P. Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association at Northern Michigan University.
Offensive lineman Johnathan Schlenvogt and running back Logan Carroll of Escanaba, linebacker Alex Chouinard of Gladstone and Manistique defensive tackle Kyle Seeley also were selected to the Dream football unit.
Wunder was a leader, key running back and defensive back for the Eskymos. He averaged eight tackles, with four interceptions, numerous pass breakups and was a ferocious hitter in the secondary. Wunder also doubled as a key running back in the Eskymos’ offense.
“This kid, in my mind, is the most versatile player in the Upper Peninsula,” Esky coach Dave Howes said. “With our tough schedule, Scout was the man on both sides of the ball. He is for sure our most valuable and talented kid on our team. I can’t say enough about this kid.”
Johnson sparked the Braves at quarterback, defensive back and special teams.
Offensively, Johnson completed 54-of-87 passes for 975 yards and 10 TDs.
He carried the ball 99 times for 660 yards and 10 TDs as the Braves won the Mid-Peninsula Conference championship and made the playoffs for the first time in nearly a decade.
“He’s easily one of the best football players in the U.P. all-around,” Gladstone head coach Jeff Hansen said. “He did it all on offense, defense and special teams and never left the field. He’s tough as nails and provided a ton of leadership. He shouldered the load we put on him.”
Schlenvogt was the only returning starter on the line on both sides of the ball for the Eskymos. He provided key senior leadership and efficient blocking as an offensive guard.
“He is one of the most consistent linemen I have ever coached and is a student of the game,” Howes said. “Technique and precision are two words that would fit his profile. Being one of the best linemen in the toughest conference in the Upper Peninsula is a credit to Johnathan and he has been a major contributor to Escanaba’s wonderful success the last two seasons.”
Carroll provided a nice blend of power, speed and explosiveness in Esky’s balanced ground attack. He rushed for more than 1,000 yards (9.3 average) with 14 touchdowns and could open holes for his teammates with efficient blocking.
“Logan averaged 9.3 yards a carry and that was against one of the toughest schedules in the Upper Peninsula,” Howes said. “I know for a fact that he would have had eye-opening numbers if he was on a team that focused on one ball carrier, but he was one of the main reasons we were so successful this year. Logan is a true leader on the team and an extremely hard worker.”
Chouinard was the ringleader of the Braves’ defense. He recorded 127 tackles, including 44 solos and 83 assists. He had 15 tackles for lost yardage and forced two fumbles.
‘He was a tackling machine and a tough kid,” Hansen said. “He loves contact and hits like a ton of bricks. He pops out at you in how fast he reads and tackles and brings you down hard.”
Seeley controlled the middle of Manistique’s defense with his size and power. He was a unanimous All-Mid-Peninsula Conference selection and provided leadership and dedication to a program that did not win a game the last two seasons.
Other talented offensive players on the Dream Team are quarterback Sawyer Perpich of Kingsford and Jeff Rahilly of Newberry.
Perpich passed for 1,525 yards and 14 touchdowns as was named the Large School Offensive Player of the Year. Rahilly caught 34 passes for 964 yards and 11 TDs and was named the Small School Offensive Player of the Year.
Joining Schlenvogt on the Dream Team offensive line are Kingsford’s John Sturm, Marquette’s Zack Albright, Hancock’s Jake Patchin and West Iron County’s Bryant Schram.
Kingsford teammate Joe Rietveld earned a spot at defensive tackle and also was named the Mitchell Snyder Lineman of the Year.
Joining Carroll in the offensive backfield as running backs are Marquette’s Drew Gale (1,236 yards, 15 TDs) and West Iron County’s Jayce Brockhagen (1,186 yards, 18 TDs). Marquette’s Ethan Martysz was the kicker and other offensive end (45 catches, 785 yards, 8 TDs).
The return specialist was Negaunee sophomore Drew DuShane and Gogebic’s Parker Wilson was named the punter.
Other defensive Dream Team players were tackle Blake Hewitt of Westwood, ends Sam Gilles of Westwood and Cooper Twardzik of Calumet, linebackers Peter Heikkinen of Lake Linden-Hubbell and Ethan Homola of Westwood and defensive back Ethan Mileski of Menominee.
Mileski (58 tackles, 35 solos, four interceptions) was named the Big School Defensive Player of the Year and Wunder was considered for this honor.
Heikkinen (81 tackles) was named the Small School Defensive Player of the Year.