FHC's Hallock Shines in Green & White

August 22, 2018

By Dean Holzwarth
Special for Second Half

GRAND RAPIDS – It was pretty much a foregone conclusion that Tate Hallock would eventually wind up wearing green and white.

The Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central senior receiver already has had plenty of success wearing those colors, and he’s always wanted to follow in the footsteps of his family members.

In June, Hallock verbally committed to sign with Michigan State’s football program. He will join his brother Tanner, a second-year walk-on who redshirted last year.  

Hallock’s father, Ty, played at MSU from 1989-92 and was drafted by the Detroit Lions in 1993. Ty Hallock played eight seasons in the NFL with three teams (Detroit, Jacksonville and Chicago). Tate’s mother, Jennifer, also graduated from MSU.

“I think my whole life I knew I wanted to go to Michigan State,” said the 6-foot-4, 190-pound Tate, who also was recruited by Notre Dame and several Mid-American Conference schools.

“Obviously my brother plays there, so that was a huge factor, and overall the legacy of my family going to Michigan State played a huge role in that, too. My brother and I had a plan when we were younger that we were going to play together there, so I was able to get that opportunity and commit.”

The Spartans will get a playmaker who produced on both sides of the ball last season as the Rangers turned in one of the best in school history.

Forest Hills Central set a school record for wins, finishing 12-1 with the lone loss a shutout by Livonia Franklin in the Division 2 Semifinals.

Hallock had 779 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns a year ago, while also recording 81 tackles on defense.

“He is a threat to score on every down on offense,” FHC coach Tim Rogers said. “He has excellent speed and can go up and take the ball away from most defensive backs. We will move him from free safety to strong safety this season. He’s always around the ball, and he’s a violent tackler.”

Tate Hallock is in daily contact with his brother, who played a major role in FHC’s resurgence two years ago as the starting quarterback.

Tanner Hallock helped lead the Rangers to a nine-win season and playoff berth in 2016.

“We are very close, and I talk to him every day,” Tate Hallock said. “We’re always keeping each other in line, and I’ve learned a ton from him. He was a huge leader two years ago, and he really helped put the program back on track.”

Tate Hallock was just born when his father retired from the NFL, but he’s been around football his entire life.

He credits his father for teaching him the game and providing encouragement when needed.

“My dad has really taught me everything, and he just talks to me about being a leader and playing my role,” Tate Hallock said. “He’s my best motivator and the one I really look up to.”

While Tate Hallock waits for his time in East Lansing, he’s excited to play one more high school season and build off last year’s historic run.

“I’m definitely looking forward to next year, but I’m glad I’m finally done with the recruiting process so I can focus on this year and bringing home something for FHC.”

Hallock will benefit from having his longtime friend around to throw him the ball.

Senior dual-threat quarterback Luke Majick returns to engineer a potent Rangers’ offense. He threw for 1,787 yards and 21 touchdowns last season while also rushing for 840 yards and 15 touchdowns.

“I think it’s very important that we’re both back, but definitely Luke, because you need a quarterback and he brought a lot to us last year,” Tate Hallock said. “I think that will be the key to our success this year.”

Tate Hallock and Majick aren’t just teammates. They’ve known each other since elementary school and have developed a bond on and off the field.

It’s a connection that has enabled both of them to thrive.

“We’ve been best friends since fourth grade,” Tate Hallock said. “I think I’m capable of getting open, and he just knows where I am. We have good chemistry because he’s used to throwing me the ball.”

Majick echoed those sentiments, as both seem to always be in sync.

“We have great chemistry because we’re best buds, and I always know where he is going to be at on the field,” Majick said. “He’s so fast and tall, he makes my job a lot easier.

“Going to Michigan State has always been his dream, and I’ve been to a couple games with him. It seems that’s where his heart’s at, and I’m sure he’ll do great there.”

