The football state finals of 2012 will be remember for restoring excitement following the previous season’s blowouts. Here is look at the most memorable moments from this seasons finals:
Best Game: Grand Rapids Christian beating Orchard Lake St. Mary’s 40-37 in overtime. The Division 2 title game between Muskegon and Brother Rice was a close second, but the last drive by Christian down 3 with 2 minutes left was clutch.
Best Team: Grand Rapids Christian, the team they beat, Orchard Lake St. Mary’s, had already beaten the Division 1 champ Detroit Cass Tech and the Division 2 champ Brother Rice.
Best Player: Drake Harris, Wide Receiver, Grand Rapids Christian. Set the finals record for receiving yards (243), the state record for yards receiving in a season (2,016) and became just the 12th player ever to have 2,000 yard receiving in the country.
Best Coaching Job: Mark Tamminga, South Christian. Not only beat Detroit Country, but dominated them without quarterback Johnny Wassink. He believed in his team and they believed in him and led them to a state championship.
Best Moment: Portland winning the school’s first state championship, not just in football but in any sport. There is something special when a school from a small town wins for the first time. It was very exciting and much deserved.
Most Likely to Repeat: South Christian. The Sailors return 10 starters including Wassink who is likely to just keep getting better. They bring back receiver Austin Diekevers and linebacker David Boomsma and a loaded class of 2015, many of which played major roles in the 2012 state championship.
2013 Top 10
1 South Christian, Wassink gets healthy and better, I like the Sailors in 2013.
2 GR Christian, Alex VanDeVusse leaves huge shoes to be filled but there is plenty of skill players on offense and a defense that returns most of its starters.
3 Zeeland East, Must replace quarterback Michael Custer, but Spencer Viening is back at both running back and linebacker. The defense should bring back a lot of experience with linebackers Travis Jacobs, Jadin Hunderman and Josh Hart.
4 Lowell, Kyler Shurlow was getting better and better at quarterback when the season ended, Kanon Dean returns at fullback, Josh Colgrove and Jeff Houston should be back on defense, the Red Arrows will be strong again in 2013.
5 Muskegon, The Big Reds lost a lot from this season, but Deshaun Thrower should be good at quarterback and while most of the line graduated, guard Malik King returns and he is a good one. On defense Kenneth Finley, William Hunt and John Hall all return.
6 West Catholic, Young on offense in 2012, but the defense loses most of its starters, still you can expect the Falcons to be good once again.
7 GR Catholic Central, Similar to West Catholic young on offense in 2012, lost most of strong defense. Still there are plenty of good players for the Cougars led by quarterback Joe Nixon, wide receiver Nick Marosi and running back Dominic Piaz.
8 West Ottawa, Must replace a good quarterback in Trevor VanTubbergen but the 2015 class is strong led by linebacker Mason Decker and running back James Lacy. It’s hard to pick West Ottawa ahead of Rockford because the Rams have won the last 12 against the Panthers.
9 Rockford, The Rams will need to sort out the qb situation, wide receiver Austin McKellar is the lone returning starter on offense and played some qb while Kyle Short was injured. Chase Hankins and Landen Haney also figure to compete for the job. The strength will be the defense once again led by the tandem inside linebackers of Brent Showers and Randy Garvin for the 3rd year.
10 East Grand Rapids, The Pioneers will be back in 2013, this team was figuring it out at the end of 2012, see week 9 versus Caledonia. Quarterback Mikey Roth will be a year older and senior Conner Conaboy is back on both lines. The 2015 class is really strong.