2017-12-06 / Sports

Thumb Sportswriters Association All-Thumb 11-Man Football Team

11-man Team of the Year Millington Cardinals 11-man Team of the Year Millington Cardinals FIRST TEAM OFFENSE

Player of the Year

James Schelke

Harbor Beach

Sr., QB, 5’11”, 170

Offensive stats: 46 of 84 passing, 907 yds., 19 TDs; 1164 yards rushing on 184 carries, 19 TDs; Season best rushing vs. USA (27c, 228 yds, 3 TDs, 215 yds. passing 1 TD)

Honors: Two-time All-GTC East, two-time All-Thumb; Also, two-time ALL-GTC East in baseball

Comments by Coach Troy Schelke: “Jimmy is an extremely hard worker. He worked extra hard this summer to develop rapport with his receivers. He was willing to move to QB and ended up being outstanding. He was one of our team leaders.”

Parents: Troy & Sue Schelke

Joey Johnston


Jr., QB, 5’9”, 170

Offensive stats: 107 of 187 passing, 23 TDs (school record), 1846 yds, only 3 INTs; 343 yds. rushing on 56 carries; passed for 235 yds, 3 TDs and rushed for 107 yds. vs. Imlay City

Honors: BWAC MVP; 1st Team All-BWAC; 1st Team All-BWAC in baseball as a sophomore

Comments by Coach Garrett Grundman: “Joey made a position change from wide receiver to QB. He did a great job for us. We are excited to have him back next year. His leadership qualities are great. He has a phenomenal work ethic as well.”

Joey Johnston Cros-Lex Joey Johnston Cros-Lex Parents: Joe & Kristy Johnson

Brendan Hamilton

Cass City

Sr., RB, 6’, 180

Offensive stats: 152 c, 1216 yds, 33 TDs; best performance e, 17 c, 227 yds, 3 TDs, 4-2pt. conv.

Honors: Two-time All-GTC West (2016 as a receiver)

Comments by Coach Scott Cuthrell: “It was an outstanding year for Brendan – a very quiet threat that had a great year.”

Parents: Bob & Shelly Hamilton

Nick Perry

Ben Kreger Sandusky Ben Kreger Sandusky Cass City

Sr., FB, 5’10”, 205

Offensive stats: 121 c, 1045 yds., 8 TDs (16 c for 168 & b1 TD vs. Lakers)

Honors: Two-time All-GTC West; 4-yr. starter

Comments by Coach Scott Cuthrell: “He is one of the hardest runners in the Thumb. He has a great work ethic and is a punishing runner. He also has a 3.96 GPA.”

Parents: Troy & Julie Perry

Jacob Kretzschmer

EPBP Lakers

Sr., RB, 6’2”, 205

Offensive stats: 78c, 669 yds.; 18 rec., 311 yds.; 15 TDs

Brett Havens Marlette Brett Havens Marlette Honors: Team Capt. (3-yr. starter); All-GTC West; All-State sprinter in Div. 4 track

Briar Bearss


Jr., RB, 6’, 212

Offensive stats: 88c, 936 yds., 4 TDs; 10 rec., 215 yds, 4 TD

Honors: All-Conference

Parents: Roger & Ronna Bearss

Lukas Selich


Sr., OL, 5’10”, 210

Honors: 1st Team All- Conference; 3.85 GPA; Team Capt.; All-State in baseball

Damian Arnold Cros-Lex Damian Arnold Cros-Lex Comments by Coach Roger Bearss: “Lukas is a very good kid who has been on the varsity for three years. Lukas is a quick guard and his play led to a team offense averaging 40 points a game.”

Parents: Christian & Heather Selich

Brady Smith

EPBP Lakers

Sr., OL, 6’3”, 230

Honors: 1st Team All-GTC West on offense and defense

Comments by Coach George Gardy: “He was our starting tackle and was a key component to our offensive production.”

Ben Kreger

Curt Townsend Cros-Lex Curt Townsend Cros-Lex Sandusky

Jr., OL, 6’, 220

Honors: AP All-State, 1st Team All-GTC East

Comments by Coach Craig Jacobson: “Ben was our top offensive lineman and we are really looking forward to having him back next year. He is very savvy and knowledgeable of the game, you can tell he has been around football his entire life. He does a great job of communicating and making adjustments to how teams are trying to defend us.”

