POWERS - North Central Jets football coach Kevin Bellefeuil knows if his athletes put in the work they will get the recognition.
"I always tell our kids if you make the plays, if you do the work, people will find out who you are and where you are and you will get honored for it," Bellefeuil said.
Jets linebacker Eric Prestay made the plays all season and the honors keep rolling in. After being named the Small School Defensive Player of the Year and to the All U.P. Dream Team. the senior was named to the Division 7-8 All-State Team on Tuesday.
Paul Gerard photo
North Central’s Eric Prestay, left, strips the ball from a Munising player during the Jets’ district playoff opener on Nov. 1 at Powers. Prestay was named to the Associated Press Division 7-8 All-State Team on Tuesday.
"It's nice to see when kids do the right things and go about it the right way and they get rewarded for it," Bellefeuil said. "Eric is certainly an example of that."
The 6-foot-2 inch, 220 pound Prestay did the right things on and off the field. In the regular season Prestay racked up 110 tackles, including nine for a loss. He also added two sacks, caused three forced fumbles and jumped on two fumble recoveries.
"I've just been working really hard this whole season and I'm really glad that I got named to All-state," Prestay said.
Michigan AP Division 7-8 All-State football list
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Amari Coleman, New Lothrop
Alex Briones, Ishpeming, 6-2, 215, Sr.
Eli Kraft, Harbor Beach, 6-0, 185, Sr.
Nathan Fettes, Lincoln Alcona, 5-7, 205, Sr.
Josh Golkiewicz, Petersburg Summerfield, 5-9, 180, Sr.
Ty Rollin, Beal City, 5-8, 185, Sr.
Lee Graff, Crystal Falls Forest Park, 6-0, 190, Jr.
Amari Coleman, New Lothrop, 5-11, 185, Sr.
Jacob Hopkins, Evart, 6-2, 190, Sr.
Cooper Mojsiejenko, Bridgman, 6-4, 215, Sr.
Kajohn Armstrong, Detroit Loyola, 6-4, 275, Sr.
Brad Gustafson, Felch North Dickinson, 6-0, 250, Sr.
Jake Khoury, Traverse City St. Francis, 6-3, 295, Sr.
Brad Osterman, Carson City-Crystal, 6-2, 225, Sr.
Michael Caughey, Muskegon Catholic Central, 6-0, 225, Jr.
Logan Slaughter, Mendon, 6-4, 265, Jr.
Brad Harrah, Lenawee Christian, 6-0, 185, Sr.
Tyler Jacqmain, Saginaw Nouvel Catholic Central, 6-1, 200, Sr.
Garrett Norling, Lincoln Alcona, 5-8, 180, Sr.
Eric Prestay, Powers North Central, 6-2, 220, Sr.
Paul Engram, Detroit Loyola, 5-11, 215, Jr.
Taylor Krupp, New Lothrop, 6-0, 190, Sr.
Alex Lewandoski, Muskegon Catholic Central, 5-11, 185, Sr.
Gage Kreski, St. Ignace, 6-2, 176, So.
Sam Eshuis, Climax-Scotts, 6-1, 170, Sr.
Austin Feldpausch, Fowler, 5-11, 240, Sr.
Brendan Wimes, Lawton, 6-2, 155, Sr.
