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An all-state mention: Negaunee Miners’ Nash Hillier, Preston Toutant listed with all-state grid teams in Division 5-6

Negaunee’s Preston Toutant, center, sacks L’Anse quarterback Alex Kissel on a fourth-down play at the Miners’ field in Negaunee on Oct. 2. Also chasing on the play for the Miners is Parker Cain, right. (Photo courtesy Daryl T. Jarvinen) all three werehonored with selectition to the 2020West Pac Copper Division All Converene team. (Photo courtesy Daryl T. Jarvinen)

Pat Collins fell just short of a state championship as Montague’s starting quarterback in 1992, when the Wildcats lost to Detroit St. Martin de Porres at the Pontiac Silverdome.

Twenty-eight years later, Drew Collins is hoping to be able to one-up his dad, who is now in his 17th season as Montague’s head coach.

Drew Collins, and his father, have earned one accolade along the way.

Montague’s 6-foot-3, 208-pound senior quarterback and team captain has been voted The Associated Press Division 5-6 Player of the Year by a panel of sports writers. Meanwhile, Pat Collins got the nod as AP Coach of the Year.

“The best end result would be a state championship,” Drew Collins said earlier this season. “That would be really special.”

Negaunee’s Nash Hillier, center top, leaps over teammate Lukas Nelson (partially hidden on the ground) as he runs the ball against L’Anse at the Miners’ field in Negaunee on Oct. 2. (Photo courtesy Daryl T. Jarvinen)

Another hurdle cropped up Tuesday when the Michigan High School Athletic Association announced another pause to the playoffs after they had been given the green light to resume last week.

From Negaunee, two seniors earned Honorable Mention when the all-state list came out today. Nash Hillier as a running back and Preston Toutant as a lineman were also All-Upper Peninsula picks at those positions on offense a week ago.

Montague (9-0), which has been ranked No. 1 in Division 6 all season, will host Montrose (8-1) in the regional finals. The game had been set for Jan. 2, but now it’s unclear when it will happen.

Collins recently received offers from Northwood and Michigan Tech. He’s also been in contact with other Division II schools and has offers or opportunities with Division III or NAIA programs.

Montague dominated the All-State squad with linemen Walker Martin and Hayden McDonald as well as kicker Andrew Kooi also earning a spot on the first team.

The Division 5-6 All-State first team also includes Montrose’s Bobby Skinner at quarterback; Muskegon Oakridge’s Corey Vanderputte, Kingsley’s Owen Graves, Constantine’s Brayden Clark and Grayling’s David Milliken at running back; Erie-Mason’s Tanner Herrera, Glen Lake’s Finn Hogan, Blissfield’s Zack Horky, Grand Rapids Catholic Central’s Jace Williams and Essexville-Garber’s Logan Anthony at wide receiver; Essexville-Garber’s Alex VanSumeren and Brayden Swartout, Corunna’s Nick Steinacker, Frankenmuth’s Kyle Main, Montrose’s Levi Harber, Olivet’s Mason Shroad and Lansing Catholic’s Bo Poljan as linemen; Detroit Edison’s Aaron Paulding, Mason County Central’s Khole Hofmann, Buchanan’s Gavin Fazi and Clinton’s Brayden Randolph at linebacker; Ogemaw Heights’ Zea Kartes, Detroit Denby’s Armon Williams, Muskegon Catholic Central’s Tommy Kartes, Boyne City’s Bobby Hoth, Lake Odessa Lakewood’s Sawyer Stoepker, Grand Rapids Catholic Central’s Nolan Ziegler and Grand Rapids West Catholic’s Travis Zdanowski at defensive back; Lansing Catholic’s Alex Watters at specialist; and Frankenmuth’s Ethan Jacobs at punter.

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