Three players from Rudyard and three from Pickford took all-Upper Peninsula football honors in the 8-man division.
The vote was conducted by the UP Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association last week in Marquette.
Rudyard has signed two players to the All-UP Dream Team, including senior EJ Sugitt as athlete / hyrid and senior Tate Besteman as defensive back. Rudyard kicker Jacob Nolan received first-team All-UP honors.
Suggitt was a four-year-old captain who played in all positions at one point for the Bulldogs. The 6-foot, 227-pound senior quarterback was 41 of 90 for 853 passing yards and 17 touchdowns, while rushing for 362 yards and 11 touchdowns in 11 games. Suggitt also racked up five more rushing touchdowns against Suttons Bay in the semifinals.
Besteman, a 6-8, 200-pound defensive back, led the Bulldogs in total tackles and made 78 saves in 11 games. He played in every position except the quarterback, using his speed and length to confuse his opponents.
Nolan has been stable all season with a 42-of-47 record on extra-points shots, while also going 1-on-1 on field goals with a 23-yard goal against Munising.
The Pickford Panthers clinched one All-UP Dream selection and two All-UP First Team selections. Panthers senior running back Josh Sullivan has been named to the Dream Team. Sullivan (6-0, 168) was the offensive player of the year in the Eastern Great Lakes Division, with a rush of 1,404 yards and 18 touchdowns. He’s averaged 9.2 yards per carry and rushed over 200 rushing yards in each of his last three games.
Pickford senior George Edington (6-6, 240) received first-team all-star honors on the offensive line, while Brayden Altoft was named first-team all-star on the defensive line. Edington was the Panthers’ main blocker, helping the team run for 2,299 yards. Altoft made 46 tackles from his defensive position, including five tackles for a loss.
Newberry received two Dream Team caps and four first team winners. Indians senior receiver Eric Edwards (6-2, 195) and senior linebacker Johnny Nutkins (6-2, 185) were part of the Dream Team. Edwards had 38 catches for 792 yards and 14 touchdowns. Nutkins was a tackling machine with 110 total saves, three sacks and two fumble recoveries.
Newberry senior quarterback Connor Rintamki (5-9, 165), junior defensive lineman Zach Burton (5-10, 205), junior defensive back Marco Juarez (5-9, 150) and Freshman comebacks Matthew Rahilly (6-0, 175) made the All-UP First Team.
EUP players who received Special Mention (2 or more votes) included second-year running back Rudyard Cam Peterson and second receiver / defensive back Aiden Bickel, and Cedarville-DeTour junior linebacker Cason Smith.
Honorable Mention All-UP selections for zone players included senior lineman Ean Brady of Rudyard, senior quarterback Zach Harrison of Pickford and senior offensive lineman Drew French of Engadine.
2021 All-UP 8-player football team
Offensive player of the year: Luke Gorzinski, North Central
Defensive Player of the Year: Wyatt Raab, North Central
Team of the year: Center-Nord
Coach of the Year: Leo Gorzinski, North Central
Mitchell Snyder Lineman of the Year: Lane Nehring, North Central
Line: Lane Nehring, North Central, 6-0, 275, Sr.
Line: Timmy Bendick, Forest Park, 6-0, 265, Sr.
Quarterback: Luke Gorzinski, North Central, 5-10, 175, Jr.
running back: Josh Sullivan, Pickford, 6-0, 168, Sr.
running back: Sam McKissack, Forest Park, 6-0, 175, Jr.
WR / End: Eric Edwards, Newberry, 6-2, 195, Sr.
WR / End: Carter Johnson, Rapid River, 6-3, Jr.
Athlete: Jaden Borseth, Ontonagon, 6-5, 195, Sr.
Athlete: EJ Suggitt, Rudyard, 6-0, 227, Sr.
Line: Wyatt Raab, North Central, 5-9, 190, Sr.
Line: Mason Totzke, Ontonagon, 6-0, 300, Jr.
End: Micaiah Peramaki, Munising, 6-0, 210, Jr.
End: Eric Abramson, Ontonagon, 6-5, 180, Sr.
