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Hail to the VICTORS with All-Upper Peninsula high school football awards: Marquette’s Kam Karp, Desmond Mullen earn U.P. Player of the Year honors

Marquette’s Kam Karp, top, is lifted by teammate Tayber Cook after Karp scored a touchdown in a game against Menominee at William R. Hart Stadium in Marquette on Sept. 18. (Photo courtesy Daryl T. Jarvinen)

MARQUETTE — It’s special when a player gets recognized as the best at their position, but it’s even better when two players on the same team earn Player of the Year awards.

That’s what happened Wednesday when it was announced that Marquette receiver Kam Karp and defensive back Desmond Mullen won the Upper Peninsula Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association Offensive and Defensive POTY awards, respectively.

An offensive weapon, Karp terrorized opposing defenses with his speed and catching abilities. He finished with 28 receptions for 625 yards and seven touchdowns. He also threw a touchdown pass, so he showed he can pretty much do it all.

“That’s really well deserved, especially given his performance against some, I guess you’d call them upper-level teams,” Redmen head coach Eric Mason said. “That last game especially, and of course most of the games this year. The kid is just a fantastic athlete and he proves it week in and week out.

“He’s the best guy on the field and well deserved, (on) both offense and defense side(s) of the ball. That kid definitely has done, not necessarily surprised me, but definitely impressed me throughout the year.”

Marquette’s Desmond Mullen looks up field after making an interception in a game against Sault Ste. Marie on Sept. 24 at William R. Hart Stadium n Marquette. (Photo courtesy Daryl T. Jarvinen)

Then there’s Mullen, who was just as effective on defense as Karp was on offense.

Teams tended to avoid throwing in Mullen’s direction, but he still finished with five interceptions and five fumble recoveries. He also was a player who delivered some tough hits as he racked up 109 tackles for the Redmen.

“Very well deserved,” Mason said of Mullen’s honor. “Desmond might be, you hate to ever say the best, but as far as a student of the game and studying the game and understanding responsibilities of all your teammates and everyone around you, what the other offense (is doing), watching film, and basically a coach on the field.

“That doesn’t surprise me. The tackles that kid had this year, it was crazy and it wasn’t surprising because he’s been that way since I’ve known him. He’s just a very responsible (player) and takes the game seriously and takes the intellectual part of the game seriously.”

Ryan Stieg can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 252. His email address is rstieg@miningjournal.net.

Marquette's Kameron Karp, left, dives to the inside of Menominee defender Aidan Bellisle and breaks the tackle after receiving a screen pass from quarterback Austin Ridl en route to a Redmen touchdown in the third quarter of their high school football game played at the William R. Hart Stadium in Marquette on Sept. 18. (Photo courtesy Daryl T. Jarvinen)

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