Tate Hallock hopes to prove last season wasn’t a one-time phenomenon. The Rangers have similar goals in mind, and ending the season at Ford Field instead of watching at home would be at the top of the list.

“I think you should prove something every year, and we definitely showed that last year and the year before,” he said. “The senior class really took a step forward last year, and now we need to take another step forward and show what we are all about.

“We definitely want to go undefeated during the regular season again and get to the state championship, but it’s really a day-by-day process starting with Jenison (on Thursday) and going from there.”

Dean Holzwarth covered primarily high school sports for the Grand Rapids Press and MLive for 16 years and more recently served as sports editor of the Ionia Sentinel and as a sports photojournalist for WZZM. Contact him at [email protected] with story ideas for Allegan, Kent and Ottawa counties.

PHOTOS: (Top) Tate Hallock (3) turns up field looking for yardage last season against Traverse City Central. (Middle) Hallock works to pull away from a Muskegon Mona Shores defender. (Action photos courtesy of The Central Trend.)

Mendon 8-Player Championship Game Run Paced by Record-Setting Rushing

By Geoff Kimmerly
MHSAA.com senior editor

May 26, 2023

Mendon’s run to the Division 2 Final last fall included some of the strongest rushing performances over the history of 8-player football.

The Hornets ran for 4,317 yards, second-most all-time, on the second-most attempts (520) and with a record-setting 682 yards Oct. 14 against Marcellus. Mendon also set the record for total offense with 692 total in that game, and made the single-season touchdowns list with 76 including 66 rushing (also second on that list).

Junior Jack McCaw made the single-season scoring list with 212 points, most coming on 29 touchdowns, and Evan Lukeman made the single-game rushing list with 401 yards against Marcellus. Mendon’s defense also earned praise, twice making the fewest-first-downs-allowed list with a low of three.

See below for more recent additions to the 8-player portion of the football record book:

8-Player Football

Athens’ Landon Bennett earned a pair of record book entries after reaching the end zone seven times during his team’s 72-0 win over Burr Oak on Sept. 8. His seven scores are tied for third-most in 8-player history and included three rushing, three on punt returns and one on an interception return. The three punt return touchdowns are a record. Bennett is a junior.

On the night Powers North Central broke its 8-player record for consecutive wins, claiming its 28th straight, senior Luke Gorzinski tied Jets great Jason Whitens for the record for interception touchdowns in a game with two, scoring on returns during the second and fourth quarters. Gorzinski has signed with Michigan Tech, and North Central’s winning streak is 37 games and counting.

A pair of Atlanta offensive playmakers and a top defensive lineman earned a total of seven entries in the record book for achievements last fall. Senior quarterback Tyler Currie threw for 30 touchdowns over eight games, and also made the records for six touchdowns and 419 passing yards against Whittemore-Prescott on Sept. 23; the passing yards are second-most for one 8-player game. Sophomore Landon Galea was added for 263 yards and five of those touchdowns against the Cardinals, and also for 1,418 yards receiving and 23 touchdowns over nine games. Junior teammate Tucker Kendrick made the tackles for loss list with five against Hillman on Oct. 6.

Adrian Lenawee Christian senior Brady McKelvey became the first to make the career extra points list in 8-player football this past fall. He bettered his previous single-season record making 64 of 66 extra-point attempts over 11 games and finishing his two-year varsity career with 123 extra points in 127 tries.

Sam McKissack reached the record book showcasing multiple skills for Crystal Falls Forest Park during the 2021 season – twice for rushing attempts in a game including with a record 59 against Ontonagon that Sept. 10, and then with a record 70-yard punt Oct. 30, 2021, against Lake Linden-Hubbell. Teammate Devon Basirico also made the record book with six fumble recoveries over 11 games that season. As a team, Forest Park was added twice for single-game rushing attempts – including 73 total in that Ontonagon game – and for 424 rushes over 11 games for the season. McKissack and Basirico are seniors this spring.

