“The Challenge” Week 1
FINALLY after waiting since the Super Bowl crowned the New York Giants as champions, FOOTBALL IS BACK!!!
Every week, Sovereign Communications Sports Director Joe Dexter and “JT” will be picking high school, college, and NFL games.
Since college and NFL games don’t start until next week- we will begin picking just high school games this week.
Gwinn vs. Gladstone
Joe: A losing streak will come to an end Friday night no matter what happens as Gwinn is looking to snap a 14 game losing streak. Meanwhile, Gladstone has lost nine straight. The Braves bring in an undefeated JV class from a year ago and have some good weapons. Experience could play a major factor, as The Modeltowners only played four games last season. This should be a close one, but give the edge to the Gladstone Braves. Gladstone over Gwinn
JT: For both Gladstone and Gwinn, last season was one to forget. Having seen Gwinn in a scrimmage last week, I was impressed with their offense. QB Justin Nyquist will be a major factor in the Modeltowners offense. The big question for me is Gwinn’s defense. They had trouble stopping the run in their scrimmage. Gladstone reloaded from their JV team and they could be a sleeping giant in the GNC. Gladstone over Gwinn
Ishpeming vs. Iron Mountain
Joe: This one is going to be the battle that sets the tone for the season, like it is every season. The Hematites are the favorites heading into the season, and have a ton of talent back from a 9-2 season a year ago. Their only loss was to this Iron Mountain team. Look for Coach Olson’s squad to play with a chip on their shoulder. Adam Prisk, Alex Briones, and Tyrus Millimaki are back and provide instant offense. This is the game to watch in the UP opening week. Ishpeming over Iron Mountain
JT: Its a battle of two of the heavyweights in the U.P. Both teams must replace their starting quarterbacks from a year ago. Alex Briones will bring stability to the Hematites as their signal caller. Iron Mountain does not rebuild; they reload. However, I believe that the Hematites will be motivated by last years loss to the Mountaineers in their own backyard. This game will be close, but I am taking Ishpeming over Iron Mountain
Westwood vs. Stephenson
Joe: Both teams return talent from a very good 2011 campaign, and both will be able to run the football with solid offensive lines and great running backs returning for their senior year. I’ll give my edge though to the Patriots, who are looking to make the playoffs in back to back seasons for the first time in school history. And they have the size, experience and talent to do so. Westwood over Stephenson
JT: Joe, you took the words right of my mouth. I believe that Stephenson and Westwood could each make a playoff run this season- if they stay healthy. No surprise that Joe took Westwood- he is the play-by-play voice of the Patriots after all. However, once again- I will have to agree with Joe’s pick- give me Westwood over Stephenson
Negaunee vs. Manistique
Joe: This could actually be a lot closer than folks believe, if the Emeralds are as good as coach Kangas believes they will be. Negaunee will run their patented Option offense, while it looks like Manistique is looking to go through the tackles by running more I-formation. I like the Miners getting on a roll to start the season. Negaunee over Manistique
JT: I could see Manistique giving the Miners a tough time- for maybe a quarter or two at the most. Tanner Uren is primed to have a big season for Negaunee. Turnovers could be a factor in this one. I like Negaunee over Manistique by two touchdowns.
Marquette vs. Detroit Denby
Joe: Marquette has so much experience up front, it’s hard to to expect them to be there in every game they play. Detroit Denby is the perfect competition to get the ball rolling with a bunch of new players at the “talent positions” Denby makes the trip all the way from the “Motor City” and will play on Friday. Advantage Redmen Marquette over Detroit Denby
JT: The Redmen have the best offensive line in the Upper Peninsula from what I have seen this preseason. Garrett Pentecost was able to run successfully for the Redmen last season- and expect the new position players to do the same. One thing to watch out for on Friday night is the quarterback battle that is going on for the Redmen. Both QB’s will get playing time in this one. Marquette all over Detroit Denby
Let “The Challenge” begin!