Parents: Tom Kreger, Kris Kreger

Hank Janik

Cass City


Honors: 1st Team All-GTC West

Kohlton Sherman


Sr., WR, 6’, 170

Offensive stats: 35 rec., 742 yds., 9 TDs

Honors: All-Conference; Team Capt.; 4.0 GPA

Comments by Coach Roger Bearss: “He’s a great kid, smart, and very coachable. He was a playmaker for our team the last three years.”

Parents: Kirk Sherman, Laurie Babcock

Brett Havens


Jr., 6’, 155

Offensive stats: 44 rec., 751 yds., 7 TDs; 17 c, 146 yds., 1 TD

Bryan Ross Sandusky Bryan Ross Sandusky Honors: All-GTC East

Bryce Bearss


At Large,

Sr., QB

Offensive stats: 135 of 230 passing, 1800 yds, 24 TDs

Honors: All-Conference, All- State honors, two-time All-Thumb; broke career passing in 2017

Comments by Coach Roger Bearss: “He’s a very hard worker. He has two Division 2 offers, 1 FCS offer (Morehead State) and is waiting to hear back from Northern Iowa, Illinois State, Western Illinois, and South Dakota State.”

Parents: Roger & Ronna Bearss

Brennan Wissner

EPBP Lakers

At Large

Sr., QB

Offensive stats: 50-92 passing, 817 yds., 16 TDs, 172 yds. rushing

Honors: All-GTC West, Team Capt.

Damian Arnold

Croswell-Lexington At Large Sr., OL Honors: All-BWAC, All-County

Curt Townsend

At Large
Jr., WR, 5’9”, 148

Gabe Robinson

Jr., Kicker


Defensive Player of the Year

Lukas Selich


Sr., DL, 5’10”, 210

Honors: 1st Team All- Conference; 3.85 GPA; Team Capt.; All-State in baseball

Parents: Parents: Christian & Heather Selich

Zack Schweitzer

Harbor Beach

Sr., Ng/T, 6’, 230

Honors: Two-time All-GTC East

Comments by Coach Troy Schelke: “Zack was a real run stuffer for us. He took up blockers, which freed our linebackers to make plays. One of the best run stuffers in the area.”

Parents: Amy Schweitzer, Jack Schweitzer

Brady Smith

EPBP Lakers

Sr., OL, 6’3”, 230

Honors: 1st Team All-GTC West on offense and defense

Cody Brownell

EPBP Lakers

Sr., DL, 5’8”, 185

Honors: Two-time 1st Team All-GTC West; Team Captain; 3-yr. starter

Comments by Coach George Gardy: “Because of what we asked him to do, he was double teamed almost every play on defense.”

Hunter Vaughn

Cass City
Sr., DL
Honors: 1st Team All-GTC East

Briar Bearss


Jr., LB, 6’, 212

2017 stats: 48 solo tackles, 44 assts., 6 forced fumbles, 4 INTs

Honors: 1st Team All-State, All- Conference; 4.0 GPA, Team Capt.

Comments by Coach Roger Bearss: “He’s a great kid with a heart of gold. He is looking to attend West Point Military Academy. He very much wants to play football for Army. He also has offers from Morgan State and several other Division 2 schools.”

Parents: Roger & Ronna Bearss

Anthony Sweeney


Sr., LB, 5’10”, 160

2017 stats: 84 solo tackles, 34 assts.; in on 20 tackles vs. USA

Honors: All-GTC East

Comments by Coach Dave Kaufman: “Anthony was our leader on defense. He was always in the right spot to make plays. He is a hard hitter and played the pass well. He is a four-year starter and made all the defensive calls for us.”

Parents: Bill & Deanna Sweeney

Skylar Lesoski


Sr., LB, 6’, 165

2017 stats: 66 tackles, 48 assts., 2 Fum. rec., 2 INTs

Honors: 1st Team All-GTC East

Comments by Coach Dave Kaufman: “Skylar improved greatly from last year. He was a great component with Anthony (Sweeney) at LB. He read well and reacted to the ball quickly. And, he’s a hard hitter.”

