2017-11-23 / Sports

Football players fill up Fall Sports Dream Team

Lakers, Norse nab seven spots after seven-win seasons
By Jay Bushen
Sports Editor

What a fall it was. A cross country team won a regional, a co-op tennis team flashed some serious potential, and — for the first time in 16 years — two Leelanau County football teams posted playoff wins in the same season.

Success on the gridiron, in particular, stands out on the Fall Sports Dream Team, which includes standouts in sports other than soccer and volleyball. The Enterprise sports staff assembles the team with input from county coaches.

A third of this year’s Fall Sports Dream Team is comprised of Glen Lake football players, all of whom are seniors: Max Guilbeau, Max Lerchen, Cade Peterson and Josh Sterzer. The Lakers (7-3, 3-0 NMFL Leaders) may not have returned to Ford Field this year, but they did win their first-ever NMFL division title and flexed some playoff muscle in a 28-7 pre-district upset of top-ranked Boyne City.

“I wish we were still practicing and playing football,” Glen Lake coach Jerry Angers said this week.

The team’s signal caller, Peterson, had much to do with the success. The Grand Valley State verbal commit galvanized Glen Lake’s offense, which put up more than 36 points per game. He completed 94-of-154 pass attempts for 1,386 yards, 18 touchdowns and seven interceptions while adding 928 yards and eight scores on the ground.

Guilbeau, meanwhile, quarterbacked a defensive unit that surrendered 16.2 points per game. Hudl stats show the middle linebacker made 67 total tackles as a senior, including three for loss and two sacks. He added a pick-six and a trio of rushing touchdowns.

The play of Lerchen and Sterzer was also instrumental this season. Primarily used at wide receiver and safety, Lerchen and Sterzer combined to rack up 35 receptions for 491 yards and three touchdowns while tallying 85 total tackles and two takeaways.

“They didn’t miss a down,” Angers said of the duo, “and they played three different positions on defense.”

Defensively, the highlight of the season was a shutout streak spanning five games and 194:21 of game clock.

Suttons Bay (7-4, 4-3 Midwest) also put together a season full of highlights in year one of the 8-man era.

Offensively, sophomore running back Lucas Mikesell provided plenty while rushing for 1,293 yards and 12 touchdowns on 148 carries. Mikesell finished with 2,197 all-purpose yards and 15 total touchdowns, adding two interceptions and 57 total tackles.

“He is a truly special talent,” first-year coach Dan Durkin said.

The same could be said of hard-hitting two-way starters Erik Halvorsen and Zach Morton.

Halvorsen, a linebacker, made 130 total tackles this fall, including 12 for loss. He also hauled in 18 receptions for 280 yards and three touchdowns.

Morton, a lineman, was downright dominant against most opponents. He finished with 95 total tackles, including

14 for loss and 7.5 sacks, and paved the way for a rushing attack that racked up more than 2,700 yards in 11 games.

“Zach played with an intensity that was hard to match,” said Durkin, whose team lost to eventual 8-man Division 1 state champion Central Lake in the regional title game.

The lone regional crown won by a Leelanau County club this fall, meanwhile, was none other than the St. Mary girls cross country team.

Hanna Grant hit a PR and captured the top spot in the regional race (18:39), propelling St. Mary to a convincing team victory. Lexi Schaub hit a PR (20:39), as well, placing seventh.

The seniors will be tough to replace, St. Mary coach Nick Papes said.

“They did everything you could ever ask for and more,” said Papes, the regional girls coach of the year. “I’m nervous and excited (for next year).”

The regional boys coach of the year, Glen Lake coach Ryan Schut, sent his boys team to the Division 4 state finals for the first time since 2002.

The team was led by senior Drake Parker, the lone three-time Fall Sports Dream Team selection this year. Parker battled a leg injury for the latter portion of the season but still managed to place 78th at the state finals (18:01).

“Through injury, Drake showed heart and true toughness every race,” Schut said.

St. Mary junior Max Gorcyca — a first-year cross country runner — registered the county’s top finish at states on the boys side, crossing 51st (17:39).

Last but not least on the Dream Team is Xander Okerlund, the Leelanau tennis team’s top option in No. 1 singles. Leelanau coach Tim Sutherland said Okerlund went 7-2 individually.

“I think a coach looks for three attributes in his best player: leadership, a will to win and special athletic ability,” Sutherland said of the junior. “Xander has all three and, even better, I get to coach him for another year.”

All eyes will be on Okerlund when the Glen Lake boys begin basketball season vs St. Francis on Dec. 1. The oversized guard is Leelanau County’s reigning Basketball Dream Team MVP.


By School
Glen Lake: 6
St. Mary: 3
Suttons Bay: 3

By Class
Seniors: 7
Juniors: 4
Sophomores: 1
Freshmen: 0

2016 Team
Duke Angers (Glen Lake)
Sunny Charpentier (Glen Lake)
Nichole Cox (Glen Lake)
Daniel & Okerlund (Glen Lake)

Ciara Glynn (St. Mary)
Hanna Grant (St. Mary)
Ryan Nadlicki (Glen Lake)
Jake Palmer (Glen Lake)
Drake Parker (Glen Lake)
Cade Peterson (Glen Lake)
Lexi Schaub (St. Mary)
Josh Zientek (Glen Lake)

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