Courtesy: Tood Goldbeck, Xcel Sports Training
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. Four all-time records fell and another had someone get into the top three, so overall, this was a very athletic group of players.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: Reed Larson, Kingsford, 40 yard dash = 4.62 seconds (electronic timed) Fastest Man (Lineman): Chris Briar, Menominee, 40 yard dash=4.84 seconds (elec. timed): 3rd All-Time Strongest Man: Tyler Fountain, Sault Ste Marie, Bench Press = 225 pounds, 15 repetitions Strongest Man (Non-Lineman): Kyle Root, Sault Ste Marie, Bench Press = 225 pounds, 19 repetitions: 1st All-Time Quarterback Challenge: Aidan Wienke, Kingsford, Distance Thrown = 59 yards: 1st All-Time Receiver Challenge: Kenny Pekarek, North Dickinson Receiver Challenge (Lineman): Brian Heckathorn, Ironwood Punting: Taylor Smith, Gogebic-Bessemer,69 yards: 1st All-Time Field Goal Kicking: Alex Sherbinow, Marquette, 55 yards: 1st All-Time 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, 6 Pp.m. Lastly, there will be three youth football games on Saturday morning before the All-Star Game.