MARQUETTE, MI – Day 1 of the All-Star week is in the books. What a day! All of the players checked in and each team completed two practices. Both teams got to practice in the Dome, and the players definitely like the new turf. New turf was installed last summer, which resembles the feel of real grass, which was a big upgrade from the old turf that was getting battered from the years of use. It is hard to tell at this point which team has an advantage. Both teams are working hard to figure out their personnel and where each player can help the team in the best way.
The players did not have much chance to relax once they checked in. After getting settled into their rooms and a quick lunch, there was a brief team meeting with all participants. Once the general expectations were given, the group split up and began their practices.
Coach Todd Kangas, Manistique, and his East staff had their players in meetings to begin their practice. He will be calling the offense and was discussing blocking schemes, which plays would be most effective, and how they would utilize their strengths, while Joe Derouin, Bark River-Harris, had the East Defensive players scheming as to how they would stop the West offense.
Coach Andy Crouch, Lake Linden-Hubbell, had the West players go right into practice and began to get their players acclimated by performing position specific drills and fundamentals. Each group of players was taken by the coach that would be working with them for the week. After working individually and seeing how all of the players responded, the group was brought together to work as single offensive and defensive units.
Energy is high and there is electricity in the air surrounding every player and coach. Both teams have lots to prove. The West team wants to take back possession of the All-Star.
Trophy they won the first year. The East philosophy is simple: defend what they feel is rightfully theirs. After two years, each team has won a game, so there are some serious bragging rights on the line this year.
Other All-Star Updates: The food drive performed Monday for the Beacon House food pantry was able to take in over 600 pounds of donated food, which is greatly appreciated by their staff and residents.
Econo Foods and Super One groceries also donated power bars, sports drinks and snacks for all of the players and coaches. With the players having been away from football for quite some time, they will need the extra nutrition between meals to keep their energy peaking.
Day 2 (Tuesday) will see everyone settle in to a regular routine of two practices, along with Media Day in the evening.
Team and individual pictures will be taken and players will be available for interviews to any attending media.