Head coach Matt Mattson leads Great Lakes 8 football champion Munising in award winners
ENGADINE — Though there wasn’t a contest like in the regular season, champion Munising also edged out several other teams for most players honored when the East Division of the Great Lakes Eight Conference handed out its football awards on Monday.
The Mustangs won the true conference title on the final day of the regular season on Oct. 22 when they defeated Brimley 52-30 and Rudyard knocked off former coleader Pickford 20-14.
In the awards race, Munising had nine players honored while also winning two of the four “major” awards — Team of the Year and Coach of the Year for Matt Mattson.
Five Mustangs were named to the First Team, three of them on offense — junior running back Josiah Peramaki, senior wide receiver Jesse Duran and junior lineman Ashton Wymer.
Defenders named to the First Team were junior linebacker Jacob Mattson and hybrid player Micaiah Peramaki.
Another three Munising players made the Second Team, all on defense — junior tackle Cully Trzeciak, junior end Reagan Bowerman and senior back Billy Crisp.
In addition, Munising’s Riley Murk made the honorable mention list.
Newberry, which was part of a three-way tie for second place during the season, also tied for second-most players honored with seven.
And Indians’ senior John Nutkins won a major award, Defensive Player of the Year, along with a First Team nod at linebacker.
Junior teammate Marco Juarez was one of just a handful of players to be honored on both offense and defense, as he earned a First Team nod at defensive back and Second Team laurel at running back.
Newberry’s other five honorees were senior wide receiver Eric Edwards and junior defensive tackle Zach Burton on the First Team, senior quarterback Connor Rintamaki and senior Liam Shanley on the Second Team, and Matthew Rahilly with honorable mention.
Superior Central, which finished just behind the three second-place teams, had a half-dozen players earn honors.
On the First Team were senior offensive hybrid Zach Frusti and junior punter Ben Molag, while on the Second Team were senior offensive lineman AJ Richmond, senior linebacker Wyatt Smith and junior defensive back Lucas Swetich. Honorable mention went to Emmett Vining.
The other major award went to Pickford senior running back Josh Sullivan as Offensive Player of the Year.
Rudyard actually won the most awards, though no major ones, with 11 spread among seven players, while Pickford had eight awards for five players.
Here are the other First Team, Second Team and honorable mentions, listed by player, with position, year and school:
First Team — Quarterback: E.J. Suggitt, sr., Rudyard. Running back: Josh Sullivan, sr., Pickford. Wide receiver: Braden Altolf, jr., Pickford. Offensive lineman: Drew French, sr., Engadine; and George Edington, sr., Pickford. Defensive tackle: George Edington, sr., Pickford. Defensive end: E.J. Suggitt, sr., Rudyard; and Brayden Altolf, jr., Pickford. Linebacker: Cason Smith, sr., Cedarville; and Josh Sullivan, sr., Pickford. Defensive back: Aiden Bickel, soph., Rudyard. Kicker: Jacob Nolan, jr., Rudyard. Return specialist: Connor Hall, jr., Engadine
Second Team — Running back: Cam Peterson, soph., Rudyard. Wide receiver: Hossack Sweeney, jr., Cedarville; and Aiden Bickel, soph., Rudyard. Offensive hybrid: Aidan Ondrus, jr., Cedarville. Offensive lineman: Tate Besteman, sr., Rudyard; and Mike Perkins, jr., Cedarville. Defensive tackle: Ean Brady, sr., Rudyard. Linebacker: Dominic Morrison, sr., Brimley; and Cam Peterson, soph., Rudyard. Defensive back: Hunter Hagen, sr., Pickford; Aiden Ondrus, jr., Cedarville; and Jaques LaBlanc, sr., Brimley. Defensive hybrid: Tate Besteman, sr., Rudyard
Honorable mention (no positions) — Caleb Lipponen, Brimley; Alec Storey, Cedarville; Matthias Miller, Engadine; Austin Warner, Rudyard; and Zach Harrison, Pickford
Information compiled by Journal Sports Editor Steve Brownlee. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.