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Busy all-star week: Full week of activities leads up to U.P. Football All-Star Game on Saturday

Red team quarterback Alec Blank of Munising drops back while looking for a receiver during the 2018 Upper Peninsula All-Star Football Game played June 30 at the Superior Dome in Marquette. (Journal photo by Corey Kelly)

2019 U.P. Football All-Star teams

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BLACK TEAM

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Players

Kyle Anderson, Menominee

Tyler Beauchamp, Kingsford

Ashton Bergman, Westwood

Andrew Blanchard, Engadine

Bryce Brazeau, Marquette

Collin Broemer, Gogebic

Alex Cannoot, Marquette

Eddy Chapman, Gwinn

Brandon Christensen, Newberry

Christian Creten, Gladstone

Brendin Cryderman, Sault Ste. Marie

Reid DeLaurelle, Stephenson

Chase Fisher, Cedarville

Cole Galeazzi, Kingsford

Sam Gilles, Westwood

Montell Glover, Stephenson

Blake Hewitt, Westwood

Hal Hoenig, Forest Park

Justin Hood, Iron Mountain

Tate Kay, Sault Ste. Marie

Brent Lundquist, Rapid River

Hayden Mann, Westwood

Brandon Martens, Norway

Ethan Martysz, Marquette

Lenny Menary, Rapid River

Sam Orth, Rapid River

Gregory Paquin, St. Ignace

Caden Pellizzer, West Iron County

Jacob Peterson, Forest Park

Eddy Polakowski, Ontonagon

Mason Schieding, Munising

Willy Schmitt, Bark River-Harris

Drake Sundberg, Ishpeming

Gavin Sundberg, Ishpeming

Luke Terrian, Kingsford

Matthew Trawick, Ishpeming

Brayden Velmer, Negaunee

Philip Voss, Ontonagon

Reese Waara, L’Anse

Caleb Walters, North Central

Chase Warner, Pickford

Alex Zampese, Negaunee

Max Zeeryp, Rudyard

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Coaches

Scott Syrjala, Westwood

Brad Wiljanen, Westwood

Chad Hewitt, Westwood

Jake Wolf, Westwood

Scott Mann, Westwood

Jeff Olson, Ishpeming

George Niemi, Ishpeming

Kyle Rundman, Ishpeming

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RED TEAM

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Players

Seth Aho, Gwinn

Peyton Anderson, Negaunee

Nathan Beckman, Westwood

Matthew Bruette, North Dickinson

Christer Carne, Escanaba

Brady Eichmeier, North Central

Roubens Fink, Superior Central

Charlie Gerhard, Iron Mountain

Doby Gillis, Gladstone

Noah Groulx, Superior Central

Dalton Hanchek, North Central

Trevor Hendrickson, Calumet

Vince Hughes, Gladstone

Josh Iwanicki, Marquette

Craig Kamin, Escanaba

Kellen Klein, Lake Linden-Hubbell

Logan Kruhlik, Ishpeming

Gunnar Larson, Rapid River

Mitchell LeGrave, Norway

Hunter Lipponen, Brimley

Brent Loukus, Calumet

Andrew Mann, Kingsford

Dan Martin, Gladstone

Jarron Masuga, Cedarville

Anthony Mattson, Munising

Jonah Miller, Engadine

Devon Nyman, Ishpeming

Matt Ojala, Calumet

Travis Ojala, Calumet

Nathan Olson, Rapid River

Trevor Povolo, Kingsford

Zachary Powell, Norway

Devin Racicot, Bark River-Harris

Beau Rondeau, Superior Central

Cayne Rowell, West Iron County

Shawn Sandahl, Menominee

Brody Sanville, Gladstone

Bryant Schram, West Iron County

Hunter Smith, Ishpeming

Tucker Taylor, Gwinn

Noah Tourangeau, Escanaba

Parker Wilson, Gogebic

Beau Zorza, Marquette

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Coaches

Cody Kangas, Manistique

Garde Kangas, Pickford

Tyler Kangas, Manistique

Todd Kangas, Manistique

Paul Jacobson, Negaunee

Mike Christian, North Dickinson

Mike Berutti, West Iron County

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MARQUETTE — As in past years, the 12th annual Upper Peninsula Football All-Star Game will have a number of events this week leading up to the game to be play Saturday afternoon at the Superior Dome in Marquette.

For the third consecutive year, players were selected with a fantasy football-type draft by the team’s coaches in March, as it has made the game more competitive rather than the original East-West or North-South divisions of players.

Coaches from the Red and Black teams attended the draft after doing extensive research of players. Having the players mixed by the draft means not only will players be competing against traditional rivals from other schools, they might also be competing against players from their own school.

Game time is 1 p.m. Saturday, with the doors opening at noon.

On Monday, players and coaches checked in at Meyland-Magers Hall on the Northern Michigan University campus, while there was a food drive for the St. Vincent de Paul House food pantry at the check-in location this morning.

This evening, team and individual pictures will be taken as part of media day. Players and coaches will be available for interviews from the media, too.

Wednesday afternoon will feature the annual Players Skills Challenge. Players will compete for the titles in the Fastest Man, Strongest Man, Receiver, Quarterback Challenge, Kicking and Punting challenges. Several of the competitions, including fastest and strongest man, have separate lineman and skill-position divisions.

On Thursday, players and coaches will travel to Big Bay to visit the Bay Cliff Health Camp, which has become one of the signature events of All-Star Week. Bay Cliff is a summer camp for children with physical disabilities and the all-star players spend time with the campers, showing them football drills and finishing the day by having dinner with Bay Cliff campers and staff. After dinner, players join campers in a traditional flag-lowering ceremony at the central square, which ends each day at Bay Cliff.

Friday evening will be the All-Star Banquet, which provides family and friends a chance to connect with the players after a long week of practice and activities. It is formal for the players, as they take turns standing in front of everyone, introducing their roommate for the week and telling everyone some things about that person.

Players are also recognized for their accomplishments during the Skills Challenge and receive their All-Star rings. The guest speaker will be Jeff Olson, who just finished his last season at Ishpeming after bringing the Hematites several state championships and several more state finals appearances in the past decade.

The U.P. Football All-Star Game is donating proceeds to these charities — Beacon House; the U.P. Sports Hall of Fame; as well as Brimley, Negaunee and North Dickinson high schools.

A lottery drawing was held to select the schools with donations made directly to their football programs. Each year, new schools are chosen until all U.P. schools have received benefits from the game. Several other schools — Westwood, Manistique, Sault Ste Marie and Brimley — will also receive donations in the form of all-star game equipment, including practice jerseys and footballs.

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