Huskies Picked 5th in GLIAC Preseason Poll, Tickets on Sale

Courtesy of MTU

HOUGHTON, Mich. – The 2021 Michigan Tech football season begins in just 26 days and the players report to fall camp along with the coaching staff this week in preparation for a September 4 home opener against Hillsdale College.

Michigan Tech is picked to finish 5th (24 points) in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Pre-season Coaches’ Poll, announced Monday by the conference office. Ferris State and Grand Valley State are at the top of the rankings at No. 1 and No. 2 respectively. The Bulldogs edged the Lakers for the top spot by six points with 49. Ferris State also gathered seven first place votes while Grand Valley State had one. Wayne State checked in at No. 3 with 36 points with Saginaw Valley State at No. 4 with 25 points.

Just behind Michigan Tech at No. 5 is Davenport (22 points), followed by Northern Michigan (15 points), and Northwood (10 points).

TICKET INFORMATION: The Huskies return to the field for the first time since November 16, 2019 and renovations at Kearly Stadium have been completed. They include updates to the press box, seating, field turf, pavilion, and concessions.

Fans can enjoy a full six-game slate of home games in 2021, including opponents such as Hillsdale College (Dedication Ceremony, September 4), St. Thomas (2020 Senior Day, September 11), Grand Valley State (September 25), Davenport (Homecoming, October 2), Ferris State (September 23), and Saginaw Valley State (2021 Senior Day, November 13).

A VIP 2-pack is $384. VIP 2-pack with VIP Parking is $444. Single game tickets are on sale August 9. Adults cost $12 with Youth $5. General admission season tickets are $65.

HUSKIES SEASON PREVIEW: After a 647-day hiatus, Michigan Tech football returns September 4. The Huskies graduated 18 seniors from their 2019 squad, which finished 5-5 overall. Another 16 student-athletes received their degrees in 2020, but several key starters remain. All-American nose tackle Nate Lajoie (Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan) led the GLIAC in total sacks with 8.5 and tied for second in the conference in tackles for loss. A first-team All-GLIAC honoree and D2CCA All-Super Region 3 First Team pick, Lajoie will be a senior with 21 games of varsity experience to draw upon.

Three Tech quarterbacks are also GLIAC tested. Junior Will Ark (Green Bay, Wisconsin) completed 128 passes for 10 touchdowns in eight 2019 appearances and earned All-GLIAC second team. He finished second in the conference with 203.9 passing yards per game. Ark was also a key to special teams and set a school record for yards per punt.

Sophomore and perhaps the GLIAC’s most aptly football student-athlete Steele Fortress (Spring Arbor, Michigan) fortified Ark under center. He completed 45 passes for 504 yards as a redshirt freshman and appeared in all 10 games with a rushing touchdown at Ashland. Junior Kyle Wood (Rochester Hills, Michigan) may also see the field with six games of varsity experience.

In front of them, Junior Louis Thom (Leonard, Michigan) is back at tackle, along with sophomore John Hardy (Bay City, Michigan), and Hayden Huhtala (Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan) under center. Senior Dalton Norris (Saginaw, Michigan) leads a young group of guards and the Huskies have up to six potential freshmen options at tight end/H-Back to replace Benjamin Marion and Ozzy Corp.

At wide receiver, the Huskies have junior Jordan Janssen (Kimberly, Wisconsin), who caught 33 passes with one touchdown in 2019. Junior Ashland transfer Justin Davis (Rochester, New York) and local Senior Hunter Richards (Houghton, Michigan) also look to be viable. Graduated seniors Jacob Wenzlick and Ben Hartley will be difficult to replace as the team’s perennial top wideouts since 2017.

Two seniors are likely to start at tailback and fullback, with All-GLIAC second team Jared Smith (Westphalia, Michigan) and Corey Cotey (Munising, Michigan).

On defense, junior defensive back Braxton Blackwell (South Lyon, Michigan) finished second on the team in total tackles (61.0) and was an All-GLIAC honorable mention. Senior Linebackers Clayton Lynn (Durand, Michigan) and John Paramski (Newberry, Michigan) offer experience, The Huskies also look forward to the return of senior linebacker Marvin Wright (Lansing, Michigan).

Wright took a medical redshirt in 2019 but registered over 95 tackles for the third consecutive season in 2018. His 9.8 tackles per game ranked 34th best in NCAA Division II, leading to an All-GLIAC second-team recognition. Freshmen Drew Wyble and Brendan LeClaire will be tasked with kicking duties.

Steve Olson begins his fifth year as head coach with a 13-18 overall record. The Huskies have two GLIAC Championships (2004, 2012) and two NCAA Tournament appearances (2004, 2014) in their 97-year history. Michigan Tech has also won the Miner’s Cup 10 seasons in a row, awarded in the Michigan Tech/Northern Michigan rivalry.