Last year’s state finals loss drives Shanks to set Muskegon interception record

MUSKEGON, Mich. -- Muskegon lost the Division 3 state championship game last season when Orchard Lake St. Mary's threw a touchdown pass in the game's final 10 seconds to beat the Big Reds 29-28.

"He has got a chip on his shoulder this season," said Muskegon senior quarterback La'darius Jefferson, speaking of senior cornerback Willie Shanks. "They try to blame us for the coverage and it was on his side."

"I think about it every play," said Shanks. "I think about it every day in practice. I think about it every time we go out and play a game. I even think about it when I`m asleep. I have nightmares about it, so it just motivates me a lot to not let it happen again."

This year Shanks is not letting anything happen when the ball is thrown his way. He has set a school record with 10 interceptions, and the season is not done yet.

"It means we set something new for 2018. We just want to be the class to set something new for the school," he said. "It's the whole d-line interceptions; it is not just mine."

The old record of 8 was set 11 years ago by former Muskegon great Ronald Johnson. Last week, Shanks picked off three DeWitt passes to bring his total to 10.

"Ten interceptions in a pass-happy era of football is a great thing for him," Muskegon head coach Shane Fairfield said. "It is a great confidence booster. He has been our solid rock all year back there in the secondary."

Muskegon takes on Harper Creek Saturday in a Division 3 state semifinal game at East Kentwood at 1 p.m.

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