Linebacker: Johnny Nutkins, Newberry, 6-2, 185, Sr.
Linebacker: Chase Carlson, Norway, 6-1, 185, Sr.
Back: Tate Besteman, Rudyard, 6-8, 200, Sr.
Back: James Milkey, Lake Linden-Hubbell, 5-10, 160, Jr.
Kicker: Jaden Walters, Center-Nord, 5-10, 190, Jr.
Gambler: Aiden Richards, Norway, 6-3, 170, Sr.
Return Specialist: Alex Naser, North Central, 5-8, 170, Sr.
Line: George Edington, Pickford, 6-6, 240, Sr.
Line: Devon Groleau, Stephenson, 5-9, 170, Jr.
Quarterback: Connor Rintamaki, Newberry, 5-9, 165, Sr.
running back: Ben Tampas, Lake Linden-Hubbell, 6-0, 185, Sr.
running back: Jestin Matusewic, Ironwood, 5-11, 180, Sr.
WR / End: Jesse Duran, Munising, 6-4, 188, Sr.
WR / End: Alex Naser, North Central, 5-8, 170, Sr.
Athlete: Zach Frusti, Central Superior, 5-8, 150, Sr.
Line: Zach Burton, Newberry, 5-10, 205, Jr.
Line: Kirby Koskela, Lake Linden-Hubbell, 6-0, 225, Jr.
Line: Damyn Smith, Rapid River, 6-2, 280, Sr.
Line: Brayden Altoft, Pickford, 6-2, 190, Jr.
Linebacker: Jacob Mattson, Munising, 5-7, 182, Jr.
Linebacker: Maximus Mattson, North Dickinson, Sr.
Back: Marco Juarez, Newberry, 5-9, 150, Jr.
Back: Lucas Swetich, Superior Central, 5-8, 130, Jr.
Kicker: Jacob Nolan, Rudyard, 6-1, 168, Jr.
Bettor: Ben Molag, Central Superior, 6-0, 158, Jr.
Return Specialist: Matthew Rahilly, Newberry, 6-0, 175, Fr.
Special mention (2 votes or more)
Ashton Wymer, Munising, 5-5, 238, Jr. (outside line); Blake Lundquist, Rapid River, 5-11, 155, Soph. (strategist); Josiah Peramaki, Munising, 6-0, 192, Jr. (hijacked); Cam Peterson, Rudyard, 6-0, 186, Soph. (to recover); Aiden Bickel, Rudyard, 5-6, 163, Soph. (WR / fin and DB); Marcus Sutherland, Lake Linden-Hubbell, 6-2, 175, Sr. (WR / end); Matthew Rahilly, Newberry, 6-0, 175, fresh. (end / WR); Cason Smith, Cedarville, 5-11, 175, Jr.; Niko Gibellina, Stephenson, 6-3, 185, Sr. (back back); Cody Dabb, Ironwood, 6-2, 180, Jr. (d-back).
Nathaniel Barnes, Carney-Nadeau, 6-1, 230, Sr. (offline line); Troy Corrigan, Lake Linden-Hubbell, 5-8, 170, Sr. (online); Canaan Elson, Stephenson, 5-7, 145, Sr. (row o); Drew French, Engadine, 6-2, 260, Sr. (line o); Max Nason, Center-Nord, 6-0, 210, Soph. (line o); AJ Richmond, Superior Central, 5-5, 195, Sr. (offline line); Joe Smith, Rapid River, 6-4, 280, Sr. (line in line); Spencer Coldrun, Stephenson, 5-9, 145, Jr. (quarterback); Zach Harrison, Pickford, 6-0, 205, Sr. (quarterback); Peyton Imhoff, Carney-Nadeau, 6-0, 145, senior (quarterback); Carter Tietz, North Central, 5-10, 160, Sr. (WR / fin); Ean Brady, Rudyard, 5-6, 152, father; Tommy Udd, Gogebic, 6-0, 240, Sr. (line d); Jack Matrella, Gogebic, 6-0, 170, Sr. (back back); Will Curtis, Forest Park; Colt Glasheen, North Dickinson.
Contact sports editor Rob Roos at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter, @rroosTEN.