All-state, all-region: State high school football coaches group MHSFCA honors 6 area players as all-state, more for all-region

Negaunee's Kai Lacar, center, looks for an opening in the middle of a pack of Ishpeming defenders during their high school football game played at Miners Field in Negaunee on Aug. 24. (Photo courtesy Cara Kamps)

MARQUETTE — A half-dozen area players from Marquette and Alger counties have earned First Team All-State awards from the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association.

The group announced on Monday its First Team all-staters in each MHSAA division for both 11-player and eight-player football.

Each of the six from the area also earned All-Upper Peninsula recognition two weeks earlier, and not surprisingly, took in quite a haul in their respective conference awards, too.

The group includes Marquette Senior High School senior Dasan Smith on the MHSFCA First Team Defense in Division 3 after he was named All-U.P. Mitchell Snyder Lineman of the Year and a member of the peninsula’s Dream Team. He specifically made the coaches’ list on the defensive line.

Two seniors from Negaunee are on the MHSFCA First Team Defense list in Division 6.

Ishpeming's Carlos Perez, top left, pursues Iron Mountain ball carrier Luke Wolfe as he hurdles the Hematites' Tramon Gauthier, center on the ground, and breaks a tackle as he scores the Mountaineers first touchdown in the opening quarter of their high school football game played at the Ishpeming Playgrounds on Sept. 8. (Photo courtesy Daryl T. Jarvinen)

Kai Lacar made it as a defensive back after he was named All-U.P. Dream Team on both offense and special teams, while Evan Gauthier was honored by the coaches on the defensive line after he received All-U.P. Special Mention and was an honoree in the West PAC Copper Division on both offense and defense.

Also honored in 11-player football from the area was Ishpeming junior Carlos Perez on Division 8 First Team Offense. He was named by the coaches on the offensive line after actually receiving All-U.P. Dream Team laurels on defense.

In eight-player football, two players from Munising earned honors in Division 1. Senior Joe Kelley made the MHSFCA First Team Defense on the defensive line after he earned a similar All-U.P. Dream Team award, while junior Jack Dusseault was a coaches’ First Team Offense honoree at tight end after making All-U.P. Dream Team on offense.

A number of other area players are listed on the group’s website, www.mhsfca.com, as winning all-region honors.

In addition to the all-state honorees, in Division 6 they include Negaunee junior Eli Cody on the offensive line, while teammate Lacar was an unusual double honoree on both offense and defense.

From left, Marquette offensive lineman Dasasn Smith blocks while quarterback Jaxon Jurmu readies to hand off to Tucker Welch during a high school football game played against Alpena at William R. Hart Stadium in Marquette on Aug. 31. (Photo courtesy Cara Kamps)

In Division 7, five Manistique players were named all-region — junior Bryson Wood on the offensive line, senior Wyatt Demers as a wide receiver, senior Carsyn Hinkson as a running back, senior Michael Bouche as a defensive lineman and senior Parker Graphos as a linebacker.

Three Ishpeming seniors joined Perez as all-region in Division 8. They are Hayden Hares at a defensive lineman, Hunter Smith as a linebacker and Connor Gauthier as a defensive back.

Along with Kelley and Dusseault from Munising, two players from Newberry and one from Superior Central earned eight-player all-region honors.

They are Newberry juniors Ethan Pavey on the offensive line and Matthew Rahilly as a athlete/hybrid in Division 1, along with SC senior Jason Kanerva on the defensive line.

A news release announcing the awards mentioned that players were selected by a panel of coaches from each state region.

Negaunee defensive linemen Evan Gauthier, left, tackles Reed City tight end Max Hammond, front right, as the Miners' Philip Nelson, back right, also converges on the play in the fourth quarter of their MHSAA 11-player football Division 6 semifinal playoff game in Gaylord on Nov. 19, 2022. (Cadillac News photo by Ricardo Martin)

Coaches must be a member of the MHSFCA to be involved in the selection process and have their players eligible to be chosen.

The coaches group also said that academic all-state and coach of the year awards will be announced at a later date. Its website lists 17 awards and honors, with the only 2023 awards listed on Monday being all-state and all-region recognition.

Information compiled by Journal Sports Editor Steve Brownlee. His email address is sbrownlee@miningjournal.net.


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