Kingsley’s Peterson, Grayling’s Millikin named to AP Division 5-6 All-State First Team | Sports

GRAND RAPIDS – Several athletes from the area have been selected to the Michigan Associated Press Division 5-6 all-state soccer team that was announced on Wednesday.

Kingsley linebacker Brett Peterson and Grayling running back David Millikin formed the first team.

Peterson, a senior, has signed up to play for Grand Valley State to join his two older brothers. He made 45 tackles, 28 of them solo, but the statistics alone don’t tell the story. Peterson was named Co-Defensive Player of the Year at the Northern Michigan Football Conference along with Joey Donahue of Traverse City St. Francis.

Millikin, also a senior, followed a formidable junior season with another fantastic attempt to crown his high school football career. He accumulated 1,625 yards and 23 touchdowns from 145 carries, good for 11.2 yards per carry and an average of 180 yards per game. Millikin set the Grayling record for career touchdowns with more than 50 and for career rushing yards with just under 6,600.

Three Boyne City Ramblers made up the second team – Bobby Hoth as running back, Jacob Bush as linebacker and Kaden Jewett as specialist. The second team was also Manistee Lineman Caden VanSickle.

Honorable mentions included Sam Goethals and True Beeman, both of Kingsley, for running back; Grayling’s Dylan Cragg on wide receiver; Beau Harriger of Glen Lake, Sparty Skillers from Grayling and Kaden Patterson of Kingsley as linemen; Boyne City’s Joey McHugh as linebacker; and Jack Neer of Boyne City on Punter.

Grand Rapids Catholic Central senior Nolan Ziegler was named D5-6 Player of the Year.

Ziegler, an outstanding strong safety and linebacker, had already signed up for Notre Dame before the start of his junior season.

What might have surprised anyone outside of the central Catholic parish was how talented the 6-foot-4, 205-pound Ziegler is in the field.

The Cougars, who won their third straight state championship this fall, closed out standout receiver Jace Williams after winning last year. Catholic Central was then forced to quarterback wide receiver John Passinault after two-time national champion Joey Silveri sustained a knee injury in Week 4 at the end of the season. Ziegler suddenly found himself as a go-to receiver of Katholischer Central after getting just four passports from his previous two years together.

Ziegler finished the season with 67 catches for 1,343 yards and 25 touchdowns.

“The stats are certainly impressive, but it didn’t surprise us, and it didn’t surprise his team-mates and coaches,” said Central Catholic coach Todd Kolster. “But other people who didn’t know what it was about might think he’s just a linebacker going to Notre Dame.

Ziegler continued to lead a defense that allowed for a total of 19 points in his five postseason wins, including a 31-7 win over Marine City in the Division 5 title game at Ford Field. Ziegler, who is a finalist for the Butkus Award, had 13 tackles in the game. He had 105 for the season and seven sacks plus a pick 6.

“It’s great to be recognized because it shows the hard work I’ve put in over the years,” said Ziegler of the Michigan AP Player of the Year award. “That definitely means a lot.”

The Catholic Headquarters has won five state titles in the past six years. The Cougars also have the longest winning streak in the state. Their win over Marine City was their 37th straight win.

Kolster said Ziegler’s influence will have a positive impact in the years to come.

“I’ve said it many times, but he’s just a special guy, especially when it comes to his work ethic and his commitment to the team and his teammates,” said Kolster. “He’s built a really great relationship not only with his older teammates, but also with the young people. He’s great with our young people coming in. He is very helpful with the newbies, runners-up and juniors.

Ziegler was supported in the first team of Division 5-6 All-State by Passinault and junior lineman Nate VanTimmeren. Catholic Central’s senior linebacker Jack Klafeta was a selection of the second team.

“What I will remember most are the friends I have made and how my friends and coaches have helped me become the best player I can be,” said Ziegler.

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