Parents: Miranda Lesoski

Cole Anderson

Harbor Beach

Sr., LB, 5’10”, 170

2017 stats: 54 tackles (led team in tackles); 3 INTs

Honors: All-GTC East on offense and defense

Comments by Coach Troy Schelke: “He’s a great tackler. He studies film to gain an edge and is one of our leaders. He’s a hard hitting linebacker who really stepped up this year. And, he’s a great student.”

Parents: Chris & Debbie Anderson

Kohlton Sherman

Sr., DB, 6’, 175

2017 stats: N/A

Honors: All-Conference

Comments by Coach Roger Bearss: “He’s a great kid, smart and very coachable. He’s been a playmaker (offense/defense) for our team the last three years. Hillsdale and Valparaiso are showing a lot of interest.”

Brennan Wissner

Sr., DB
EPBP Lakers
2017 stats: N/A
Honors: All-GTC West

James Schelke

Harbor Beach

Sr., S, 5’11”, 170

2017 stats: 20 solo tackles; 5 INTs (1 TD)

Honors: Two-Time All-GTC East, All-Thumb

Comments by Coach Troy Schelke: “He played centerfield safety for us; improved his tackling skills, has strong instincts, and has a willingness to study opponents. He’s a determined player and a very hard worker.”

Parents: Troy & Sue Schelke

Bryan Ross

Sr., DB, 5’10”, 160

Honors: All-GTC East

2017 stats: 39 t., 4 t. for a loss, 1 INT, 1 Fum. rec.; (Also had over 800 yards of total offense, and 9 TDs on offense as an RB)

Comments by Coach Craig Jacobson: “Bryan was one of our senior leaders this season. He worked really hard in the weight room during the offseason and it showed on the field. He was one of our top HB’s this season, leading us in scoring and rushing. He was also a vital reason for our defense improving the last four weeks of the season. He did a fantastic job in run support and also in covering the pass. He will be sorely missed next season.”

All-Thumb 11-Man Second Team Offense

QB- Marcus Armstrong, Marlette (Sr.); Sandyn Cuthrell, Cass City (So.); RB – Ricky Lindsay, Brown City (Jr.); Cole Anderson, Harbor Beach (Sr.); Gregory Keller, Ubly (Sr.); Joe Wentzel, Sandusky (Sr.); OL – Jacob Deer, Harbor Beach (Sr.); Cody Brownell, EPBP Lakers (Sr.); Cooper Kauffold, USA (Sr.); Ben Bovenschen, Brown City (Sr.); TE/WR – Brendan Prime, USA (Sr.); Austin Roberts, Harbor Beach (Sr.); At Large – Richardo Macon, Vassar (Jr.); Jackson Shreve, Millington (Sr.); Jacob Martus, Brown City (Sr.); Alan Rabun, USA (Sr.); K – Carlos Casselecalle, Vassar (Jr.)

All-Thumb 11-Man Second Team Defense

DL – Jim Brown Sandusky (Sr.); Myles Guigar, USA (Sr.); Trenton Rambo, Reese (Sr.); Nathan Particka, Ubly (Jr.); Jacob Deer, Harbor Beach (Sr.); LB – Jacob Sargent, Cros-Lex (Sr.); Jacob Martus, Brown City (Sr.); Preston Warren, EPBP Lakers (Jr.); D. J. Daniels, Caro (Jr.); DB – Sandyn Cuthrell, Cass City (So.); Ryan Sweeney, Ubly (Sr.); Casey Sweeney, Ubly (Sr.); Brendan Hamilton, Cass City (Sr.); Andrew Siegfried, EPBP Lakers (Jr.)

Voting breakdown for top awards for 11-Man Team

Team of the Year: Millington Player of the Year: James Schelke, Harbor Beach Coach of the Year: Steve VerBurg, EPBP Defensive Player of the Year: Lukas Selich, Millington Offensive Lineman of the Year: Lukas Selich, Millington

Vote Totals Team of the Year Millington (30), EPBP (23), Harbor Beach (6), Cass City (4)

Player of the Year Josh Schelke, Harbor Beach (27), Joey Johnston, Cros-Lex (19), Bryce Bearrs, Millington (12), Brendan Hamilton, Cass City (2), Jacob Kretzschmer, EPBP (1)

Coach of the Year Steve VerBurg, EPBP (35 Unanimous), Troy Schelke, Harbor Beach (16), Roger Bearss, Millington (6), Josh Hahn, USA (3), Scott Cuthrell, Cass City (3)

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