Nikolaus Lewis tied for eighth-most rushing touchdowns in an 8-player game when he reached the end zone six times for Carsonville-Port Sanilac in its win over Caseville on Oct. 7. He’s a senior this spring.

Bridgman has won 24 straight games over the last three seasons, and an exceptional offense – and exceptional offensive star – have played major roles. The Bees were added for 658 total yards in a win over Lawrence last season, that total ranking third all-time, and also 613 yards in a win over Eau Claire. Those included totals of 575 and 547 rushing yards, respectively, and Bridgman was added for 3,598 rushing yards (sixth on the list), 59 rushing touchdowns (fourth) and 76 total touchdowns (seventh). Senior Reid Haskins capped his four-year, 32-game varsity career with 13 record book entries, including for 254 points last season over nine games (tied for fifth all-time) and a record 620 career points, 41 touchdowns last season (fifth) and a record 95 for his career, 2,344 rushing yards last season (third) and a record 5,206 for his career, and 41 rushing touchdowns last season (third) and a record 94 for his career. Senior teammate Tanner Peters made the records three times including for 50 extra points last season (fourth) and 99 over 26 games and three seasons (second on the career list).

Mio's Austin Fox rewrote the 8-player passing record book this past fall, with his 621 yards in a game against Whittemore-Prescott setting a single-game record as he totaled four of the five-highest passing yardage totals. He also set a record with 3,516 over nine games for the season, another record with 289 passing attempts over those nine games and a third record for nine touchdown passes in that game against the Cardinals. His 41 touchdown passes total rank fourth. Teammates Gage Long and Nathan Hurst also earned several record book entries on the receiving end of those passes. Long’s 297 receiving yards against Whittemore-Prescott were tied for third most, and Hurst’s 266 against Alcona rank eighth. Long set a single-season record with 1,739 receiving yards, with Hurst sixth all-time at 1,321, and Long’s 14 receptions against the Cardinals and 70 for the season also rank second on those respective lists. Hurst set a record for longest 8-player kickoff return with a 99-yarder against St. Helen Charlton Heston. All three are seniors.

Peck was one of the first MHSAA 8-player champions, claiming the title in 2013, and Cody Abrego one of the state’s first 8-player stars. The Pirates were added to the MHSAA record book 52 times, and Abrego 14 times individually. Among the most notable entries for the 2015 graduate were for 462 points scored over his two-season career (ranking sixth all-time), 74 career touchdowns (sixth), 2,202 rushing yards in 2013 (fifth) and 35 rushing touchdowns in 2013 (sixth). Current senior Caleb Lentner was one of the stars statewide this past season, and he was added eight times including for 50 points scored in a game (ranking second), 272 points for a season last fall (fifth), eight touchdowns in a game (tied for second), 42 touchdowns in a season (fifth), an 8-player record of 2,694 rushing yards from last season, and 38 rushing touchdowns also last fall (fourth). Others to make the individual lists were Nathan Robar, Caleb Dudley, Steven VanConant, Kyle Abrego and Nathan Neihaus, Dudley for a record 20 career interceptions over two seasons and VanConant for a record 12 tackles for loss in a 2022 game and 36 tackles for loss for the season last fall. The Pirates also are all over the 8-player team record book, including for a record 97 touchdowns in 2013, a record 5,895 yards of total offense that season, 528 carries, 4,346 rushing yards and 73 rushing touchdowns in 2013 (all ranking second); and 24 interceptions in 2014, which ranks second on that list.

Senior quarterback JR Hildebrand was one of the most dynamic players in 8-player football in the fall in leading Martin to the Division 1 title. He had one of his most exciting nights in a playoff opener against Tekonsha, making the single-game touchdown pass list with six in a 68-6 victory.

PHOTO Mendon’s Jack McCaw (21) eludes a tackle during the 8-Player Division 2 Final in November at Northern Michigan University. (Photo by Cara Kamps.)