Home > activity > [games that came out in 2019]West beats East as Michigan high school football all-star game returns after 2020 cancelation
[games that came out in 2019]West beats East as Michigan high school football all-star game returns after 2020 cancelation

  It wasn’t just the win or the margin of victory that impressed Rob Zeitman the most Saturday afternoon.

  Zeitman, the Jenison High School varsity football coach, was selected to coach the West All-Stars in the 39th East-West Michigan High School Football Coaches Association All-Star Game at Lawrence Tech University in Southfield. West rolled to a 48-14 victory after breaking the game open with four second-quarter touchdowns.

  West had the game well in control by the time East Grand Rapids’ Nate Milanowski capped the scoring with a two-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter. But it was Milanowski’s score that Zeitman pointed out when summing up this weekend’s victory.

  “Our running backs are rotating through, and they turn around and said, ‘Coach, we have to get Nate one,’” Zeitman said. “I said, ‘Alright, we are going to try,’ and he ends up getting the last touchdown. It was cool for Nate, and he had an interception and a big game, but the fact that they were rooting for his success made it that much cooler. Sometimes you feel with all-star games that it’s about me, it’s about me. But this couldn’t have been further from the truth. That’s what made it special.

  “The kids were awesome. What a great group of kids who bonded pretty quickly, and they were really rooting for each other. That was the coolest thing.”

  East-West football game

  Players from the West (white jerseys) and the East square off in the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association 39th East-West All-Star Game on June 26, 2021 at Lawrence Tech University in Southfield, Mi. (Photo courtesy of Lynnea Roon)

  COVID-19 forced event officials to cancel the 2020 all-star game. But it returned this summer, and it once again featured numerous top recent graduates from across Michigan.

  Montague’s Drew Collins, Zeeland West’s Carson Gulker and Forest Hills Northern’s Trinidad Chambliss shared the quarterbacking duties for West. Collins threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to Blake Bosma and scored on a 1-yard run. Gulker also ran for one and threw for another, scoring on a 2-yard run and throwing a 45-yard touchdown pass to Marquette’s Kameron Karp.

  Dorion Riley of Jackson sparked West’s ground game, rushing for 84 yards on 10 carries and a score. Traverse City Central’s Austin Bills added 76 yards rushing on seven carries and a score. Karp finished with three catches and 86 yards.

  Ludington’s Jake Plamondon and Byron Center’s Austin Roon led West’s defense with eight and seven tackles, respectively. Roon will play at Syracuse and Plamondon is headed to Ferris State. Rockford’s Luke McLean recorded an interception for West, and Thornapple-Kellogg’s Mitchell Middleton, who served as a team captain, kicked six extra points.

  “We had so many big plays,” Zeitman said. “Mona Shores’ Khyree Hamel was playing more of a strong safety for us, but one of our linebacker’s hamstring was tightening up, so we put Khyree in as a week-side backer. Khyree just comes up and smashes the 4th-and-3 run play. He made a huge play to make sure no one was going to score again. There was a lot of pride in how our kids played.

  “We had Grandville’s Caden Peddie and Hudsonville’s Michael Momber playing side-by-side up front. They were dead set determined that there was going to be nothing run up the middle. Austin Bills was a missile inside and out.”

  East-West football game

  Thornapple-Kellogg’s Mitchell Middleton kicks off during the 39th Michigan High School Football Coaches Association East-West All-Star Game at Lawrence Tech University in Southfield, Mi., on June 26, 2021. (Photo courtesy of Lynnea Roon)

  Zeitman was joined on the coaching staff by Marc Cisco (Byron Center), John Crose (Calumet), Josh Frantti (Calumet), Kevin Kent (Lake City), Joe Morse (Jenison), Tim Peterson (Kingsley) and Paul Roussey (Byron Center). He also said it was an honor to coach Jenison lineman Ethan Kirkland one more time.

  “From my standpoint, it was a huge honor to be asked to coach and represent Jenison Public Schools in the All-Star Game,” Zeitman said.

  East’s Jameson Chesser scored on a 55-yard second-quarter run that gave his team a 7-6 lead. East also scored on a 5-yard third-quarter run by Maurice Davis of Ecorse. Chesser, of Lenawee Christian, led East with 60 yards rushing on three carries. Noah Beaudrie of Erie Mason threw for 92 yards.

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