COACH OF THE YEAR
Devin Pringle, Carson City-Crystal
SPECIAL MENTION (nominees receiving two or more votes from the 10-member panel):
Drew Marion, Lake City; Adam Stremlow, Coleman; Leighton Merritt, Britton Deerfield; Justin Burke, Fife Lake-Forest Area; Ryan Tilmann, Beal City; Tom Merlo, New Lothrop; Brandon Keen, Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes; Andrew Peterson, Iron River West Iron County; Darrell McIntyre, Detroit Loyola; Matthew Warner, Coleman; Phil Lapinski, Sterling Heights Parkway Christian; Garrett Schilling, Madison Heights Bishop Foley; Ryan LaBerge, L'Anse; Larry VanBuren, Evart
SPECIAL MENTION COACH:
Dave Schneider, Lincoln Alcona
HONORABLE MENTION (nominees receiving one or no votes from the 10-member panel):
Jonathan Springer, Southfield Christian; Grant Hohlbein, Lenawee Christian; Kyle Nurenberg, Pewamo-Westphalia; Dylan Moffitt, Bath; Alex White, Homer; Garrett Schaller, Detroit Loyola; Brendan McMahon, Madison Heights Bishop Foley; Brad Rhoads, Mio AuSable; Nick Harrington, Gaylord St. Mary; Brandon Childress, Baldwin; Tyler Snyder, St. Ignace; Jacob Fortune, Evart; Jake Krueger, Kent City; Dustin Neyer, Mount Pleasant Sacred Heart Academy; Jens Gillings, Whittemore-Prescott; Brandon Harper, Unionville-Sebewaing; Seth Gangler, Unionville-Sebewaing; Austin Cook, Fowler; Elijah Klepper, Mendon; Joey Koscielski, Saugatuck; Tommy Jackson, Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett; David Walker, Harbor Springs; Travis MacDonald, Whittemore-Prescott; Kyle Winchell, Homer; Nathanael Schroeder, Saginaw Michigan Lutheran Seminary; Brendan Ballard, Unionville-Sebewaing; Adam Prisk, Ishpeming; Jake Quayle, Ishpeming; Andy Ridolphi, Iron River West Iron County; Andrew Blok, Saugatuck; Tristan Fleet, Mancelona; Jason Kaminski, Manistee Catholic Central; Paris Basley, Melvindale Academy for Business Tech; Derek Zagon, Mendon; Cole Madry, Bellevue; Hunter Gross, Coleman; Lucas Weichel, Lincoln Alcona; Nick Ward, Beal City; Ryan Prescott, Whittemore-Prescott; Christian Benavidez, Vestaburg; Lane Simon, Pewamo-Westphalia; Adam Armour, Traverse City St. Francis; Luke Smigielski, Mancelona; Robert Burge, Evart; Robert Riley, Mendon; Tavier Thomas, Detroit Allen Academy; Kevin Kunkel, Lake City; Seth Thomey, Mio AuSable; Keigan Ryckman, Vestaburg; Dylan Allard, Lake City; Josh Fleck, Climax-Scotts; Grant Steinborn, New Lothrop; Griffen Seymour, Muskegon Catholic Central
HONORABLE MENTION COACH:
Bill Wilharms, Lenawee Christian
Tom Markowski, The Detroit News; James Cook, Traverse City Record-Eagle; Bill Broderick, Battle Creek Enquirer; Mark Opfermann, MLive.com-The Muskegon Chronicle; Jim Lahde, Morning Sun (Mount Pleasant ); Dick Hoekstra, Lansing State Journal; Steve Kaminski, MLive.com-The Grand Rapids Press; Eric Woodyard, MLive.com-The Flint Journal, Pete Cunningham, MLive.com-The Ann Arbor News, George Pohly, The Macomb Daily (Mount Clemens)
When Prestay wasn't making tackles on the field he was getting ready for the season. The Jets captain spent his summer at football camps and conditioning, including lifting weights five to six days a week.
"When kids talk about wanting to be like Eric I tell them hey, it doesn't come cheap," Bellefeuil said. "The price you pay for that doesn't come cheap. You have to get in the weight room, you have to do it in the off-season. If you want to be the guy you've got to do what he did."
Prestay anchored a Jets defense that only allowed 124 points in the regular season. North Central finished 8-3 and won the school's first ever playoff game against Munising, 35-21.
Prestay said the defense meshed together in the first game and got production from all their positions.
"We started the season and had a really good game at home against Ontonagon and we just kept it rolling and things really clicked this season and we all had chemistry and really played like a team," he said. "I couldn't ask for much more than that."
While his numbers were impressive, stats didn't tell the whole tale for Prestay, who made clutch plays on the defensive side of the ball all season.
"Early in the season when things could've gone either way; Eric was there, every time we needed a play and he made it," Bellefeuil said. "Every time the kids put their heads down Eric would make a play for us."
Prestay, who has been playing football since fifth grade and varsity ball since he was a sophomore hopes to continue playing at the college level. If he does make the jump to the next level, one thing is for sure, he has the right work ethic.
"I've never had a kid at North Central since I've been here that's worked as hard to be as good as he can be as Eric," Bellefeuil noted. "He's in the weight-room, he watches what he eats. This is a kid who prepares for what he's going to do next and I'm certainly thrilled to death that he's got all the honors he's achieved."
Other Upper Peninsula Division 7-8 All State selections include: Ishpeming senior quarterback Alex Briones. Forest Park junior running back Lee Graff, North Dickinson lineman Brad Gustafson and St. Ignace defensive back Gage Kreski.
Amari Coleman of New Lothrop was the Division 7-8 Player of the Year.