MARQUETTE, MI – The highlight of day 3 for the U.P. All-Star football players Wednesday was the Skills Challenge. Events included the Fastest Man (40 yard dash), the Strongest Man (Bench Press), Quarterback Challenge, Receiver Challenge, Punting and Field Goal Kicking. Three players made it into the Top Three All-Time in their events, with one of them tied for an All-Time Record. The East won six of the competitions while the West won three.
For some of the challenges, the players were split into two divisions, lineman and non-lineman. Having two divisions gives those challenges a unique atmosphere, as there are several competitions taking place within each event. The three events that are split are: Fastest Man, Strongest Man and Receiver Challenge.
Results for the Players Challenge are as follows:
Fastest Man: Devon Harris, Menominee, 40 yard dash = 4.649 seconds (electronic timed)
Fastest Man (Lineman): Jordan Neumann, Norway, 40 yard dash=4.745 seconds (elec. timed): 2nd All-Time
Strongest Man (Lineman): Tyler Thomas, Negaunee, Bench Press = 225 pounds, 15 repetitions
Strongest Man (Non-Lineman): Alex Briones, Ishpeming, Bench Press = 225 pounds, 11 repetitions
Quarterback Challenge: Alex Briones, Ishpeming, Distance Thrown = 59 yards: 1st All-Time (Tied)
Receiver Challenge (Non-Lineman): Cole Potvin, Manistique
Receiver Challenge (Lineman): Bailey Lamb, Escanaba
Punting: Cam Beversluis, Escanaba, 61 yards: 3rd All-Time
Field Goal Kicking: Ryan LaBerge, L’Anse, 50 yards
The Skills Challenge gave the players a much-needed rest from the grind of two practices per day. Each event which was performed had a gallery of players watching. . Everyone was gathered around the competitors, cheering them on while they competed. There were some friendly rivalries within each competition, but the atmosphere was casual and all the players enjoyed the events. In addition to some local television and radio media in attendance, there were also some parents and fans that came by to watch the skills challenges. They were able to get on the field and take some pictures up close of their favorite players while they competed. Both squads have the rest of the afternoon off to relax and let their bodies recover from the physical stress of practice.
The players will next travel to Bay Cliff Health Camp Thursday afternoon, and the All-Star Banquet is set for Friday at the University Center, 6PM. Lastly, there will be two youth football games on Saturday morning before the All-Star Game, 10:15 AM and Noon.