High School Football Preview: Negaunee

The Negaunee Miners had a stellar season in 2013, finishing the year with a 10-2 record. The two teams Negaunee lost to, Ishpeming and Ithaca, both won state championships.

Expectations are high once again for the Miners. Negaunee has made the playoffs four of the last six seasons, including the last two years. Senior quarterback Ryan Syrjala is back under center for the Miners.

One of the big question marks for Negaunee is who will be the team’s primary ball carrier. Tyler LaJoie is a freshman running back at Northern Michigan University. He rushed for 1312 yards and 21 touchdowns last season. Head coach Paul Jacobson talked about what he expects to see from the backfield this fall.

“One of the biggest things we stretch coming into two–a–day camp is a lot of competition at every position and running back is no different,” said head coach Paul Jacobson. “We have some seniors that I think are going to be able to step up meet the challenge. The juniors are coming along real well, so it will be interesting to see what happens and where we are each week and each practice.”

“They (the running backs) all have good speed. Everyone seems to be hitting the holes hard and no one has really been hesitant which is good,” said quarterback Ryan Syrjala. “Last year they all watched T.L. (Tyler LaJoie) play the way he does and they learned from that. They’re all playing well so far.”

“I think it should be a good year, try to make a good run in the playoffs, and just work hard,” said senior running back Ethan Ledford.

The Miners open up the season with two road games, at Manistique, then at Calumet, before their home opener against Gladstone.