By BURT ANGELI
ESCANABA - Kingsford and North Dickinson collected five major football honors handed out today by the U.P. Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association (UPSSA).
Theresa Peterson/Daily News Photo
Kingsford’s Reed Larson was named Large School Offensive Player of the Year by the U.P. Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association. Larson is the first Flivver since Dave Lucas in 2001 to win the award.
UPSSA announced that team and coach honors went to the Dickinson County schools while the Flivvers' Reed Larson was named Large School Offensive Player of the Year.
Larson racked up 1,800 yards total offense and 20 touchdowns this season in winning the award unanimously. The senior shows 1,407 yards rushing (7.5 ave.) entering today's Division 5 playoff game with Grayling.
The Class A-B Barber Trophy returned to Kingsford (8-1), which captured the Great Northern Conference title with an unbeaten mark.
Kingsford's Chris Hofer was selected coach of the year over Menominee's Joe Noha and Negaunee's Paul Jacobson. Hofer last won the award in 1995.
North Dickinson's Joe Reddinger repeated as Class D Coach of the Year. The unbeaten Nordics also achieved the Randy Mattson Trophy, returning to Felch for the first time since 2006.
Negaunee, like Kingsford, was a unanimous pick for Class C Team of the Year. North Dickinson nipped Saint Ignace in Class D.
In other premier individual honors, Stephenson quarterback Austin Grinsteiner was selected Small School Offensive Player of the Year. The three-year captain threw for over 1,100 yards and 12 touchdowns this season.
Calumet linebacker Clark Kangas, with over 131 tackles, received Large School Defensive Player of the Year. Saint Ignace linebacker Joe Ostman, who plans to play football at Central Michigan University, was the "Small School" recipient.
Dickinson County schools filled seven spots on the "Dream Team" of players from all levels.
Larson and North Dickinson tackle Dylan Dario made the offensive lineup. The defensive side had tackle Hilding Beaudoin of Kingsford along with end Dominic Christian and back Cody Berg of North Dickinson.
Special teams honors went to kicker Gabe Swanson of Kingsford and punter Isaac Bray of Norway.
In All-U.P. Large School (Divisions 1-7) first-team balloting, Iron Mountain back Paul Brooks and Kingsford end Aidan Wienke grabbed offensive spots.
Defensively, Iron Mountain was represented by lineman Zach Haber and back Taylor Huotari; Kingsford had linebacker Sean Ryan, and West Iron County defensive back Cody DesJardins was also selected.
Eight area players garnered All-U.P. Small School (Division 8, 8-Man) honors.
North Dickinson guard Brady Mashak, running back Tim Hruska and defensive lineman Brad Gustafson tallied spots with Forest Park guard Taylor Nocerini and defensive back Derek Aberly, and North Central defensive end Dyllion Hanchek, defensive back Rob Granquist and return specialist Josh Granquist.
North Dickinson quarterback Ken Pekarek and Forest Park receiver Austin Snell, strong All-U.P. candidates at their positions, earned special mention (more than two votes).
Nine area players received honorable mention - guard Eric Prestay of North Central; quarterback Jeff Johnson of Forest Park; end Andy Michaud and linebacker Tony Ward of Iron Mountain; center Mike McCole, defensive lineman Mike Peterson and defensive back Cole Tengesdahl of Kingsford, linebacker Jonas Christian of North Dickinson and defensive back Dan Bal of Norway.