ESCANABA - A pair of playoff teams got a pair of picks apiece on the 2012 All-U.P. Football Teams selected Wednesday by the members of the U.P. Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association.
Calumet senior linebacker Clark Kangas was named to the all-class Dream Team, while teammate Anders Bjorn was elected to the Large School (Divisions 1-7) First Team at guard.
Their best season in five years netted L'Anse two selections to the Small School (Division 8 and eight-man) First Team: junior Jimmy Veker at end and senior Cody Goldsworthy at linebacker.
Two other local players also made the cut on the small school team: Lake Linden-Hubbell defensive back Alex Knight and Ewen-Trout Creek punter Logan Maki.
Kangas, who was also named U.P. Defensive Player of the Year in the category (see related story) had 131 tackles - 61 solo and 17 for loss - in eight games. He had three sacks.
Bjorn, a 6-foot, 190-pound senior, was the top offensive lineman on a unit that pushed the Copper Kings to more than 30 points per game. Coach John Croze called the all-WestPAC player (on defense) a 'quarterback' of the line.
Veker (6-3, 200) caught 16 balls for 271 yards for an average of 16.9 yards per catch after shifting from a primarily running role in his first two seasons on varsity. Veker still toted the rock effectively, running for 634 yards on 93 carries and recording 12 two-point conversions.
In addition to being a standout running back, Goldsworthy made a major impact on the defensive end, recording 56 solo tackles and 72 assists for a total of 128, plus three sacks and three fumble recoveries. The team captain, he has been the leading L'Anse tackler for the last two seasons.
Knight, a 6-2, 154-pound senior, led LL-H in tackles with 78 this season and peaked at the finish, recording 14 in Week 8 against North Dickinson and 21 in the season finale at Forest Park.
Two local players received special mention, meaning at least two votes from the membership:?L'Anse guard Keith Denomie and Hancock running back Ross Michaels. Two Calumet players received honorable mention for less than two votes:?James Sturos at quarterback and Owen Kariniemi at both end and return specialist.